Innovatively Leveraging Observations to Improve Predictive Models
Chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere determine the severity of two of the most challenging modern environmental crises: air pollution and climate change. These global challenges have enormous human health, socio-political, and environmental implications, with the most harmful and disruptive risks disproportionately placed on the most vulnerable populations. To develop practical solutions, we must understand how the chemical composition of the atmosphere will change in response to our efforts to control anthropogenic emissions in a warming atmosphere.
One of the largest looming challenges our field faces now and, in the future, will be connecting an ever-growing dataset of highly localized measurements to scientifically accurate, but computationally efficient representations in predictive global models. My research focuses on using all available data we have to improve predictive models and inform decision makers. Using traditional analysis techniques, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence methods, my research assimilates data from satellites, observation networks, aircraft campaigns, and government records to improve the accuracy and speed of global models of atmospheric composition to answer critical questions relevant to air pollution and climate.
I’m interested in connecting real world data to how we represent physical and chemical processes in models. I’m committed to doing this in a way that’s open source, accessible, and takes advantage of the data science and machine learning tools that are currently available.
Oxidants, NOx and Heterogeneous Chemistry
Atmospheric oxidants control how long gases like methane stay in the atmosphere. When many atmospheric gases get oxidized they’re more likely to form aerosols harmful to humans when inhaled. The concentrations of common atmospheric oxidants like OH, O3, NO3, and Cl radicals are dependent on a variety of different variables, from atmospheric water vapor concentrations, exposure to sunlight, temperature, aerosol surface area, emissions of gases like NOx from combustion, etc. Seasonal shifts in meteorology, regional emissions standards, and climate change can all impact these oxidants and, therefore, can impact air quality and climate.