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2009 Haagen-Smit Prize Winners

The Executive Editors and the Publisher of Atmospheric Environment take great pleasure in announcing the 2009 ''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 2009 winning papers.

Nomination Letters

Barbara TurpinTurpin, B. J., P. Saxena, and E. Andrews. Measuring and simulating particulate organics in the atmosphere: Problems and prospects. Atmos. Environ., 34, 2983-3013, 2000.

This paper is nominated for the 2009 Haagen-Smit Prize in recognition of its comprehensive examination of issues related to the measurement and simulation of organic particulate matter, including extensive treatment of sampling artifacts, analytical approaches, gas-particle partitioning, and secondary organic aerosol formation. With a record of over 360 citations, it is also one of the most frequently cited in atmospheric sciences. Despite the presence of more recent publications on these topics, this paper continues to have a high rate of citations (27 citations in 2009) in journal articles ranging in focus from exposure and health to atmospheric processing.

This paper has had a substantial and positive impact on the quality of organic aerosol measurements on several continents by serving as a primer on organic sampling artifacts. The paper clearly explains the presence and behavior of organic aerosol sampling artifacts from the standpoint of thermodynamic partitioning. It follows with specific and detailed advice concerning aerosol sampling strategies that reduce and correct for organic sampling artifacts.

“Measuring and Simulating Particulate Organics in the Atmosphere” is also one of a series of 6 papers published by Turpin and colleagues in Atmospheric Environment that have transformed the understanding of secondary organic aerosol formation. The first of these was “Identification of Secondary Organic Aerosol Episodes and Quantitation of Primary and Secondary Organic Aerosol Concentrations During SCAQS,” published in 1985 and cited over 240 times. That paper demonstrated for the first time, with quantitative semi-continuous automated measurements, that secondary organic aerosol was responsible for a majority of organic particulate matter during photochemical smog episodes in the Los Angeles Air Basin. Now, we know that a large portion of the organic aerosol globally is secondary. The second of these papers, “Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation in Cloud and Fog Droplets: A Literature Evaluation of Plausibility,” (91 citations) was the first to propose that secondary organic aerosol could form through cloud processing. Published global and regional simulations to date (conducted with CMAQ and GEOS-Chem) have concluded that this process is likely to be responsible for roughly one half of the total atmospheric secondary organic aerosol. The 3 most recent of these 6 papers elucidate the underlying aqueous chemistry. Collectively, this body of Atmospheric Environment publications has been cited over 700 times.

Prof. Turpin, Rutgers University, and colleagues have a consistent record of outstanding scientific research with many of their publications appearing in Atmospheric Environment. I believe that the subject paper and its authors make an excellent choice for the Haagen-Smit Prize.

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

Prof. Barbara Turpin, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 08901, USA (turpin@envsci.rutgers.edu)

Dr. Phillip LightfootLightfoot, P. D., R. A. Cox, J. N. Crowley, M. Destriau, G. D. Hayman, M. E. Jenkin, G. K. Moortgat, and F. Zabel. Organic peroxy radicals: Kinetics, spectroscopy and tropospheric chemistry. Atmos. Environ., 26, 1805-1961, 1992.

In order to give the Haagen-Smit Prize Selection Committee a broad choice of papers, it has been the practice in recent years to supplement the external nominations with papers referred to as “nominated by citation”. This practice arose from the observation that not unexpectedly the externally nominated papers that have won the Haagen-Smit Prize are almost without exception in the upper percentiles of the cited papers from the journal. Consequently, the addition of other highly cited papers appeared an appropriate way of increasing the choice available. This paper by Lightfoot and co-workers was chosen through this mechanism as at the time of nomination, it had received 409 citations in the scientific literature putting it very high in the overall ranking of papers published in Atmospheric Environment.

It is not uncommon for review papers to receive large numbers of citations and not always for the best of reasons. However, the very best review papers go well beyond simply listing information to provide critical review and a forward look at the field. The paper by Lightfoot and co-workers has a number of exemplary features. Firstly, it is extremely comprehensive. It deals with laboratory experimental techniques; structure, spectroscopy and thermochemistry; reactions of peroxy radicals; peroxy radicals in the atmosphere; and future work. It is a contribution from a number of European experts drawn from five different institutes. As such, there appears to have been a considerable debating of the text resulting, for example, in recommendations of the best values to adopt for certain rate constants. The paper synthesizes the large number of individual investigations into particular RO2 species and/or systems, allowing the trends in properties with molecular size and complexity to become apparent and providing a reference point for further studies in the field. In particular, the sections on experimental methods, thermochemistry and the detailed discussions regarding reactivity complement the necessarily more concise data available through the JPL/NASA and IUPAC evaluations.

The field of organic peroxy radicals has continued to be an extremely active one benefiting in particular from the development of new online techniques such as chemical ionization mass spectrometry and chemical-conversion/laser induced fluorescence-based techniques, which have emerged to complement those developed at the time of the review. It is worth bearing in mind that techniques such as the peroxy radical chemical amplifier (PERCA), which are now in widespread use, were recently developed at the time of this article.

RO2 + HO2 reactions are one area identified in the review for further work, and recently studies building upon the work in this review continue to shed new light on the atmospheric role of peroxy radicals. For example, OH radical recycling observed in the laboratory during the reaction of substituted peroxy radicals with HO2, and postulated from field observations for those peroxy radicals formed during isoprene oxidation.

One further appealing aspect of this article is that organic peroxy radicals play a key role in the VOC oxidation cycles, which lead to the formation of ozone in the troposphere in chemical processes first recognized by Professor Haagen-Smit himself. This is clearly a seminal paper, which has been highly respected and very influential within the field, and highly deserving of the prize named after Professor Haagen-Smit.

Nominator: Roy M. Harrison, The University of Birmingham, UK

Dr. Phillip Lightfoot, Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory, 555 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0G1 (plightfo@nrcan.gc.ca)

Our congratulations go to the authors of the two outstanding papers selected for the 2009 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, Peter Brimblecombe, and Chak Chan
Editors in Chief of Atmospheric Environment.

Bethan Keall
Publisher, Elsevier Science.