Frank Sherwood Rowland is an American chemist who has done groundbreaking work on ozone layer depletion.
Rowland was born in Delaware, Ohio, in 1927. He spent time in the Navy and then received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan
University. From there, he went on to the University of Chicago and earned master's and doctorate degrees. Rowland then taught chemistry at both Princeton University and the University of Kansas.
Rowland has been involved in various chemistry research projects, including testing mercury levels of fish. He also has done work for the International Atomic Energy Administration and the United States Atomic Energy Commission.
In addition, Rowland has conducted extensive research on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were discovered in the atmosphere in 1973. He found that they were mixing with ozone and depleting the ozone layer itself. Rowland pointed out that this ozone depletion could cause vast changes in climate and greatly increase the risk of skin cancer.
At first, few believed Rowland's
ideas. By now, however, these ideas are widely accepted as fact. Indeed, major industries and other organizations have become involved in trying to eliminate CFCs.
Rowland is a member of a number of scientific organizations. He has also been the chemistry department chairman at the University of California at Irvine.