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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( July 7, 1997)
SDSM& T INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES HAS NEW DIRECTOR
Patrick R. Zimmerman, Ph. D. is the new director of SDSM& T’s Institute of Atmospheric Sciences ( IAS) following the retirement of former director, Professor Emeritus Paul L. Smith, Jr. Prior to assuming his new duties at South Dakota Tech, Zimmerman was senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research ( NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and head of the NCAR Atmospheric Chemistry Division’s Trace Gas Biogeochemistry Section. While at NCAR, he led the development of a research program to study the interactions between biological systems and atmospheric chemistry.
Zimmerman’s scientific career is notable for his work to develop quantitative methodologies for measuring trace gas fluxes from biological systems. His 1977 work in the southeastern U. S. on hydrocarbon emissions from vegetation still serves as the basis for estimates of the production of hydrocarbons on local regional and global scales. He conducted landmark studies that indicated the potential importance of naturally produced hydrocarbons to the production of ozone.
In 1979 Zimmerman collaborated with Paul Crutzen ( one of the 1995 winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in atmospheric chemistry) to show that biogenic hydrocarbons from vegetation have the potential to greatly influence the chemistry of the atmosphere. This research caused the scientific community to realize that biology must be considered in order to understand atmospheric chemical cycles and to predict how those cycles might change in the future.
Numerous federal, private, and nonprofit organizations have funded his research, including the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Petroleum Institute, and National Geographic Society. He has conducted research in South America, Africa, and New Zealand. He has authored or co- authored over 70 publications and has been issued several patents.
Zimmerman received his B. S. and M. S. degrees in Environmental Science from Washington State University. He received a Ph. D. degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science ( College of Forestry and Natural Resources) from Colorado State University in 1996.
“ Dr. Zimmerman will be a tremendous asset to SDSM& T and the development of our biogeochemistry programs. His acceptance of this position demonstrates SDSM& T’s national and international reputation as an excellent research and educational institution,” said Dr. Sherry Farwell, SDSM& T Dean of Graduate Education and Sponsored Programs. Farwell served as acting IAS director during the extensive search for a new director.
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