UC Irvine Earth system scientists have won nearly $4 million in coveted NASA Earth Venture awards for three separate projects. Professor Michael Prather is deputy principal investigator of the Atmospheric Tomography Mission, which will study how air pollution affects fast-acting greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere. Atmospheric chemist Don Blake of UCI will also participate. Professor Eric Rignot is deputy principal investigator of a melting glaciers mission and professor Eric Saltzman will be chief scientist on a ship studying marine ecosystems and aerosols. In all, NASA chose to fund five Earth Venture missions, each investigating a different influence on climate change. “What’s amazing about NASA’s recent selection … is that UCI’s Earth system science department was involved in the core design and writing of three of these missions,” Prather said. “ESS clearly remains front and center on the Earth system stage.”