Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - 2:00pm


Despite a wealth of available techniques and preexisting data to investigate atmospheric aerosol abundance, sources, and formation, many uncertainties persist. In particular, uncertainties in aqueous aerosol and polar, water-soluble organic gases (WSOCg) measurements and estimations hinder accurate prediction of atmospheric fine particulate matter and its subsequent health and radiative impacts. This dissertation defense aims to understand sources and spatiotemporal trends in aqueous aerosol and its physicochemical properties through holistic approaches, incorporating a combination of publicly accessible datasets, remote sensing, field measurements, and modeling. Specific project objectives include: (1) relating surface-level air quality data and animal inventories with satellite retrievals of ammonia, a precursor to hygroscopic aerosol mass, to examine air pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations; (2) evaluating the sensitivity of thermodynamically-derived aerosol liquid water observational estimates and trends to meteorological and chemical variables; and (3) investigating WSOCg ambient concentrations as a function of changing chemical climatology. The results of this dissertation demonstrate the ability of multidisciplinary approaches to understand ambient aerosol water and highlights the need to chemically characterize gas- and aerosol-phase atmospheric trace species.


Alyssa Burns


ISEB 1010