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Studies of optical and chemical properties of aged and fresh biomass burning absorbing aerosols for climate models

Active Dates 9/1/2022-12/31/2024
Program Area Atmospheric System Research
Project Description
Studies of optical and chemical properties of aged and fresh biomass burning absorbing aerosols for climate models

Solomon Bililign, PhD., North Carolina A&T State University (Principal Investigator)

Marc Fiddler, PhD., North Carolina A&T State University (Investigator)

North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT) is one of the largest producers of African American Scientists and Engineers, but the number of African Americans in Atmospheric Sciences is still the lowest among all STEM disciplines. Our goal is to make NCAT the largest producer of African American Atmospheric Chemists/Physicists in the Nation by expanding sustainable research collaboration and professional network for NCAT faculty and students  not only with R1 institutions but with Department of Energy Facilities to complement the current research by aerosol scientists and facilities at Center for Aerosol-gas Forensics Experiments (CAFÉ) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and participation in field measurements supported DOE’s Atmospheric System Research (ASR) and Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) programs.

One of the research priorities in a 2016 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on the future of atmospheric chemistry includes “quantifying trends in emissions from different regions of the world and their impacts on atmospheric composition and chemistry over scales from local to global and developing reliable approaches to integrating top down and bottom-up results for emission inventories.” The research in our group deals with particulate matter and gaseous emissions from biomass fuels native to Africa- a region not well studied. But air pollution impacts everyone no matter where one lives. The work in our group looks at detailed characterization the chemical composition and their light absorbing and scattering properties to be able to understand their impact on health and climate. The collaboration through this grant with LANL will allow us to use more advanced instrumentation to complement and validate measurements in our NCAT laboratory.

This work has the potential for important societal impact, in part because wildfires are increasing in intensity and severity in many places. Furthermore (1) This project will directly increase the number of minorities trained in the field of atmospheric science by providing the opportunity for HBCU students to be trained in a state-of-the-art research facility field work and participate in aircraft observations and satellite observations. (2) This project provides opportunities for students and faculty from all participating institutions to work collaboratively. This is essential to creating a new generation of scientists with expanded cross-cultural professional and social networks and cross-cultural understanding.
Award Recipient(s)
  • North Carolina A&T State University (PI: Bililign, Solomon)