Atmospheric and Environmental

Research Description

UCI is internationally recognized for its program in atmospheric chemistry, with the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Professor F. S. Rowland for his work on ozone destruction in the stratosphere by chlorofluorocarbons. Our Ph.D. program has a unique specialization in atmospheric chemistry that focuses on fundamental chemical principles applied to atmospheric systems. In addition to a cluster of courses that encompasses atmospheric, physical and analytical chemistry, students have available for their thesis research a choice of advisors with projects ranging from field studies to laboratory experiments and theory. UCI researchers are internationally recognized leaders in the applications of analytical techniques to the measurement of trace gases in the atmosphere, and understanding their impacts on chemistry and global climate change. Another focus area is understanding chemistry at interfaces, which is the basis of an NSF-sponsored Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute, AirUCI, established at UCI in 2004. Additional relevant courses are offered in the Departments of Earth System Science and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and there are also research collaborations between faculty in these departments and the department of chemistry. Opportunities exist for thesis research projects to combine field, laboratory and theory studies as well as computer kinetics modeling, and to collaborate with faculty in other departments. The atmospheric chemistry faculty include: