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Nearing the end of Summer

Sep 21, 2022

As Summer turns to Fall, the summit of WFM is more likely to peek out over top of the boundary layer into the free troposphere, where the air is decoupled from the surface and more likely to encounter pollutants that have been transported a long distance from their sources. Since the clouds typically encountered at WFM sit at the top of the boundary layer, that means there are more likely to be "undercast" days with clouds stretched out below as far as the eye can see. Under these conditions, we are unable to sample the clouds, but we get the rare opportunity to sample the air above them. and what a view!

Summer Camp 2022

Aug 22, 2022

Justin Minder and I just wrapped up our second UAlbany Weather, Climate & Chemistry Camp, a free summer day camp for local high school students. We had 10 students participating this year and what a great group.

Set up of New Instrumentation at the summit of WFM is Almost Complete

Jul 12, 2022

We now have two autocollectors accumulating samples from the Particle into Liquid Sampler (PILS), one that is connected to the new PM10 inlet when in clear-air and another one that is connected to the GCVI inlet when in-cloud. This enables us to collect aerosol and cloud droplet residual samples during the same 6 hour period when conditions are variable that can be compared directly against each other. Since there is a small hatch to the top floor of the silo building (accessible by ladder), equipment that is too large cannot be used up there unless it is put together piece by piece. The autocollectors for the PILS are quite large and I could not find a refrigerator to house them that would also fit through the hatch. To get around this, I decided to build my own refrigerator to my own specifications using thermoelectric coolers. It's still in progress, but seems like it'll work nicely. This will help us preserve the samples from the moment they are collected until they are removed the summit and frozen, and ultimately analyzed in the laboratory.

New high volume PM10 inlet

Jun 24, 2022

Having continuous flow instruments downstream of the GCVI inlet means that we need to switch them over to a different inlet when in clear-air since the GCVI only samples in-cloud. In our first summer of sampling we used a PM10 inlet we already had (which samples aerosol particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, but was not designed for the high flow required for some of our instruments like the PILS). This week we installed a new aerosol inlet to support up to 20 L/min sample flows, so now we can measure both cloud droplet residuals (in-cloud) and aerosols (when in clear-air).

GCVI & PILS back up and running!

Jun 16, 2022

The GCVI equipment on the roof of the ASRC research observatory at WFM was reinstalled in early June, since it had been removed after roof renovations last summer. We got everything back in order, including a functional airspeed measurement after replacing the CVI electronics board. Chris also got the PILS deployed again, sampling behind the GCVI inlet when in-cloud and sampling from a HEPA filter when in clear-air. The deployment was much quicker than expected - we're getting better at this!

Long-Term Trends Paper Submitted for Peer Review!

May 18, 2022

Short summary of the manuscript: Atmospheric aqueous chemistry can have profound effects on our environment, as illustrated by historical data from Whiteface Mountain (WFM) that was critical for uncovering the process of acid rain. The current study updates the long-term trends in cloud water composition at WFM for the past 28 years (1994–2021). We highlight the emergence of a new chemical regime dominated by organics and ammonium, quite different from the highly acidic regime observed in the past, but not necessarily “clean”.

CHACHA comes to its conclusion

Apr 16, 2022

After 33 research flights with the UWyo King Air and 26 research flights with the Purdue Duchess, spanning from February 21 to April 16, the CHACHA campaign comes to a close. Special thanks to those working tirelessly in the field through the entire project (Sarah Woods, Daun Jeong, Natasha Garner, Kris Hadjny, Bob Kaeser and Nathaniel Brockway) and to pilot Tom Drew who ended up flying most of our cloud flights! Check out UAlbany's press release for more details. Photo credit: Chris Rodgers (Sara Lance and Sarah Woods)

Collaboration with School of Public Health

Apr 6, 2022

We were finally able to begin a collaboration with Dr. Khwaja, who wrote a seminal paper on chemical characterization of cloud water samples collected at WFM during 3 summer cloud episodes in 1987, including organic acid measurements. As part of this collaboration, Chris and Archana are learning from Dr. Khwaja and Dr. Mirza Hussain best practices for measuring organic acids in cloud water samples collected at WFM in 2020 and 2021. We will compare our results to additional historical WFM measurements from Dr. Khwaja's lab from the late 1980's through the early 2000's that have not yet been published.

