M. Patrick McCormick, who received his doctorate in physics from the College in 1967, has been named a Virginia Outstanding Scientist for 2007 by the governor's office and the Science Museum of Virginia.
McCormick, currently a professor of physics at Hampton University and co-director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences, was cited as a "pioneer whose experiments have produced what scientists consider the gold standard for measuring ozone in the stratosphere." McCormick's work also has established whether procedures for controlling chloroflourocarbon (CFC) releases into the atmosphere were having any positive impact on ozone depletion. In addition to many other studies, McCormick also pioneered the use of lasers to study the Earth's atmosphere.
McCormick joined Hampton University in 1996, arriving there after working for NASA at the Langley Research Center where he helped to build an atmospheric sciences program and led the science for several earth satellite missions.
The Outstanding Scientist Award is presented by the Science Museum of Virginia and the governor's office. It seeks to recognize those scientists who, through their research and commitment to science, have made a recent contribution to basic scientific research which extends the boundaries of any field of science.