Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership in A&WMA is conferred upon persons 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 Membership in 2019 is awarded to Richard J. Countess, Ph.D.

Dr. Countess has been an active member of the Association for 41 years. He became a Fellow Member in 2004. He served as Chair of the Particulate Matter Technical Committee from 2006 to 2009, Chair of the Basic Sciences Division from 2009 to 2012, and the Air Group Coordinator from 2012 to 2015. As a member of the A&WMA Technical Council for nine years, he has received many citations from the Association for organizing technical sessions and regularly serving as the session monitor for the Annual A&WMA Critical Review presentation, as well as organizing technical sessions for specialty conferences, and mentoring young professionals and others to become more active within the Association.
Dr. Countess served as Co-Chair for the West Coast Section’s Risk Assessment Workshop held in Morro Bay, CA, in 1991, as well as Co-Chair for the West Coast Section’s Mobile Source Workshop held in Ventura, CA, in 1995. Dr. Countess originated the concept of mini-symposiums, namely holding a specialty conference as part of the Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE). He organized a four-session mini-symposium on particulates for the 2001 ACE in Orlando, and a seven-session mini-symposium addressing open source emissions of dust and gases for the 2012 ACE held in San Antonio. He has presented over 25 papers at ACE and A&WMA Specialty Conferences and published 14 technical articles in JA&WMA, A&WMA Transactions, and EM Magazine.
Dr. Countess has been a member of the West Coast Section for many years and has been a Director with the Channel Islands Chapter of A&WMA since 2016. In this capacity, he has judged science fair projects dealing with air and waste for both Junior High and High School students for the past four years.
Dr. Countess is the senior partner with Countess Environmental, an air quality consulting firm located in Westlake Village, CA. He has 38 years of experience as a senior air quality consultant assisting regulatory agencies to develop air quality management plans and private sector clients to comply with air quality regulations. He is a nationally recognized research scientist with more than 100 technical publications addressing a wide range of air quality issues, including criteria pollutants, fugitive dust, air toxics, visibility, and photochemical smog. In addition, he has served on technical advisory panels for local business organizations, and has presented more than 50 technical papers at national conferences in the United States and overseas. His areas of expertise include air quality measurements, emission factor development, designing emission control strategies, data analysis, and interpretation of results, with an emphasis on fugitive dust and chemically speciated particulate matter. Dr. Countess has served as the Principal Investigator and/or Technical Advisor for dozens of air quality research studies.
Dr. Countess received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Rutgers University in 1971. He then spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Air Environment Studies, where he studied aerosol formation mechanisms, followed by a year as a Presidential Intern at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where he studied shipboard fire suppression techniques. Dr. Countess began his professional career as an aerosol physicist with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s Health and Safety Laboratory in New York City, where he developed monitoring techniques for occupational exposure to particulates and radon, followed by three years with General Motors Research Laboratory’s Environmental Science Department as an air quality research scientist. Then in a series of positions with increasing responsibilities, he joined Environmental Research & Technology’s Applied Research Operations as a senior air quality consultant, and Asea Brown Boveri as a senior scientific advisor. 

Richard J. Countess, Ph.D.