Ben Werden receives Koerner Family Award

Ben Werden was awarded the Koerner Family Award in 2018 as the representative from the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department.  This award recognizes the importance and quality of Ben’s graduate work.  Congratulations Ben!

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Third-hand smoke paper published in Science Advances

The DeCarlo group’s work on third hand smoke in non-smoking environments was just published in Science Advances.  During this work, we found that third-hand smoke, or the residue of cigarette smoke left behind on surfaces, can contribute a significant fraction of the indoor aerosol measured in a non-smoking class room!  A video summary of this work is here:

Some additional reading from the popular press here:

Washington Post: Thirdhand smoke is widespread and may be dangerous, mounting evidence shows

NPR: Tobacco Smoke Residue Can Become Airborne Again Indoors

LA Times: This room was off-limits to smokers, but its air contained surprising amounts of ‘thirdhand smoke’

Canadian Broadcast Corporation: ‘Third hand smoke’ can leap from clothes and surfaces into the air you breathe

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Anita Avery defends her Ph.D.

Anita Avery successfully defended her Ph.D.!!!

Anita’s work focused on indoor and outdoor measurements of aerosol composition which provides a better understand the processing of aerosol particles as they are transported from outdoors to indoors.  It also allows for the identification of indoor sources to particulate matter. Anita’s first paper is here:
Real‐time transformation of outdoor aerosol components upon transport indoors measured with aerosol mass spectrometry Johnson, Waring, DeCarlo

With several more to come out of her thesis.

Anita will be starting as a postdoc at Aerodyne Research Inc. in the new year.  Congratulations Anita!

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Doug Goetz defends his Ph.D.

On Feb 14, 2017 Doug Goetz successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis and became the first Ph.D. from the DeCarlo Group.  His research focused on characterization on the emissions from the natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

Marcellus Team

Papers on Marcellus:

Goetz et al. 2015 ES&T: (Open access)

Goetz et al. 2017 Elementa: (open access)

Doug also participated in the Nepal Ambient Monitoring and Source Testing Experiment (NAMaSTE), looking at the source emissions from under characterized sources (brick kilns, trash burning, cookstoves, etc.) in Nepal using a mini-Aerosol Mass Spectrometer.  Our time in Nepal was cut short a massive earthquake, and luckily no one was injured on the team or any of our collaborators families.  Papers on that work are forthcoming.

Https farm6 staticflickr com 5718 20093083754 061914e21d

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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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