Bo Zhang and Co-Authors Publish Paper on Long-Range Transport of Trace Gases

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 8.10.50 AMBo Zhang (2015), currently a research scientist at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA, and co-authors published a paper, “Ten-year chemical signatures associated with long-range transport observed in the free tropophere over the central North Atlantic” in Elementa Science of the Anthropocene Journal.

Ten years of observations of trace gases at Pico Mountain Observatory (PMO), a free troposphere site in the central North Atlantic, were classified by transport pattern using the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART.

The classification enabled identification of trace gas mixing ratios associated with background air and long-range transport of continental emissions, which were defined as chemical signatures. Comparison between the chemical signatures revealed the impacts of natural and anthropogenic sources, as well as chemical and physical processes during long transport, on air composition in the remote North Atlantic.


Kostinski – In the News

Sun glints off atmospheric ice crystals (circled in red) in this view captured by NASA's EPIC instrument on NOAA's DISCOVR satellite.
Sun glints off atmospheric ice crystals (circled in red) in this view captured by NASA’s EPIC instrument on NOAA’s DISCOVR satellite.

One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet, and Alex Kostinski has helped identify them as ice particles high in the atmosphere. NASA, Health Medicine Net and Astrobiology Web have published news stories about the phenomena and the research.

Visit here, here and here.

Scientific American and Nature magazine reported on Kostinski’s  research that helped NASA solve the mystery of flashes of light appearing over land, which turned out to be ice crystals high in the atmosphere. See the full story here.



Congratulations to Dr. Arin Nelson

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Arin graduated from our physics department with a bachelors in the year 2012, and went on to acquire a PhD. from the University of Colorado Boulder in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. He’d like to thank all the faculty at Michigan Tech for their support during his undergrad years.



Dr. Carly Robinson presents Ian W. Shepherd Award at 2017 Senior Colloquium

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Dr. Carly Robinson, a 2007 alumna of the physics department, awarded the 2017 Ian W. Shepherd award jointly to Ben Manning (left) and Kelci Mohrman (right). Congratulations, Kelci and Ben!

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At the colloquium, seniors presented their research. From left to right, (standing) Dr. Will Cantrell, Kelci Mohrman, Floyd Johnson, Colin Sheidler, Nick Videtich, David Russell, Michael Foetisch, Dr. Jacek Borysow. (kneeling) Austin Hermann,  Parker Schimler, Ben Manning, Dr. Carly Robinson.


Physics Student Kelci Mohrman Receives Honorable Mention

GRFP_logoKelci Mohrman received honorable mention from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP), one of the oldest and most competitive programs in the nation.

Pushpalatha Murthy, dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School says, “Being a recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship or Honorable Mention status in this very prestigious competition speaks to the high caliber of our students and the dedication they have for both intellectual pursuits and serving society. The NSF-GRFP is unique in that it emphasizes commitment to both intellectual inquiry and service to society and are looking to support individuals who have the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers as well as have a broader impact on society. These awards are a well-deserved recognition of the superior accomplishments of our students and the quality and dedication of Michigan Tech faculty, staff and programs. Crafting a winning proposal is a lot of effort and I want to congratulate the students for their accomplishments and thank the dedication and passion of the faculty and staff who helped them. I look forward to great contributions for our students.”

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Mohrman recently participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium.


Spring 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

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Left: Kevin Waters, Right: Shiva Bhandari

Congratulations to Kevin and Shiva for their outstanding achievements these past few months! Kevin has been awarded the Teaching Award for exhibiting his exceptional abilities as an instructor. Shiva has been awarded the Scholarship Award for demonstrating strong leadership and professionalism within the Physics Department. Be sure to congratulate Kevin and Shiva the next time you see them!



Physics Student Kelci Mohrman presents at Undergrad Research Symposium

imedImageKelci Mohrman research, The Geminga Pulsar Wind Nebula and the Positron Excess, was presented at Michigan Tech’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium this past week. Mohrman looked to identify and model the gamma-ray emission of the Geminga PWN in GeV energies using data from the Fermi Space Telescope in order to determine the potential contribution to the local electron and positron flux.

Geminga (PSR J0633+1746) is a rotating neutron star, called a pulsar, located in the direction of the constellation Gemini. Surrounding the pulsar itself is a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), which accelerates particles to high energies and emits constant gamma radiation. It has been suggested that the particles accelerated by the Geminga PWN could explain the observed excess in the locally measured positron flux, though it was also proposed that this anomalous overabundance of positrons could be a consequence of the annihilation or decay of dark matter.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium highlights the amazing cutting-edge research being conducted on Michigan Tech’s campus by some of our best and brightest undergraduate students.

The students showcasing their work today have spent a significant portion of the past year working alongside Michigan Tech faculty and graduate students to explore, discover and create new knowledge. They’ve spent long hours in the lab or out in the field designing experiments, gathering data, creating new models and testing hypotheses. They’ve applied their classroom knowledge in new and sometimes unexpected ways, and developed new skills that will propel them forward in their careers.

Advisor: Dr. Petra Huentemeyer
Funding: SURF