Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

2007 Haagen-Smit Prize Winners

The Executive Editors and the Publisher of Atmospheric Environment take great pleasure in announcing the 2007 ''Haagen-Smit Prize'', designed to recognize outstanding papers published in Atmospheric Environment. The Prize is named in honor of Prof. Arie Jan Haagen-Smit, a pioneer in the field of air pollution and one of the first editors of the International Journal of Air Pollution, a predecessor to Atmospheric Environment.

The ''Haagen-Smit Prize'' is given annually to two papers previously published in Atmospheric Environment and covering different science areas. Additional information about this award and the selection committee members can be found at http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sgg/singh/aehaagen.html. The nominating letters printed below describe the two 2007 winning papers.

Nomination Letters

B. R. T. SimoneitM. A. MazurekB. R. T. Simoneit and M. A. Mazurek, Organic matter of the troposphere – II. Natural background of biogenic lipid matter in aerosols over the rural western United States, Atmospheric Environment, 16, 2139-2159, 1982.

This is one of the most celebrated papers published in Atmospheric Environment. With a record of over 327 citations, it is also one of the most frequently cited in atmospheric sciences. It is the second paper in a series of five (other four are listed in references) describing the applications of organic compounds as tracers for sources of atmospheric particulate matter. Collectively these papers have been cited over 825 times.

Specifically, the nominated paper details homologous aliphatic compound series, comprised of long-chain alkanes, alcohols, fatty acids and ketones, with specific tracers like phytosterols and terpenoids from higher order vegetation (plant waxes, resins) as biogenic molecular markers. These primary natural products are major biological components of aerosols worldwide and thus important in tracing global cycling of organic carbon by atmospheric transport. Subsequent papers (Parts III-V) contrasted the organic compounds in particulate matter from the natural background (vegetation) with emissions from anthropogenic activities such as traffic (petroleum tracers) and combustion (PAHs) and further elaborated on the utility of specific biomarkers for source assignments of aerosol particles in remote versus urban air-sheds.

The original experimental method involved solvent extraction and tedious fractionation of compound classes for analysis to define the compositions of the particulate organic matter. This has evolved to the current expeditious methods of total extract analysis or direct vaporization analysis, since we now know what compounds to look for. These papers, especially Parts II, were the impetus for the long-term collaboration of Professor Simoneit with the late Professor Glen Cass and his students at Cal Tech, applying source-specific organic tracers in urban aerosol apportionment research. The organic, coupled with inorganic, multi-tracer concept has matured considerably and is currently being used by the US EPA for urban applications, the international oceanographic and atmospheric sciences community for assessing the long-range transport and fate of aerosol particulate matter, and the paleoclimate science community for studies of eolian events in the geological record.

Prof. Bernd R. T. Simoneit has a consistent record of outstanding scientific research with many of his publications appearing in Atmospheric Environment. I believe that the subject paper and its authors make an excellent choice for the Haagen-Smit Prize.


Simoneit, B.R.T., Chester, R., Eglinton, G. Biogenic lipids in particulates from the lower atmosphere over the eastern Atlantic. Nature, 267, 682-685. 1977. (Citations: 92)

Simoneit, B.R.T. Organic matter of the troposphere – III. Characterization and sources of petroleum and pyrogenic residues in aerosols over the western United States. Atmospheric Environment, 18, 51-67, 1984. (Citations: 200)

Simoneit, B.R.T., Cox, R.E., Standley, L.J. Organic matter of the troposphere – IV. Lipids in Harmattan aerosols of Nigeria. Atmospheric Environment, 22, 983-1004, 1988. (Citations: 90)

Simoneit, B.R.T. Organic matter of the troposphere – V. Application of molecular analysis to biogenic emissions into the troposphere for source reconciliations. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 8, 251-275, 1989. (Citations: 120)

Nominator: Hanwant B. Singh, NASA Ames Research Center, USA

Prof. Bernd R. T. Simoneit, Department of Chemistry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331, USA (simonebe@onid.orst.edu)

Prof. Monica A. Mazurek, School of Engineering, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 08854-8058, USA (mmazurek@rci.rutgers.edu)

Kenneth WhitbyKenneth T. Whitby, The physical characteristics of sulfur aerosols, Atmospheric Environment, 12, 135-159, 1978.

This paper was nominated by citation having received 587 citations at June 2007. The paper was written at a time when concern over acid deposition and particularly the role of sulfur was receiving massive international attention. Whitby’s paper was delivered at a conference entitled “Sulfur in the Atmosphere” held in Dubrovnik in September 1977. The Proceedings of that meeting, comprising review and research papers were published as a Special Issue of Atmospheric Environment and in a hardbound book, which present the best available summary of the state of knowledge at that time. Whitby’s paper has proved particularly influential as it drew together in a truly authoritative way the knowledge of that time of the physical characteristics of atmospheric sulfur aerosols. It is highly impressive as a synthesis of information, which has influenced research in the field since that time. The paper drew heavily on research by Whitby’s own group which had played a central role in the development of instrumentation for the determination of atmospheric aerosol size distributions. The schematic plot of an atmospheric aerosol surface area distribution that appears in this paper, showing the three modes, has been reproduced very widely as a conceptual tool for explaining the dynamics of atmospheric aerosols.

Not only was this a comprehensive and authoritative review, it was remarkably far sighted in its treatment of key issues such as atmospheric aerosol nucleation and growth. For example, the article concluded that gas-to-particle conversion of sulfur provides most of the nuclei that grow subsequently into the accumulation mode, but that hydrocarbon conversion provided most of the mass for condensational growth. It is only in the last 10 years that experimental studies have fairly comprehensively confirmed Whitby’s predictions made some 30 years ago.

In addition to the farsighted analysis and synthesis of measurement data of atmospheric sulfur aerosols, the paper provided a very valuable review of sampling and measurement methods including size-resolving methods for atmospheric aerosols. It is pleasing to see that some progress has been made in extending the suite of available instrumentation and enhancing the performance of instruments available at that time.

Although strictly speaking this is a review article, it is one of the very best of that genre, which do not simply summarize existing knowledge but provide critical evaluation and synthesis, which has proved of lasting value to the many researchers who have participated in the field of atmospheric aerosol science since that time.

Nominator: Roy M. Harrison, University of Birmingham, U. K.

The late Prof. Kenneth T. Whitby, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA

Our congratulations go to the authors of the two outstanding papers selected for the 2007 Prize. We would also very much like to thank all the nominators for their effort and note that unsuccessful nominations are eligible for consideration again next year. We further take this opportunity to acknowledge the conscientious effort of the selection committee, made up of members from five countries, in arriving at a clear and timely decision.

Hanwant B. Singh and Peter Brimblecombe,
Editors in Chief of Atmospheric Environment.

F. Veenstra and K-L. Thonus,
Publishers, Elsevier.