FIREX-AQ was a 2019 aircraft campaign jointly led by both NOAA and NASA. The goal of this campaign was to investigate the chemistry and transport of smoke from both wildfires and prescribed agricultural burns. During FIREX-AQ, I operated our triple quadrupole chemical ionization mass spectrometer. Data collected from this instrument will be used to differentiate common isobaric oxygenated species that are formed in the fire plumes.
In summer 2017, I organized a small field study on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, CA. The aim of this study was to observe diurnal changes in the isomeric distributions of isoprene- and other alkene-derived oxidation products in a high NOx environment. Measurements of the isoprene-derived products will serve as a valuable contrast to observations taken during PROPHET 2016. They will also help constrain the atmospheric chemistry of the isoprene hydroxy nitrates.
Caltech Roof Study
The 2016 PROPHET campaign brought together scientific collaborators with the goal of better understanding the sources, sinks and cycling of important radicals (HOx) and oxidation products in forested regions. During PROPHET, I operated a newly developed GC chemical ionization mass spectrometer (GC-CIMS) which was able to capture in-situ isomer distributions of important oxygenated volatile organic compounds for the first time in ambient air.
Oxygenated volatile organic compounds (or OVOCs) are important atmospheric species that can impact air quality and climate, yet they are notoriously difficult to measure. I helped developed novel instrumentation that allows us to observe real-time changes in the isomer distributions of a number of important OVOCs. Its participation in both laboratory and field studies will provide valuable data that can help elucidate the chemical mechanisms for a variety of important atmospheric species.
Whole air samples collected over the LA Basin during research flights occurring between 2011 and 2014 were analyzed for three purely anthropogenic gases: perchloroethylene (PERC), HCFC-22, and HFC-134a. Data shows that in the LA Basin, PERC and H-134a are increasing at a rate higher than background measurements. This suggests that the LA Basin contributes to the global load of HCFCs, despite the phaseout of these compounds.