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.
Published in 2009