Mario felt strongly that an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to human-induced global changes was required, but was stifled by the conventional research grant system. His Pew Fellowship provided the opportunity to pursue this interdisciplinary approach and to carrying out collaborative investigations, broadening his understanding of the atmosphere-biosphere interface. Specifically, Mario undertook a project developing a novel technique for the analysis and monitoring of atmospheric trace species. He also co-wrote a document on sustainable development for the President's Committee of Advisors in Science and Technology.
Mario Molina has been a world leader in developing our scientific understanding of the chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer and its susceptibility to anthropogenic perturbations. His interests are common to the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics and photochemistry. Molina's research is directed at understanding the potential implications of changes in the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere, and aims to elucidate the role of aerosols and clouds in the changing chemistry of the global atmosphere.
In 1995, Molina shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two co-investigators for their work in demonstrating the link between man-made chlorofluocarbons in the atmosphere and the damage to the ozone layer. His studies predicting an "ozone hole" laid the groundwork for its discovery in 1985 over the South Pole.
Molina's current research involves laboratory and modeling studies of chemical processes occurring on cloud particles, with an emphasis on stratospheric ozone depletion and pollution of the troposphere from combustion sources. His work includes the characterization of elementary gas-phase reactions as well as measuring chemical kinetics and photochemical parameters of heterogeneous chemistry of atmospheric importance. The species under investigation are of importance in the halogen, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulfur cycles, and in the photo-oxidation of hydrocarbons. Molina's academic goal is to better predict the extent of ozone depletion at northern latitudes, where an "ozone hole" might develop in this decade. He also leads a multi-disciplinary project involving integrated assessment of air pollution in megacities.
Ph.D., University of California
1972: Physical Chemistry, Berkeley, California, USA
Bachelor of Science, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
1965: Chemical Engineering, Mexico
KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Board of Directors
National Research Council, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
Sasakawa Environment Prize
1999: United Nations Environmental Programme
American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology
Willard Gibbs Medal
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Max Planck Research Award
1990: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment
Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement
1987: American Association for the Advancement of Science
1987: American Chemical Society
Tyler Environmental Prize
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Chemical Society
American Physical Society
American Geophysical Union
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists