Sam Atwood has served as SCAQMD’s Media Office Manager since June 2003. His office is responsible for fostering productive two-way communication between the agency and all local, national and international news media. In addition to daily contact with news media, SCAQMD’s Media Office conducts a number of proactive programs empowering residents to help clean the air, including Clean Air Choice, a new car labeling program; sponsorship of a summer concert series on the Santa Monica Pier and media outreach for the SCAQMD’s Mow Down Air Pollution program to exchange gas-powered mowers for non-polluting electric models. Under Sam’s direction, the Media Office has hosted numerous successful news conferences including a tour of the port area aboard a 100-foot tugboat.
Sam joined the SCAQMD in 1993 and served as a Senior Public Information Specialist in the Media Office for 10 years. Prior to joining SCAQMD, Sam was a daily newspaper reporter for more than 10 years at the San Bernardino Sun and the Santa Fe New Mexican. While at the Sun, Sam covered environmental issues and in 1990 won a prestigious Scripps Howard Foundation national journalism award for an eight-part series on the health effects of smog. Sam started his media career as a radio and wire service reporter in Santa Fe, N.M.
He is a 1977 graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, a liberal arts college based on the Great Books program. He is married to Irene Atwood, a school teacher, and they have one son, Andrew. During his time off, he enjoys reading, bicycling, travel and high-power rocketry.