WINNER: "Free Range Frequency Combs: a collaborative journey from national lab to Colorado’s oil and gas fields"

Dual Comb Spectroscopy Methane Detection:  Technology based on Nobel Prize-winning research in Colorado can detect methane emissions as small as a quarter of a human breath from over a mile away!

 

READ DETAILS in their nomination.

LongPath Technologies Inc. was born out of an urgent need to find low-cost solutions to monitor the vast oil and gas infrastructure across the U.S. Their idea was to develop a system akin to a radar for methane, the main component of natural gas. READ MORE

WINNER: "Avoiding deadly floods through innovative partnerships: Estimating extreme precipitation in the 21st century to enhance dam safety and community resilience"

 

A multi-agency, private sector partnership to calculate flood risks to dams in Colorado with incredible precision to improve public safety - AND serve as a national model.

READ DETAILS in their nomination.

In the last 100 years, the leading cause of dam failure and resulting loss of life has been overtopping due to inadequate or improperly designed spillways. With increases in severity and frequency of extreme precipitation events, current modeling practices of rain and snowfall has shown to be inadequate for assessing possible public safety issues regarding dams and spillways. Leveraging 21st century scientific and engineering advances and applying creative approaches, a unique federal-state-private sector team of nationally recognized scientists, engineers, public safety officials and dam owners designed and implemented an innovative scientific approach to understanding extreme precipitation in the Rocky Mountain region. 

 

WINNER: "Discovering a major violation of the most successful international treaty, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer"

 

A data sleuthing effort that revealed outlaw emissions of CFC-11 - violations of Montreal Protocol emissions standards -   resulting in China making a national-level plan to comply with the Protocol

READ DETAILS in their nomination.

In 2018 NOAA scientists in the Global Monitoring and Chemical Sciences Divisions and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, discovered an unexpected global increase in emissions of CFC-11, one of the main chemicals responsible for the Antarctic ozone hole, beginning in 2013, with contributions apparently from eastern Asia. Their research implied outlaw production of the chemical. 
 
A follow-up paper published in Nature in 2019, by 32 authors from NOAA, CIRES, NASA, and research groups from six countries, reaffirmed the findings of the original study and presented strong evidence that China was violating the Montreal Protocol.