Research Projects

Poor air quality has been linked to premature death and increased cases of childhood asthma. My research interests revolve around understanding what causes poor air quality and how we observe it. Practically, I process a lot of satellite data, model output, and surface observations and make cool (and hopefully, informative) plots.

Improving the prediction of health responses to wildfires

Wildfires pose a significant threat to air quality in the western U.S. In order to reduce negative health impacts, we need to have tools in place to not only forecast downwind concentrations, but to also predict exposure levels and give guidance to at-risk populations. You can read about it here, here, or here.

Health Burden and Exposure Estimates from Model & Satellite-Derived PM2.5

Several recent studies have used a "satellite-derived" PM2.5 to estimate exposure and premature mortality due to particulate matter. I am interested in understanding what factors can influence these estimates and, in general, how we can make satellite observations of atmospheric composition more useful for health studies. Read about it here.

Aerosol Loading in the Southeastern U.S.

Several previous studies have noted that the Southeastern U.S. has undergone regional cooling. It has been hypothesized that this is due to increasing amounts of aerosols, specifically aerosols with biogenic precursors. In this study, I used the GEOS-Chem model and several observational datasets to investigate the cause of the seasonality in aerosol optical depth observed by satellites. Read about it here.

Vertical Distributions of Pollutants

For my M.S. work at Colorado State University, I used observations from CALIOP and TES to look at the seasonally averaged vertical distributions of aerosols and CO in the Northern Hemisphere. These satellite observations were compared with model (GEOS-Chem) simulations to highlight regions where the model is unable to predict the correct distribution. A main component of this research was also determining how to best compare CALIOP observations to model simulated profiles. Read more about it here.

Ozone Soundings

As an undergraduate at Valparaiso University, I launched ozonesondes at Valparaiso University and at the University of Houston. The data collected has been used for numerous projects, but my analysis was focused on factors that influence ozone distributions, specifically, the role of the residual layer. The work was included in this paper.