May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an annual celebration of the contributions and influence of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States of America. 

As we take time to celebrate the many rich cultures this month highlights, we wanted to call attention to some of the many AAPI scientists who have made major contributions to the advancement of the Earth and environmental sciences.

Tetsuya Fujita

Credit: Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Dr. Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita was a meteorologist who created the scale for classifying the strength of a tornado that is still used today. 

Dr. Fujita, who died in 1998, is most recognizable as the "F" in the F0 to F5 scale which categorizes the strength of tornadoes based on wind speeds and ensuing damage.

Xiaoming Wang

Credit: Xiaoming Wang

Xiaoming Wang is a Chinese-born American vertebrate paleontologist and geologist who lives and teaches in the United States. He is currently a curator in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Audrey Lee

Credit: Audrey Lee

Dr. Audrey Lee worked with the United States Department of Energy to model energy systems to reduce fossil fuels. Lee also worked to provide solar power to individuals who otherwise could not afford it.

Dr. Lee is currently the Senior Director of Energy Strategy at Microsoft. She works at the intersection of policy, technology, and commercial opportunities on the Microsoft data center energy and sustainability team.

David Suzuki

Credit: Kevin Van Paassen for CBC.

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist and was a professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Suzuki hosted The Nature of Things, a Canadian television series that aimed to stimulate interest in the natural world. Dr. Suzuki has been a prominent proponent of renewable energy sources and the soft energy path.