Forrest Marion Mims III

1993 Laureate, Environment
United States, Born 1944

Project Goal

Design and develop a device that monitors ultraviolet radiation and ozone levels

Location: United States

Self-taught scientist Forrest Mims has established an international network of volunteers to gather information about the ozone, each equipped with Mims' own handheld invention.

From a young age, Forrest Mims III, born in 1944, has been a consummate inventor. Ever curious about the world around him, the Texan science consultant, writer and photographer has spent a lifetime finding solutions to some of nature’s greatest challenges.

In 1993, he received a Rolex Award for the international network of volunteers he established to monitor the depletion of the earth’s ozone levels with the help of his TOPS (Total Ozone Portable Spectrometer) instrument. The project, an outgrowth of a column he wrote in Scientific American, was motivated by the universal lack of ultraviolet measurements and his interaction with NASA.

Today, although the network no longer exists, thanks to the Award hundreds of advanced MicroTOPS II devices are used by professional scientists worldwide to measure the ozone layer and other atmospheric conditions.

In 2010, Mims will write a scientific paper on the 20 years of data gathered.

Other 1993 Laureates