Lelia N. Hawkins, PhD, conducts research in the field of atmospheric chemistry. She studies how atmospheric particles in urban settings (like smog) are transformed as they age, specifically in fog and cloud water. These particles impact the temperature of the earth. Her work is largely concerned with organic compounds in atmospheric particles which (in Los Angeles) come primarily from fossil fuel combustion.
She actively collects particle samples in her lab, which can be transported to Claremont from all areas of the Los Angeles basin and can be formed from cars, industrial processes, wildfires or wave breaking. Using analytical techniques like absorption spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, she characterizes how particles evolve in the atmosphere.
Her doctoral work involved field measurements of atmospheric particles in remote locations such as Barrow, Alaska, and the southeastern Pacific Ocean. She is also interested in aerosol-cloud interactions and how wildfires produce particles.
- Clearing the Air Harvey Mudd Magazine
- Hawkins to Study Air Pollution with CAREER Grant hmc.edu
- Seeing Through the Smog hmc.edu