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Partnership for Fostering Graduate Training in Atmospheric Sciences at Texas Southern University

Active Dates 9/1/2023-8/31/2026
Program Area Environmental Systems Science
Project Description
Principal Investigator: Daniel Vrinceanu (Texas Southern University)
Co-Investigators: Bruce Prince and Mark Harvey (Texas Southern University); Maria Zawadowicz, Michael Jensen, and Chongai Kuang (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

Texas Southern University (TSU), a Carnegie R2 research institution and one of the largest Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation builds a long-term and sustainable research partnership with the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to train graduate students in Atmospheric Sciences. Through the ongoing engagement with research activities in the DOE Science Focus Area (SFA) project “PASCCALS: Process-level Advancements of Climate through Cloud and Aerosol Lifecycle Studies” we aim to expand existing research programs and develop new capacities at TSU. This will provide additional exciting opportunities for research and hands-on training for underrepresented and underserved graduate and undergraduate students, thus ensuring progress towards DOE’s goals of broadening the participation of underrepresented institutions and diversifying the Energy Science Workforce.

The main goal of the proposed program is the creation of a positive and inclusive learning and research environment at TSU that will nurture the next generation of a scientifically and technologically savvy, globally competitive energy workforce. Towards this end, we set the following objectives for this project:

1. Provide experiential training to graduate students from the Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry and Department of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences (EIS) at TSU by leveraging existing collaborations with staff scientists in the Environmental and Climate Sciences Department at BNL, and through broadening mentoring, science and immersion opportunities coupled with curricular development.

2. Enhance research capabilities at TSU by fostering a sustainable partnership with the BNL research group with the goal of developing both theoretical physical models and computational chemistry models of particulate reaction formation and its interaction to the formation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

3. Leverage the DOE ARM Facility by actively partnering on analyzing data from the TRACER campaign, and other ARM deployments, towards creating predictive models of critical aerosol formation and convective interactions in cloud processes, in conjunction with empirical statistical analysis methods.

The TSU faculty team from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (COSET) have extensive expertise in computational atomic and molecular physics, quantum chemistry, nuclear physics and radiation health physics. Through the collaboration with BNL partners, we will take advantage of the unique capabilities associated with the TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER), and other Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facilities, by conducting extensive analysis of the atmospheric science datasets and by developing regional statistical analytical tools, which in turn inform our computational models of fundamental chemical and physical processes involving aerosols and clouds.
Award Recipient(s)
  • Texas Southern University Houston (PI: Vrinceanu, Daniel)