2021 Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award
Lyman A. Ripperton (1921–1978) spent his career as a practitioner in education and research for air pollution control. He left the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District in 1958 to assume a teaching and research position in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, he initiated an air pollution education program that developed into one of the foremost of its kind in the United States. The Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award is presented to an individual who has inspired students to achieve excellence in their professional and social endeavors. It recognizes the ability that only a few educators possess: to teach with rigor, humor, humility, and pride. Recipients of this award are educators we would have chosen as our teachers if we had a choice. They are known by the accomplishments of their students.
James Blando, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor at Old Dominion University in the School of Community and Environmental Health. Currently, Dr. Blando is studying the effects of wildfires and air pollutants from combustion sources on public health. Prior to his faculty appointment in 2010, Dr. Blando was a researcher for 12 years at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services where he designed and conducted several diverse projects in environmental and occupational health funded by NIOSH, EPA, and CDC. In addition, Dr. Blando also has several years of practical field experience in environmental health and has been an environmental health specialist with Exxon-Mobil, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals, and AT&T Bell Labs (now called Lucent).
Dr. Blando has been a member of A&WMA since 1987, when he was awarded a scholarship as a senior in high school from the Mid-Atlantic States Section. Over the last several decades he has been highly involved in A&WMA at the local, regional, and international level. He has been chair, vice-chair, and a member of the Board of Directors for the local chapter and section several times and was on the Board of Directors for the international A&WMA from 2004-2007. He has planned many regional and local workshops and conferences over the years and been involved with many scholarship programs. Notably, Dr. Blando has been chair of the Air Pollution Educational Research Grant (APERG) program for 20 years. The APERG program has awarded over 1.5 million dollars to 42 scholars to date in support of their doctoral or post-doctoral research projects in air quality.
During the past 11 years, Dr. Blando has been an educator in the Environmental and Occupational Health program at Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, Virginia. This program is unique because it serves an area with the largest naval base in the world. As such, this program not only educates young students, but also mid-level professionals. Many of these professionals work for the US Navy. Dr. Blando teaches risk assessment, toxicology, and air pollution and air quality courses. This program has educated hundreds of students over the last several years and served as an introduction to our discipline. Many students have been working in the environmental field and in air quality specifically.
Jim Blando received his BS in environmental science from Rutgers University, MS in Industrial Hygiene from Johns Hopkins University, and PhD from the joint program in exposure assessment at Rutgers University.