Antarctica Bound!

It’s NSF official (Award 1341492)!!  The DeCarlo group in collaboration with researchers from the University of Colorado are heading to Antarctica to measure aerosols in the Antarctic spring/summer.  We’ll be taking our Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Aerodyne Research Inc.), a new Particle-into-Liquid Sampler (Brechtel Manufacturing), and a few other instruments to McMurdo Station where we will be measuring aerosols in the maritime polar environment in 2014 and 2015.  

Stay tuned!


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Ozone and NO2 time-lapse in Philly

Back by popular demand, more time-lapse Philly movies with Air Quality relevant measurements. This video was made for a presentation at the Franklin Institute to STEM Scholars, a group of STEM minded high students in the city of Philadelphia. It’s always a good thing when the students ask if there are anymore videos to watch!

Philadelphia Time Lapse with Ozone from DeCarlo Laboratory on Vimeo.

The NO2 and O3 data are provided by the Philadelphia Air Management Services.

A quick overview of what is going on with the video:

12AM to 6AM – not a lot happening
6AM to 7 AM – Emissions of NO from cars, reacts with O3 making NO2 and reducing O3 concentrations
7AM – noon – Sun rises and photolyzes NO2 (NO2 breaks down to NO + O in sunlight), increasing O3 levels, along with photochemical production of Ozone.
noon – 6 PM – Afternoon gets cloudy – dips are seen in the solar radiation measurement with cloudy conditions
6PM – midnight – At sunset NO2 is no longer photolyzed and increases in concentration. Continued emissions of NO from cars decrease O3 concentration until emissions slow down and the evening settles down into a quasi steady state from about 10 PM onwards.

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Doug Goetz Receives Koerner Award

Doug Goetz from the DeCarlo group was selected as a 2014 recipient of the Koerner Award in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering.  He was selected for this award based on his outstanding reasearch on Air Emissions from Marcellus Shale Development.  Congratulations Doug and keep up the great work!

Doug Goetz with  Dr Koerner

Photos of the event at Drexel

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Dr. DeCarlo gives talk at Unconventional Natural Gas Development Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. DeCarlo was invited to give a short presentation on air quality impacts associated with unconventional natural gas development.  The Symposium was well attended by local researchers, regulatory officials, industrial groups, elected officials, community groups, and medical professionals.  There was good discussion and questions as disparate research fields came together in an open and engaging setting.  Thanks to UPenn CEET for hosting, and putting the symposium together!

More information on the seminar can be found here:

Webinar of the entire symposium can be viewed here: (link)

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Weather Station and Stationary Camera installed!

The infinite patience and persistence of Wolfgang Nadler has paid off.  We now have an operational weather station (support funding from the College of Arts and Sciences – THANK YOU!) and stationary camera atop Disque Hall.

The Vaisala weather station will provide us with measurements of Temperature, RH, Pressure, Wind Speed and Direction, Rainfall, and solar radiation. We’re looking to expand and include additional measurements.

Plans are in the works to have a real-time feed of real-time weather data along with photos of the Philadelphia skyline.

We’ve already started putting some measurements together with the still camera images.  Here’s a quick example of what that looks like during a snowstorm:

Black Carbon and CO2 measurements during Philadelphia Snow Storm on January 21, 2014 from DeCarlo Laboratory on Vimeo.

A few observations for the curious:

  • RH increase starts with the onset of snow (as expected for precipitation)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) decrease after noon is because everyone went home from work early to avoid getting caught in the storm.  Usually CO2 stays higher for longer in the day.
  • Spike in Black Carbon (BC) and CO2 are because of the emissions from a freight train about 30 meters from the sampling inlet to my laboratory.
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The Atmosphere as Laboratory: Lecture at PPPL’s Science on Saturday

I recently gave a public lecture as part of the Science on Saturday program for the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.  The Science on Saturday program, now in it’s 30th year, is a great venue for researchers to share their passion for science with the general public.  It is an honor to have been asked to give a lecture.  If anyone finds themselves in the Princeton area on a Saturday when the lecture series is running, I highly recommend attending.

More info and a video of the lecture can be found here:

The schedule and other information can be found here:

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Marcellus Shale research presented at American Geophysical Union Conference


Ph.D. student Doug Goetz presents his work on Site Specific Emission Characterization of Marcellus Shale Development using Fast Mobile Measurements at the 2013 Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco.  Doug has put substantial work and time into calculating emission factors and source profiles from our collaborative study with Aerodyne Research Inc and the Electric Power Research Institute.  Stay tuned for upcoming publications on the study.

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Presentations by DeCarlo Group at AAAR 2013

Second year graduate student, Anita Johnson, presented her research on the characterization of the mini-AMS at the 2013 AAAR annual conference in Portland Oregon.

Ss 117

The mini-AMS has also been used to characterize the transport of outdoor particles to the indoor environment. The project is a collaboration with Dr. Waring who studies indoor air quality with interest in indoor SOA formation. This study represents one of the first uses of an AMS to study aerosol size and composition in the indoor environment.  We are looking forward to the final product of this exciting work.

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Guan-Yu (Sam) Lin joins the group

Guan-Yu Lin Guan-Yu Lin (Sam) joined the DeCarlo Research group at the beginning of September.

Guan-Yu earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.  He joins the group with a Postdoctoral Research Abroad Fellowship from the National Science Council of Taiwan.

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SP-AMS has arrived!


SP-AMS Training at Drexel


The SP-AMS, acquired from an NSF MRI (Award: 1229298), has arrived at Drexel.  Ed Fortner from Aerodyne is pictured here instructing Drexel Graduate students on calibration procedures and general use principles of the SP-AMS.  We’re very excited to add this new instrument to the DeCarlo laboratory at Drexel, and get to work on new projects.  


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