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Innovative Research Earns Top Award

In 2008, Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Assistant Professor Rachel Adams received the Editor’s Choice Award from Environmental Science & Technology for her journal article entitled, “Polyethylene Devices: Passive Samplers for Measuring Dissolved Hydrophobic Organic Compounds in Aquatic Environments.” The winning article was chosen from more than 1,000 papers published in the journal in 2007.

Adams and her colleagues demonstrated the use of a simple polyethylene sampler for measuring trace levels of contaminants in the aquatic environment.

“By studying the fate of harmful contaminants, we can work to decrease their toxic levels in the water and minimize the detrimental effects they have on humans and ecosystems,” Adams says.

Environmental Science & Technology presents awards to acknowledge excellence in various environmental science and technology topics as well as to recognize overall significance and potential to make a lasting contribution to the field.

“I am very honored and excited,” Adams says. “It’s great to be recognized for your work—especially by your peers.” She plans to continue her research using passive samplers to study contaminants in the environment. She and her students are currently working in the Ballona Creek watershed, into which much of Los Angeles’ water drains.