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Roger Atkinson Receives State Award

UC Riverside Scientist Receives State Air Quality Award

Air Resources Board Recognizes Roger Atkinson for Pioneering Work on the Chemistry of Smog

(April 6, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The California Air Resources Board today recognized Roger Atkinson, Director of the Air Pollution Research center and a distinguished professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, for the impact of his 30 years of work on the formation of photochemical air pollution.

Atkinson is one of three recipients of the 2004 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, which is presented to one scientific researcher, one policy maker and one health researcher. Atkinson’s co-recipients include Leon Billings and David Gates, M.D. The awards were presented at the Fourth Annual Haagen-Smit Symposium in Lake Arrowhead.

Atkinson has done pioneering research concerning the atmospheric reactions of organic chemicals. His work has shed light on the chemistry responsible for the formation of ozone and other air pollutants. His research and service on review panels are reflected in his more than 300 publications.

Atkinson’s research findings have helped form the basis of the data that comprises computer models of air pollution, which, in turn, help to shape regulatory policy.

“Our work is at the very base level of this process,” Atkinson said, adding that: “It’s never a ‘eureka’ moment but a steady progression of knowledge that changes over the years.”

Much of today’s cutting-edge research on air pollution is in the understanding of aerosol formation, those particles that make up the haze that irritate the lungs and decrease visibility.

Atkinson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received distinguished awards such as Atmospheric Environment’s Haagen-Smit Award and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology.

Billings was principal staff to the late U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie and played a pivotal role in the enactment of several landmark federal air and environmental laws of the 1970s. He has also arduously defended and helped expand existing environmental laws through the 1980s and 1990s.

Dr. Bates is professor emeritus of medicine at the University of British Columbia. Much of his 50-year medical career has been dedicated to research on many basic processes of lung physiology, growth, and defenses in response to air pollutants. His views and advice are highly regarded by air pollution control agencies in formulating their public health policies.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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