Women in History Shout Out: Susan Solomon

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Susan at her office at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado

Susan at her office at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado

Susan Solomon is a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) senior scientist at the Aeronomy Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. She is credited with being the primary contributor to the discovery of the cause of the ‘hole’ in the ozone, or the depletion of atmospheric ozone over Antarctica in the late 80’s. Her research is internationally acclaimed and set the global community on the path to institute a ban on the chemicals that destroy the ozone and threaten human health. In 2009, she contributed to break-through research on global climate change in which she demonstrated with concrete evidence that current choices regarding carbon emissions will affect Earth’s future climate and ultimately change the planet irreversibly.

Susan on an Antarctic expedition in 1987 joined by Emperor penguins.

Susan on an Antarctic expedition in 1987 joined by Emperor penguins

Susan was born in 1956, and by high school she was already enamored with atmospheric science; she earned third place in a national science contest for a project in which she measured the oxygen content in various gaseous mixtures. She studied chemistry at the Illinois Institute of Technology and earned her doctorate at the University of California Berkeley in 1981. Susan began working at NOAA shortly after and has worked as a public servant ever since.

Susan has won several national and international awards including the National Medal of Science, the Blue Planet Prize, the Montreal Protocol Tenth Anniversary Award from the United Nations Environment Program, and the Samuel J Heyman Service to America Medal.  In addition to her award winning discoveries, Susan is committed to being a mentor and a role model for women in science and advises students at all levels. Dr. Susan Solomon shines as an ambassador of science in the service of humanity.

Writing Credit: Sarah Carroll

Sources: NOAASamuel J Heyman Service to America Medals

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