The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) has announced that environmental engineer Jerald Schnoor of the University of Iowa will be the 2010 recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Schnoor was selected because of his leadership and impact on promoting the sustainable use of water.
The Clarke Prize will be presented to Schnoor July 15 at the
Seventeenth Annual Clarke Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony, to be held at the
Orange County Performing Arts Center in California.
NWRI established the Clarke Prize in 1993 to recognize outstanding research
scientists who have demonstrated excellence in water-science research and
technology. The prize, which includes a medallion and $50,000 award, is
Schnoor has taught courses in ground water, environmental
modeling, water quality and sustainable systems at the University of Iowa
since 1977. He also co-founded and co-directs the university’s Center for
Global and Regional Environmental Research, which is a state-funded institute
devoted to studying and bettering our environment.
To ensure water use sustainability, Schnoor has focused much
of his career on improving human management decisions to reduce negative
impacts on water. For instance, early in his career, he developed models of the
complex chemistry of acid rain and its impacts on aquatic systems and
watersheds. He played a central role in linking acid rain to lake
acidification, which ultimately resulted in his “Trickle Down” model being
adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and later used to guide the
1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
Schnoor also was one of the first researchers to investigate
using plants to take up toxic organic chemicals and other pollutants (a process
known as phytoremediation) as a means to remediate contaminated hazardous waste
sites – fostering a new green technology for the treatment of soil and ground
water. He since has established a phytoremediation technology laboratory with
funding from the W.M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest
Among his recent work, Schnoor chaired a National Research
Council committee on the “Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States,”
which noted water quality and availability problems associated with increasing
ethanol production from corn. He was also selected as co-director for the
National Science Foundation Project Office on the WATERS (WATer and
Environmental Research Systems) Network, a $300 million proposal to construct a
national environmental observatory network for sensing, modeling, and
forecasting water and contaminants.
Established in honor of NWRI’s co-founder, the late Athalie
Richardson Irvine Clarke, the Clarke Prize is awarded to outstanding research
scientists who are currently active in the water and wastewater fields. It is
one of only a dozen water prizes awarded worldwide and has been distinguished
by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards as one of the most prestigious
awards in the world.
Water Research Award
May 12, 2010