NOAA Scientists Feely and Solomon to Receive Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award

October 11, 2007

Two pioneering NOAA scientists in the fields of ozone depletion and ocean acidification will receive the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club Oct. 18 in New York. This year’s awards theme is “Exploring Climate Change.”

Oceanographer Richard Feely of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash., an expert on the subject of ocean acidification, is one of the lead authors of a series of papers highlighting the role of the ocean in absorbing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) and the potential consequences of a CO2-rich ocean.

Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., is known for her climate and ozone work, including research that led to discovering the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole. Her research contributed to the scientific foundation that led to an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, banning the use of chlorofluorocarbons, which were creating chemical reactions destructive to stratospheric ozone. Solomon also co-chairs Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“These two scientists explored two of the many complex and important climate issues of our time,” said Richard Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. “Their exemplary science provides service to society by providing the foundation on which decisions can be made. It is gratifying to all of us at NOAA that Feely’s and Solomon’s achievements are acknowledged with this prestigious award.”

The awards are presented by the president of the Explorers Club to groups of outstanding explorers who have distinguished themselves in a particular field.

The Lowell Thomas Award is named for 53-year club member Lowell Thomas (1892-1981), the American writer, explorer, and broadcaster who accompanied T.E. Lawrence during the Arab revolts and made “Lawrence of Arabia” famous. Previous recipients have included Isaac Asimov, Sylvia Earle, Carl Sagan, Buzz Aldrin, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Wade Davis.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.