2018 News & Events

Honorary Doctorate Degree from UW - Madison for David Fahey

10 May 2018

David Fahey
Dr. David Fahey, Director of the NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division (CSD)

Dr. David Fahey, has been recognized by the University of Wisconsin - Madison with an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree. Dr. Fahey was an undergraduate student at UW - Madison with a bachelor's degree in physics. Dr. Fahey went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

Honorary doctorates awarded by UW - Madison "recognize individuals with careers of extraordinary accomplishment." Dr. Fahey conducts leading-edge research on atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. He's considered one of the world's top climate scientists, credited with helping prevent great harm to humanity through his contributions to an international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. The protocol, agreed to in 1987, has led to the global phase-out of the most harmful ozone-depleting substances.

"Dr. Fahey's research contributions in the area of ozone depletion have significantly enriched scholarship on the ozone layer and made a notable contribution to ongoing global efforts towards the protection of the ozone layer and mitigation of climate change," writes Tina Birmpili, executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme, in a letter supporting Fahey's nomination. "His work has been of immense value to the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol, which is widely recognized as the most successful international environmental agreement."

Dr. Fahey is also recognized by UW - Madison for his work early in his career. Early in his career Dr. Fahey helped develop instrumentation designed to study the gas-phase and aerosol composition of the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere.

While Dr. Fahey's global accolades are impressive, he was also one of the lead authors on the 2017 Climate Science Special Report of the U.S. National Climate Assessment. The Assessment identified serious climate concerns of the United States, and received publicity for its findings concluding human activities are the dominant cause of global warming. Dr. Fahey's work throughout his career has made a significant impact on the field of climate science.

Dr. Fahey is presented with his honorary degree at the UW - Madison commencement ceremony on Friday, May 11. In addition, Dr. Fahey delivers a special lecture entitled "Earth Observations and Modeling for Decision Making" on May 10.