American Philosophical Society
Member History

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105. Physical Earth Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Susan Solomon
 Institution:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  2008
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1956
Susan Solomon is widely recognized as one of the leaders in the field of atmospheric science. After receiving her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981, she was employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a research scientist. She retired in 2011 after 30 years with NOAA. In 2012 she joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she serves as the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atomospheric Chemistry & Climate Science in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her scientific papers have provided not only key measurements but also theoretical understanding regarding ozone destruction, especially the role of surface chemistry. In 1986 and 1987 she served as the head project scientist of the National Ozone Expedition at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and made some of the first measurements there that pointed towards chlorofluorocarbons as the cause of the ozone hole. In 1994, an Antarctic glacier was named in her honor in recognition of that work. In March of 2000 she received the National Medal of Science, the United States' highest scientific honor, for "key insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole." She is the recipient of many other honors and awards, including the highest awards of the American Geophysical Union (the Bowie Medal), the American Meteorological Society (the Rossby Medal), and the Geochemical Society (the Goldschmidt Medal). She is also the recipient of the Commonwealth Prize and the Lemaitre Prize, as well as the ozone award and Vienna Convention Award from the United Nations Environment Programme. In 1992 R&D magazine honored her as its scientist of the year. In 2004 she received the prestigious Blue Planet Prize for "pioneering research identifying the causative mechanisms producing the Antarctic ozone hole." In January 2017 she was awarded the National Academy of Sciences' Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. She is a recipient of numerous honorary doctoral degrees from universities in the U.S. and abroad. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign associate of the French Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the European Academy of Sciences. Her current research includes climate change and ozone depletion. She served as co-chair of the Working Group 1 Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), providing scientific information to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. IPCC and Albert Gore, Jr. jointly received the Nobel Prize on 2007. She was named one of the year's 100 most influential people in Time magazine in 2008. She also received the Grande Medaille of the Academy of Sciences in Paris for her leadership in ozone and climate science in 2008. She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2008.
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