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EPA scientists recognized with prestigious honor

(Washington, D.C. June 9, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 55 prestigious Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards (STAA) to more than 300 scientists in EPA's research centers, laboratories, and program offices. The Awards recognize outstanding scientific and technological achievements that have been peer-reviewed and published by EPA employees.

Some of the research achievements include a forecasting tool for fine-particulate matter in outdoor air designed to improve public awareness; indicators to track environmental-health impacts on vulnerable communities; and assessments of arsenic mobility in contaminated ground water and sediments.

"These award winners exemplify the smart, dedicated, hardworking EPA researchers and engineers who, every day, put their scientific knowledge to work for the American people," said George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "I'm proud to acknowledge these STAA winners with one of EPA's highest honors."

Of the 55 awards, five were first-place, 13 were second-place, and 37 were third-place. EPA also presented 45 honorable-mention awards. More than 100 award recipients were non-EPA employees who were part of collaborative teams with EPA employees.

EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) administers and manages the STAA program. EPA established STAA in 1980 to recognize Agency scientists and engineers who publish their work in peer-reviewed literature. STAA is an EPA-wide competition that promotes and recognizes scientific and technological achievements by EPA employees. Each year the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB), an independent advisory committee, is asked to review EPA's nominated scientific papers and make recommendations to the Administrator for awards.

First Place STAA projects and winners:

  • Developing an Operational Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Air Quality Index Forecast Tool to Improve Public Awareness: Improving National Air Quality Forecasts with Satellite Aerosol Observations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86(9):1249-1261 (2005). James Szykman; Lewis Weinstock; Richard Wayland and Fred Dimmick.

  • Pharmacokinetics of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) 47 in Mice: (1) Toxicokinetics of BDE 47 in Female Mice: Effect of Dose, Route of Exposure, and Time. Toxicological Sciences, 83(2): 215-223 (2005); (2) Impact of Repeated Exposure on the Toxicokinetics of BDE 47 in Mice Toxicological Sciences, 89(2):380-385 (2006); (3) Disposition of BDE 47 in Developing Mice Toxicological Sciences, 90(2):309-316 (2006). Linda S. Birnbaum; Janet J. Diliberto; Michael J. DeVito.

  • Demonstrating How Activity Patterns and Environmental Factors Impact Human Exposures to Ambient Particulate Matter: (1) Continuous Weeklong Measurements of Personal Exposures and Indoor Concentrations of Fine Particles for 37 Health-Impaired North Carolina Residents for Up to Four Seasons. Atmospheric Environment, 40:399-414 (2006); (2) Use of Personal-Indoor-Outdoor Sulfur Concentrations to Estimate the Infiltration Factor and Outdoor Exposure Factor for Individual Homes and Persons. Environmental Science and Technology, 39(6):1707-1714 (2005); (3) Validation of a Method for Estimating Long-Term Exposures Based on Short-Term Measurements. Risk Analysis, 25(3):687-694 (2005). Lance Wallace; Ron Williams; Anne Rea; Carry Croghan.

  • Advancing the Scientific Understanding of the Contributions of Headwater Streams to the Integrity of Downstream Waters: Hydrological Connectivity between Headwater Streams and Downstream Waters: How Science Can Inform Policy. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 43(1):118-133 (2007). Tracie-Lynn Nadeau.

  • Elucidating Basic Controls on Transformations of Aquatic N(org), Essential Knowledge for Addressing Eutrophication: Groundwater N Speciation and Redox Control of Organic N Mineralization by O2 Reduction to H2O2 Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta (GCA), 70:3533-3548 (2006). John W. Washington; Robert C. Thomas.


Contact: Melissa Anley-Mills
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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