The Alessandro Dandini Medal of Science is the Desert Research Institute’s top honor in recognition of scientific accomplishment. From 1992 to 2003, ten outstanding research faculty members received the award for work that displayed scientific achievement of the highest degree. The award was created in 1992 by Countess Angela Dandini, in honor of her late husband, Count Alessandro Dandini, the acclaimed scientist, industrialist and inventor.
Dr. John Watson—Award Recipient 1992 for his contributions to the field of atmospheric sciences. Dr. Watson’s research includes studies on source apportionment, visibility, particle sampling and analysis, field study design and management, and motor vehicle and fugitive dust emissions. He has written numerous publications on air quality and pollution, and has worked with the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Dale Johnson—Award Recipient 1993 for his research on soil chemistry, forest ecosystems and natural resource management. Dr. Johnson is world-renowned for his studies on the impact of acid rain on forests and soils, how fires affect forest ecosystems, and the effects of increases in carbon dioxide on forests. He has written extensively on his fields of study and is also a recipient of the Board of Regents Researcher Award.
Dr. Nick Lancaster—Award Recipient 1994 for his research on desert sand dunes. Dr. Lancaster is the world’s premiere expert on desert sand dunes and his scientific studies have taken him all over the world. His work focuses on dune sedimentary processes, ground penetrating radar and optical dating of dune deposits, and the impacts of climate change on desert regions, among other topics.
Dr. John Hallett—Award Recipient 1995 for his work in the field of atmospheric science. Dr. Hallett is an expert in the area of cloud physics, cloud electrification, atmospheric chemistry, climate dynamics and physical meteorology. His work has earned him several awards and an international reputation, especially for his work on the role of ice crystals in the atmosphere.
Dr. Richard French—Award Recipient 1996 for his contributions to the fields of hydraulic processes on alluvial fans and open channel hydraulics. Dr. French’s work is focused on water resources and environmental problems of arid regions. He is also a member of ASCE’s Water Resources Engineering Executive Committee and has written four books on the subject of hydraulics.
Dr. Judy Chow—Award Recipient 1997 for her work on national and international air quality and her effort to characterize the smallest and most health-threatening airborne particles. Dr. Chow has over 34 years of experience in her fields of study and has written many articles, book chapters, presentations and technical reports of the subjects of atmospheric science, air quality and environmental health research.
Dr. James Hudson—Award Recipient 1998 for his work in understanding cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and their relationship to climate change. Dr. Hudson’s work with CCN has taken him around the world and led to other discoveries on climate change and air pollutants. His areas of research include cloud and aerosol physics, atmospheric chemistry, climate dynamics, and physical meteorology.
Dr. Ken Taylor—Award Recipient 1999 for research on the causes of climate change, specifically ice core paleoclimate studies. Dr. Taylor has worked on every United States deep ice coring project since 1981, and is the Chief Scientist for the WAIS Divide Ice Core program in Antarctica, funded by the National Science Foundation. He has also written many peer-reviewed publications on the subject.
Dr. Alan Gertler—Award Recipient 2000 for his work focusing on the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions in actual traffic conditions. Dr. Gertler has studied air pollution across the world. His work has been applied to the creation of fuel and engine performance technologies, street and highway design, and vehicle pollution reduction strategies.
Dr. Barbara Zielinska—Award Recipient 2002 for advancing the institute’s capabilities for detecting, identifying and quantifying harmful chemical components in air pollution samples. Dr. Zielinska’s research areas include ambient air and source sampling, and chemical and physical analysis. She also has published many works on the subject and she often gives presentations on organic emissions and ambient aerosols around the world.
Dr. Glenn Berger—Award Recipient 2003 for his work in luminescence dating. Dr. Berger has researched geochronology, geoarchaeology, paleoenvironmental records, and optical dating. His career has led to the development of many new technologies and methods in Ar-Ar thermochronology and luminescence dating.