Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ozone has been very, very good to me!

Dr. Richard Stolarski: "I started a career in physics as an undergraduate student at the College of Puget Sound, a full 3 miles from my home in Tacoma, Washington. I wandered across the country to Florida to go to graduate school and then to Michigan for a post-doc position. I eventually joined NASA in Houston as part of the Shuttle Environmental Effects Project Office, working on the writing of the environmental impact statement for the space shuttle. I finally came to Goddard in 1976 into a fledgling branch created to study the ozone layer. I went from a physics degree to research on the ionosphere and thermosphere, and finally drifted downward into the stratosphere. I will describe the history of our developing understanding of the stratospheric ozone layer from the 1970s to the present as I saw it. In the 1970s, we were just beginning to realize that the chemistry of minor constituents in the stratosphere mattered to the ozone layer; today, we have gone through major scientific and political developments that have led to the Montreal Protocol that bans the production of many ozone-depleting substances. I was extremely lucky to get into this exciting field in its early stages and to be an eyewitness to much of the historical development of our understanding. I will highlight some (hopefully useful) lessons that I have learned on this journey."

Dr. Richard Stolarski, Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University; NASA/GSFC (Emeritus)

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