2023 A&WMA Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership, not exceeding two each year, may be conferred upon individual A&WMA members who have attained eminence in some field related to the mission and objectives of the Association or who have rendered valuable service to the Association. Honorary members shall have the privileges of individual members and shall pay no dues. The nominator must also be a current A&WMA member.
A&WMA commends the late Delbert Eatough and posthumously awards him with an Honorary Association Membership. Delbert passed away in December.
Dr. Eatough attended Brigham Young University (BYU), where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Doctorate of Chemistry. In 1970, he became the director of the newly-created BYU Thermochemical Institute. He was promoted to a full-time faculty member in 1972, and full professor in 1985, and continued his association with BYU as an emeritus professor after retirement. He was awarded the American Chemical Society Utah Award in Chemistry in 1993, BYU’s Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award in 1986, BYU’s Research Award in 1980, and the Calorimetry Conference First Sunner Memorial Award in 1980. Dr. Eatough enjoyed working with both undergraduate and graduate students during his several decades at BYU where they produced more than 400 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Eatough was an internationally respected atmospheric and air quality scientist. His contributions advanced our understanding of acid rain, visibility degradation in our national parks and wilderness areas, toxic substances associated with tobacco smoke, and improved methods for measuring carbonaceous aerosols. Sometimes his research required awkward persuasion, which he addressed deftly. For example, when the major tobacco companies wanted to determine the impact of second-hand smoke, he was charged with establishing a smoking simulator at BYU. With considerable finagling on his part, BYU acquired research cigarettes for the simulator and successfully completed the smoke characterization without any human inhalation.
When Dr. Eatough became involved in air pollution research in the 1970s, most of the emphasis was on directly emitted particles. Dr. Eatough was among the first researchers to demonstrate the consequences of physical and chemical changes in pollutants between source and receptor. His work in atmospheric processes, source apportionment, and measurement technology helped decision-makers better understand which sources and pollutants to control to gain the greatest cost benefit on adverse effects. He played a crucial role in defining the effects of western coal-fired power plants on visibility in the Grand Canyon and other western national parks. Major reductions in sulfur emissions have resulted from these efforts, and pollution levels are still decreasing due to the U.S. Clean Air Visibility Rule that made extensive use of these studies during its formulation. His knowledge and expertise influenced science well beyond U.S. borders, impacting Asia and South America.
As part of these studies, Dr. Eatough recognized discrepancies between aerosol sampling methods that reflected the transient nature of particles. While many substances are stable and remain in solid form, other compounds, such as ammonium nitrate and many semi-volatile organic compounds, transition between gas and particle phases. Dr. Eatough invented several devices that could quantify how much was gained or lost during these transitions. These inventions not only permitted a better understanding of particles that are in the air (and not just ones caught by the sampler), but they also provided indications of the chemical composition and formation mechanisms. These techniques for measuring semi-volatile fine particulate components and mass have been used to characterize the composition of fine particles in both urban (Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Los Angeles Basin, Bakersfield, and Fresno) and rural (Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, South Africa, and Asia) environments.
Dr. Eatough was a member of the A&WMA for more than 40 years, was Chair of Technical Council and a member of the A&WMA Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008, and was the 2000 Technical Program Co-Chair for the A&WMA Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE) in Salt Lake City. In addition, he was a member of several editorial boards, including JA&WMA, Aerosol Science & Technology, and Advances in Environmental Research. He helped forge an alliance between A&WMA and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). His accomplishments were recognized when A&WMA conferred on him Fellow Membership and the prestigious Frank A. Chambers Excellence in Air Pollution Control Award in 2010.
Dr. Eatough and his BYU students presented several technical papers each year at A&WMA’s ACE, as well as at A&WMA’s Visibility conferences. The Visibility conferences are held every 3-4 years, usually at Class I visibility protected areas such as National Parks. Since 1992, he worked diligently as the technical and/or general conference chair to assemble a unique and memorable technical and social program at these specialty conferences. He was key in obtaining sponsorship and participation from other prominent organizations, including the National Park Service (NPS), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Energy.
Dr. Eatough will be fondly remembered for a legacy of published knowledge in books and hundreds of research, education, and conference papers, for his generosity in assisting students and colleagues worldwide, for his polite warm demeanor, and for his lasting humor and smiles.