MicroWorkshop | Atmospheric and Climate Sciences – June 24, 2020


Kelley Barsanti | Fingerprinting Fires to Improve Air Quality Predictions

Project Abstract

Both living and burning plants emit a unique set of chemicals to the air. Here Dr. Barsanti will describe her group’s work collecting smoke samples from different fuel and forest types, developing chemical fingerprints that are unique to fuel types, and using those fingerprints to improve air quality model predictions.

Kelley Barsanti’s Bio

Dr. Barsanti is an associate professor in chemical & environmental engineering and the Center for Environmental Research & Technology at UC Riverside. Her research focuses on improving air quality model predictions of particulate matter (PM). Her research tools include two-dimensional gas chromatography and mechanistic models. Current research projects include improving speciation in fire emissions inventories; improving model representation of secondary PM from fires, and measuring the air quality impacts of COVID-19 on the LA Basin.

Shelly Miller ’86 | How Can Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 Indoors be Minimized?

Project Abstract

Professor Miller will summarize some of the recent scientific information that has been accumulating to support that COVID-19 transmission occurs via the airborne exposure route; crowded, poorly ventilated environments are particularly at risk. Dr. Miller will also discuss what can be done in buildings during pandemics to minimize airborne transmission risk.

Shelly Miller’s Bio

Shelly L. Miller, PhD, is a professor of mechanical engineering and faculty in the Environmental Engineering Program at the University of Colorado Boulder, holding an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College. Dr. Miller teaches about and investigates urban air quality and works diligently to understand the impact of air pollution on public health and the environment. She is also an expert on indoor environmental quality including air cleaning technologies. Dr. Miller is a member of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society for Indoor Air and Climate (ISIAQ). Dr. Miller has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles on air quality, authored a Chapter on Indoor Air Quality in the Environmental Engineering Handbook, is an active scientist on twitter, and publishes open access as often as possible.

Alex Hall | Projecting Regional Climate Change

Project Abstract

Global climate models are numerical simulations of the climate system. When scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions are imposed on the models, they become our main tool to project future climate change. Such models predict significant increases in extreme events such as droughts and floods throughout the world. However, global climate models are generally coarse in resolution. They cannot provide meaningful information about changes in extreme events in regions of complex topography and coastlines, such as the Western U.S. I will describe our current efforts to address this problem using regional climate models, essentially high-resolution versions of global climate models run over a limited domain. I will present our current plans to do high-resolution climate change projections over the Western U.S. and California. I will also discuss how the information produced by these simulations can be used to inform natural resource management and planning, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Professor Hall’s Bio

Dr. Hall’s research is focused on reducing climate change uncertainty at both regional and global scales. At the global scale, his goal is to reduce uncertainty surrounding processes determining the climate system’s response to increases in greenhouse gases. At the regional scale, he has been active in the development of downscaling techniques to reduce uncertainty about processes that are crucial to regional climate change but are unrepresented in global climate models.

Eric Saltzman, Professor, Earth System Science, UC Irvine

Project Abstract

The air trapped in bubbles in polar ice cores contains a surprising amount of information about how Earth’s atmosphere has changed in response to climate change and man’s activities. Dr. Saltzman will talk about some new measurements of hydrocarbon gases in ice cores and what they might tell us about the history of fire emissions.

Professor Saltzman’s Bio

Eric Saltzman is professor of earth system and chemistry at UC Irvine. His research focuses on the atmospheric cycling of climate-active trace gases and understanding what trace gases can tell us about Earth system processes on time scales from minutes to millennia.