Newsroom banner

DRI scientist honored with California's premier air quality award

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (February 21, 2019) – The California Air Resources Board today honored recipients of the 2018 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, California’s premier award recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving air quality. The contributions of this year’s award winners will have lasting impacts for air quality and climate goals not only in California, but throughout the world.

“The Haagen-Smit Award is our way of honoring individuals who have championed public health with innovative and far-reaching contributions to air pollution research, science and clean air technology,” CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “From shaping our understanding of how air pollution forms to exemplary leadership in cleaning up Los Angeles’ smog, the long and distinguished careers of these five extraordinary people have changed how we address climate change and fight air pollution around the world.”

Considered the “Nobel Prize” in air quality achievement, the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards are given annually to individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions toward improving air quality and climate change science, technology and policy, and the protection of public health.

In light of the global connection between air quality and climate change, the scope of the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards program is now international, with an added focus on climate change science and mitigation.

JohnWatson2Recipients of the 2018 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards. Credit: CARB.

The 2018 Award Recipients

Paul Crutzen, Ph.D., Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Professor Paul Crutzen’s pathbreaking research in the atmospheric chemistry of ozone played a fundamental role in establishing the link between human activities and ozone in the atmosphere. Dr. Crutzen’s findings helped galvanize a global political response to the threat of ozone depletion, leading, ultimately, to the 1987 signing of the Montreal Protocol for global protection of the stratospheric ozone layer.

Anne Douglass, Ph.D., National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dr. Anne Douglass’s innovative use of airborne and ground-based observations advanced the modeling of the chemical and climate processes that control ozone in earth’s atmosphere.  She is also the Project Scientist of NASA’s Aura satellite project. Aura’s measurements are critical to the scientific community’s research on ozone trends, air quality changes, and their links to climate change.

Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation, LLC
Hal Harvey elevated the practice of strategic philanthropy in the service of climate change mitigation. Mr. Harvey is the founder of climate-focused philanthropic organizations The Energy Foundation and ClimateWorks Foundation, and he has directed environmental giving for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He co-founded the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in 2001 to support government action to reduce energy consumption and climate change emissions from the world’s fastest growing vehicle fleets.

Barry Wallerstein, D.Env., University of California, Riverside
Dr. Barry Wallerstein dedicated more than 30 years of service to the people of Southern California. For nearly two decades, he served as executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency responsible for the respiratory health of 17 million Californians in the most smog-stricken air quality district in the nation. There he guided the most effective regional air quality management program in our country’s history.

John Watson, Ph.D., Desert Research Institute
Dr. John Watson’s seminal contributions to the science and technology of air pollution measurement, characterization, and monitoring have advanced the development of air quality management programs in California and abroad. Dr. Watson developed innovative technology used by the U.S. EPA and by scientists throughout the world to estimate source contributions to airborne particulates and volatile organic compounds. A prolific researcher, author and editor, Watson served as principal investigator for more than 120 air quality studies and produced hundreds of peer-reviewed journal publications.

About the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards 

The prestigious Haagen-Smit awards are given annually to those who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of clean air, climate change, technology and related policies. Considered to be California's premier air quality award, it is named for CARB’s first chairman, the late Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit – best known for linking the smog in Southern California to automobiles. The award recognizes those who have followed in his footsteps in pursuit of clean air. The Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards have been presented since 2001. Winners have ranged from research scientists to educators to public agency administrators. Awardees are selected by a committee of former winners.

This release was originally published by the California Air Resources Board (CARB):


The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI's research has advanced scientific knowledge, supported Nevada's diversifying economy, provided science-based educational opportunities, and informed policy makers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. For more information, please visit

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to personalise content, provide social media features and  analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. DRI Privacy Policy >>