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.
A&WMA presents the 2019 Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award to Peter J. Adams, Ph.D., Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Engineering and Public Policy Department at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Adams’s research largely focuses on the development of chemical transport models, state-of-the-art computer simulations of air pollution, and their application to decision-making, especially related to fine particulate matter. Dr. Adams also has extensive expertise in the simulation of aerosol microphysical processes, ultrafine particles, and the formation of cloud condensation nuclei in global climate models. Areas of research have also included the effects of climate change on air quality, short-lived climate forcers, atmospheric ammonia and particulate matter formation from livestock operations, and the simulation organic particulate matter.
Dr. Adams is currently the Director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. He has served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Particulate Matter Review Panel. He was selected for a Fulbright grant to collaborate with researchers at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate in Bologna, has been a Visiting Senior Research Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and received the Sheldon K. Friedlander Award for outstanding doctoral thesis from the American Association for Aerosol Research. He has previously served on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee and the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Toxics New Guidelines Proposal Committee, served as a consultant to the California Air Resources Board, and served in various capacities the American Association for Aerosol Research. His research has been supported by EPA, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Dr. Adams has taught numerous courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, mostly related to air pollution, climate change, and environmental modeling. Recently, he has co-taught a Grand Challenge Freshman Seminar on climate change. This course introduces a broad group of first-year students, including students in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering, to the interdisciplinary challenge of climate change. The course is co-taught with a rhetorician who specializes in scientific argumentation, as well as a former United Nations climate negotiator.
Dr. Adams received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, summa cum laude, from Cornell University. He was awarded a Hertz Foundation Applied Science Fellowship for graduate study and received master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He also holds an associated faculty position in the Chemical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon.

Peter J. AdamsPh.D.