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UI's Carmichael receives achievement award for environmental research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Gregory Carmichael, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the UI College of Engineering, recently was honored for his study of environmental issues focusing on air quality in developing Asian countries, receiving the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP) Science Accomplishment of the month for February.

The ACMAP award recognized Carmichael and his Drexel University co-authors for a paper published in the Dec. 20, 1997 issue of The Journal of Geophysical Research . The paper presented the results of a computer model study suggesting that chemical reactions occurring on dust particles in the atmosphere over East Asia have a significant affect on the region's atmospheric chemistry. In particular, dust particles originating in the Gobi desert and other areas contribute to about 20 to 40 percent of the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid. The question is important because Asia, one of the most rapidly developing regions in the world, has the potential to affect regional air pollution and global atmospheric conditions, especially through the release of sulfur dioxide formed by the burning of coal.

Carmichael also serves as co-director of the UI's Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), which fosters interdisciplinary research and training in the field of environmental change and is concerned with both the scientific and human dimensions of global change. CGRER currently consists of 60 faculty, 75 graduate students, 15 postdoctoral and visiting scientists from 17 departments -- ranging from economics and law to physics and astronomy -- and six colleges at the UI and Iowa State University.