The University of Texas at El Paso announced that Jorge Gardea-Torresdey Ph.D chair of the Department of Chemistry has been honored with the 2009 Distinguished Scientist Award by SACNAS the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
SACNAS recognized Gardea-Torresdey for his research in the field of phytoremediation which is the use of plants to clear polluted soil and water of toxic elements such as lead and arsenic. Gardea-Torresdey also was recognized for his role as a mentor and for his efforts to promote diversity in the sciences. While at UTEP he has been a faculty advisor to 18 students who have earned their Ph.D.s 15 of whom are Hispanic.
“This is a very special honor for me” said Gardea-Torresdey who received the award at the SACNAS national conference on October 15 in Dallas. “It is wonderful to be recognized by one’s peers.”
Gardea-Torresdey’s scientific contributions have earned him worldwide recognition as an expert in environmental chemistry. He serves as an editor of the Journal of Hazardous Materials a publication for the field of civil and environmental engineering.
Gardea-Torresdey also is directing research on the environmental impact of nanomaterials – micro-sized particles that are increasingly being used in consumer products such as cosmetics clothing and electronics. He is the principal investigator for UTEP’s work with the national Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology a $38 million research initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.