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DRI hires executive director for Division of Atmospheric Sciences



Marc Pritchard joins DRI after serving in leaderships roles at NOAA and EPA

Marc Pitchford, Ph.D. will serve as the Executive Director of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences, starting November 16, 2011.

“Over the course of his career, Dr. Pitchford worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Atmospheric Association (NOAA) on planning and conducting atmospheric research programs, leading teams of scientists, implementing federal agency programs and communicating with sponsors, all of which will make him an excellent asset to DRI,” said DRI President Stephen Wells, Ph.D.

Pitchford is a research scientist with NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory in the Special Operations and Research Division in Las Vegas. In 2009, Pitchford and the Integrated Science Assessment Team were honored with the EPA’s Bronze Medal Award for their exceptional scientific leadership, innovation and service by transforming scientific assessments to support science-based air standards decisions.

“In many ways I feel like I’m coming back home. I worked for DRI as a research assistant while earning my master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and have worked very closely with many of my colleagues in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences on several air quality projects,” Pitchford said.

He earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees from UNR. More recently his work for NOAA brought him to DRI’s Las Vegas campus, where he has served as a visiting scientist and adjunct research professor in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences since 1992.  In addition, he was the federal project officer for several DRI air quality monitoring projects including one that was designed to characterize the impact of the Mohave coal-fired power plant on the Grand Canyon.

Among Pitchford’s most notable achievements is the design and leadership that he provided in creating the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) Network, to ensure the protection of air quality and visibility standards in U.S. national parks and wilderness areas. The network began with 20 monitoring sites and over the years, and has expanded to 160 sites.

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