Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards

Honoring Air Quality Achievements

This page last reviewed June 21, 2017


Join us at the Cal EPA Headquarters on Wednesday, June 21st for

"Clean Air Leadership Talks with the 2016 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award Winners"

Free Educational Event on June 21 Honoring Clean Air Award Recipients

Learn about real-world air pollution problems and innovative solutions from five individuals who will be honored with California’s premier air quality award for their career contributions. The Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award is named for the late Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit – known as the “father of air pollution science and control.” Awards recognize those who continue Haagen-Smit’s work through perseverance, leadership and innovation in the areas of research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service.

Chester France
Chester J. France
Emission Control Technologiesl
Daniel Greenbaum
Daniel Greenbaum
Environmental Policy
Joyce E. Penner
Joyce E. Penner, Ph.D.
Air Pollution Research
V. Ramanathan
V. Ramanathan, Ph.D.
Climate Change Research
Anumita Roychowdhury
Anumita Roychowdhury
International Air Pollution Policy

The public is invited to this free event.

The even will be webcast and recorded: https://video.calepa.ca.gov/


Each will give a 20-minute talk sharing their accomplished careers:   
The New Politics of Clean Air
Chet France , formerly of the U.S. EPA, will review California's and the Nation's progress to date in cleaning up our air with an emphasis on transportation sources. Hear about current political realities that threaten to undo recent progress and future efforts to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas pollutants. Hear about his insights on the nature of these threats and possible avenues to respond and find solutions.

Trusted Health Science for Air Quality in the Developed and Developing World
Dan Greenbaum, President and CEO of the Health Effects Institute (HEI) has led HEIís efforts for over two decades to produce and communicate Ė for decisions first in the US, then in Europe, and now worldwide through the Global Burden of Disease and The State of Global Air Report and Website - high-quality, relevant, and credible science on the health effects of particulate matter, ozone, air toxics, and many other air pollutants.

Climate Change and Aerosols: How Much Do Aerosols Mask Global Warming
Joyce Penner, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Michigan, will review her role in the evolution of knowledge about aerosols and their cooling effects on climate and summarize where the field stands today.

Ten Scalable Solutions for the Climate Change Problem
V. "Ram" Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps Institutions of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, will share how climate change has become an urgent problem requiring urgent solutions and will describe a list of ten scalable solutions crafted by a team of fifty faculty from the University of California. Societal transformation emerged as Solution #2; and one way to accomplish this is to form an alliance with faith leaders and religious institutions. Fortunately, there is still time to implement these solutions and avoid catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.

The Right to Clean Air
Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director of the Centre for Science and Environment in India, will discuss how research, advocacy, and perseverance changed the air and saved lives in one of the dirtiest cities on earth.

For more information call 916-445-0753.


  • California Environmental Protection Agency, Coastal Hearing Room, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017
  • 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. 
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logo for haagen-smit clean air award

Since 2001, the California Air Resources Board has annually bestowed the distinguished Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards.  The awards are given to extraordinary individuals to recognize significant career accomplishments in at least one of these air quality categories: research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service.  Over the past 13 years there have been 37 acclaimed recipients.  In light of the global connection between air quality and climate change, the scope of the program has expanded to include an international focus and a focus on climate change science and mitigation.  Learn more about the past winners.

Who is Dr. Haagen-Smit?

The prestigious award program was named after Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit, a native of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who was a leader in developing air quality standards based on his research efforts. Dr. Haagen-Smit, known by many as the "father" of air pollution control, was a graduate of the University of Utrecht and a biochemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena for 16 years before beginning his air pollution research in 1948. Through a series of experiments, he found that most of California's smog resulted from photochemistry (when exhaust from motor vehicles and industrial facilities react with sunlight to create ozone). This breakthrough is the foundation upon which today's nationwide air pollution standards are based. After serving for eight years as an original board member of ARB's predecessor, the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, Dr. Haagen-Smit became ARB's first chairman in 1968. In 1977, he died of lung cancer two months after the ARB laboratory in El Monte was dedicated in his name.

Dr. Haagen-Smit has been honored with another award program administered by Atmospheric Environment, a publication of original air pollution research and its applications. See more information on the Atmospheric Environment Haagen-Smit Prize and recent winners.

Dr. Haagen-Smit in a labResources

Review information about the 2008 Annual Haagen-Smit Symposium which focused on the role of land use and transportation in meeting AB 32 requirements and achieving California’s vision of a low-carbon future.

For more information on Dr. Haagen-Smit visit these links:

For more information on ARB's Clean Air Awards, contact Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893.

Photos Courtesy of the Archives, California Institute of Technology