Atmospheric aerosol and its effects on clouds contributes much of the uncertainty in predictions of future climate. Primary biological aerosol (PBA - consisting of airborne bacteria, fungal spores and pollen) is a special kind of aerosol that affects cloud properties, precipitation type and precipitation amount, yet existing measurements are sparse. PBA also affects local and regional air quality, causing allergenic responses in humans and crop and livestock health. The Perring lab combines real-time measurements of biological aerosol with offline analyses of amino acids and ice nucleation activity in aerosol and precipitation samples. Ambient data collected locally will be used to examine seasonal variations in biological aerosol composition and behavior. Lab experiments will explore the effect of different atmospheric degradation mechanisms on ice nucleation activity. Students will gain experience with 1) aerosol sample collection and processing, 2) key wet chemistry methods involved in preparing reagents and standards 3) several modern instrumental techniques such as HPLC and 4) basic computer coding for data analysis. In addition, students in the Perring lab this summer may have the opportunity to travel to Houston and/or Osan, South Korea to help support the upcoming NASA ACCLIP mission (https://espo.nasa.gov/acclip/content/ACCLIP).
Students who have done well in Chem 101/102 or Chem 111 are encouraged to apply. Motivated students in other scientific disciplines will also be considered.
Number of Student Researchers
Applications open on 01/03/2022 and close on 02/04/2022