Education and experience
Spring 2014: Started graduate research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) via the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES)
Fall 2013: Began a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado Boulder, focusing on Analytical, Environmental, and Atmospheric Chemistry
2013: Awarded a B.A. in Chemistry from Carleton College
My research interests are currently focused on understanding the influence of anthropogenic emissions on air pollutants, such as ozone, relevant to local and regional air quality. Specifically, I am working towards quantifying the impacts of different emission sources on ozone as well as identifying differences in ozone production during the summer and winter seasons. Outside of lab I am an avid swimmer and outdoor enthusiast. I can often be found hiking or backpacking in the Colorado mountains.
How I became a scientist
I was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. I credit this unique experience for fostering my appreciation for the complexity of the natural world and my desire to pursue a career studying earth’s natural systems. I had an inherent interest in science (specifically chemistry) throughout high school and college and I decided to pursue an advanced degree in atmospheric chemistry after being introduced to this field by my undergraduate research advisor. Working in her lab was when I first realized how relevant and universal science could be to society. Since then I have completed two years of graduate school at the University of Colorado and am currently working in a new research group, which focuses on designing and deploying research instruments (photo above) for the measurement of atmospheric trace gases relevant to both air quality and climate change.
How my work benefits society
While ozone levels are decreasing nationwide, ozone in the Colorado Front Range is rising for unknown reasons. Due to rising levels, the Front Range is frequently non-compliant with National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone during the summer months. Ozone produced in the surface layer of the atmosphere, where humans live and breathe, is important to regulate because it is a health hazard and greenhouse gas. Research I have conducted recently in Colorado has focused on identifying emission sources that enhance ozone levels found locally in the Front Range. These data are policy relevant as they could indicate types of emission sources that are relatively more efficient at producing ozone, which could lead to effective emission control strategies.
Despite being early in my graduate career, I have participated in multiple science field missions, one of which (FRAPPE – Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment) will help to answer questions of why local summertime ozone (a health hazard) levels continue to rise despite decreases across the rest of the US.