Cohan receives NSF CAREER Award

Cohan receives NSF CAREER Award

Special to Rice News

Daniel Cohan, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. These awards honor science and engineering faculty members who show exceptional potential for leadership early in their academic careers.


The five-year NSF grant will provide about $497,000 for Cohan and undergraduate and graduate students to investigate how the atmosphere responds to changes in pollutant emissions. The research will develop new methods to quantify long-term emissions trends and evaluate how ozone and particulate matter respond to those trends. With tens of billions of dollars spent each year controlling these pollutants, the research will seek to address critical gaps in understanding how the atmosphere responds to control measures. 

The grant also will allow Houston-area fifth-grade students to explore meteorology and air pollution in their own communities. Students will conduct hands-on measurement experiments to investigate how weather and pollutant conditions vary on their school campuses.

”We really think that age group is a perfect one for exciting kids about science,” Cohan said.

The professor will also collaborate with Houston Independent School District curriculum specialists to implement lesson plans at a pilot school. He will then train teachers from across Houston through the ConocoPhillips Rice Elementary Model Science Lab to better direct science lessons.

Before joining the Rice faculty, Cohan worked as an air quality expert for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and was a Fulbright scholar in Australia. He earned a doctorate in atmospheric sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004 and received a bachelor of arts in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1998.

— Dwight Daniels is a science writer in the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

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