Molecular characterization of atmospheric organic matter in biogenic secondary organic aerosol, ambient aerosol and clouds

Chemistry Seminar
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
EERC 314

Molecular characterization of atmospheric organic matter in biogenic secondary organic aerosol, ambient aerosol and clouds

Ms Yunzhu Zhao
(Advisor: Dr. Lynn Mazzoleni)
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Chemistry
Michigan Technological University

ABSTRACT

Atmospheric aerosol affects the Earth’s energy budget, reduces visibility and influences human health. The organic composition of aerosol is quite complex and continuously evolves through various atmospheric processes. To gain a deeper understanding of the molecular composition of atmospheric organic matter (AOM), chamber-generated biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA), ambient aerosol and cloud water samples were studied. Ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry was used to provide detailed molecular characterization of the atmospheric samples. Due to the extremely high mass resolution and mass accuracy, thousands of individual molecular formulas were identified in all of the samples studied. Multivariate statistical analysis methods were evaluated to compare the similarities and differences of the sample compositions. The molecular characterization of biogenic SOA, ambient aerosol and clouds will be discussed. This study of the three types of atmospheric samples helps to understand the composition of AOM with respect to atmospheric processes.

Poster Presentation: Ning Chen

Dr. Pat Heiden’s student, Ning Chen, presented at the 42nd Central ACS Regional Meeting in Indianapolis IN in June 2011 as well as at the 243rd American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Anaheim CA in March 2011. Here are some photos of Ning with his poster:

42nd Central ACS Regional Meeting243rd American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Anaheim CA in March 2011

ACS meetings are an excellent opportunity for students! Reach 12,000 chemical professionals at each 2012 national meeting or at other events throughout the year, including regional meetings.

Atmospheric Aerosols at PICO Mountain Research Observatory

Dr. Lynn Mazzoleni, an assistant professor of chemistry, is currently at the top of Mt. Pico, an extinct volcano in the Azores. She’s working on understanding aerosols’ chemistry and how they interact with sunlight.

Dr. Mazzoleni checked with us recently and shared a photo she took from the ferry as she arrived on day one.  On that particular day the mountain was mostly free of clouds:

Mt. Pico

Learn more about the project by reading “Michigan Tech Researchers to Study Atmospheric Aerosols at PICO Mountain Research Observatory.”

Learn more about Dr. Mazzoleni and her research.

Women of Tech—Lina Tormen Taskovich

Lina Tormen Taskovich ’52 studied chemistry and chemical engineering at Michigan Tech almost thirty years before Sally Heidtke, and she has some words of wisdom for women students too: “Study a field you like—you have to spend all your life working in it. And go for the top degree in the field of your choice. Also, do not go for the most lucrative job, but for the job you would love to do.”

When Taskovich came to Michigan Tech, the male-to-female student ratio was about 50-to-1. Only a dozen or so women were in science and engineering. She majored in chemistry, and in her freshman class, there were eight women. Her sophomore year, there were four. During her third and fourth years, Taskovich was the only one.

For more information, read the Michigan Tech Magazine Spring 2012 article.

Michigan Tech Students Honored by American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society has recognized the ACS Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University with a Commendable Chapter Award.

The chapter was cited for its involvement in multiple activities, including judging the area science fair; conducting a lab inventory for the chemistry department; participating in National Chemistry Week and in Science Night, an event sponsored by the Western U. P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education; and more.

For more information, read the Michigan Tech News article.

Internship Opportunities

It’s not too early to think about your plans for next summer. Here’s a list of some government agencies and labs that provide opportunities for undergraduates in the form of research programs, fellowships, internships, and/or summer jobs. A few also offer scholarships; we can help you apply to any that look appropriate for your interests.

Also check with the Career Center for co-ops internships, and jobs in industry.
 

Congratulations!

Please congratulate third year chemistry student Annie Putman who has received a prestigious fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency through the program “EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study”. Only 15 of these fellowships are awarded each year.

Annie is majoring in chemistry with a concentration in environmental chemistry. She has participated in undergraduate research with Dr. Kerfoot (Biological Sciences) and with Dr. Green (Chemistry). She has recently returned from a summer research project which took her to national parks in Michigan and Minnesota to sample aquatic environments. She works as a coach in the Chemistry Learning Center and has been a member of the NCAA Nordic Ski and Cross Country teams.

This EPA fellowship will cover Annie’s tuition and additional expenses for two years. Additionally, it includes a three month summer internship at an EPA facility.

Congratulations Annie!