CHACHA commences!

Feb 27, 2022

Our first flight sampling Arctic lead clouds within the shallow Arctic boundary layer (~600ft altitude) showed cloud droplet concentrations up to 250/cc and occasional ice particles up to 1 mm in diameter. This type of cloud has a dearth of in-situ observations because of the challenge of accessing their location (low over the Arctic ocean). We were lucky to be able to fly into them when an unseasonal shift in the sea ice broke open exposing the ocean surface (in February!) We had planned to focus on cloud processing in the latter half of the project, but we took the opportunity to sample some lead clouds during the first King Air research flight, partly because they were right there in the vicinity of BRW (Utqiagvik)! Photo credit: Sarah Woods

Archana passes her written qualifying exam

Feb 21, 2022

The two day exam comprised two questions posed by each of her committee members: Aubrey Hillman, Jim Schwab, Fangqun Yu and I.

Test Flights in Wyoming

Feb 6, 2022

We successfully sampled cloud droplets with our new counterflow virtual impactor (CVI) inlet for the first time on the University of Wyoming King Air! While conditions were not optimal for testing the CVI (too many large ice particles), the measurements we obtained during the test flights give us confidence that the CVI and downstream instruments are working well and we are ready to start sampling clouds in the Arctic. We were not able to fully test this new equipment until now, because there is no substitute for a flight test when it comes to an instrument like this. A lot of work was required to get to this point and we finally made it! Photo credit: Sarah Woods

Chris passes his PhD prospectus

Jan 7, 2022

Christopher Lawrence passed his oral qualifying exam. The committee (comprised of Jim Schwab, Fangqun Yu, Justin Minder, Mary Barth and I) met with Chris for about 45 minutes following his public presentation and met privately for another 45 minutes to discuss Chris' progress, and no major deficiencies in his prospectus or research plan were identified. This is the last major milestone in the PhD degree program until the dissertation and defense.

CHACHA website now live

Dec 27, 2021

The new CHACHA website describes our Arctic field project this spring. The photo to the left is one I took from the back of the NOAA P-3 during the ARCPAC campaign in 2008, showing the boundary layer stratocumulus clouds with sea ice and open leads below. Warming in the Arctic is happening faster than almost anywhere else on Earth and changes in the clouds could be playing an important role. The CHACHA campaign is focused on understanding halogen chemistry in the lower Arctic atmosphere, which may be changing as sea ice melts exposing more of the Arctic ocean to the atmosphere. However, changing chemistry also often has important implications for climate change, including potential changes to the clouds.

Mary Barth publishes in the Journal of Geophysical Research

Oct 14, 2021

This paper investigates heterogeneous chemistry using five different box models, to better understand photochemical processes impacting gas and cloud water chemistry, constrained by measurements made at Whiteface Mountain in 2016 during the Cloud Chemistry Workshop. Substantial differences between the model results indicate that much more works needs to be done to confidently and accurately evaluate chemical processes taking place in clouds, including additional measurements of gas phase partitioning to the aqueous phase and aqueous chemical rate constants.

ASRC moves into ETEC

Sep 30, 2021

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) moved into the new ETEC building, alongside the Dept of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences (DAES) and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security (CEHC), the NY State Mesonet and the National Weather Service (NWS), among others.

UAlbany Press Release

Sep 14, 2021

UAlbany Media & Marketing did a press release to celebrate the NSF CAREER project that really started ramping up at WFM this summer and the NASA graduate student fellowship Chris was awarded recently. The article also notes that NYSERDA has supported cloud water chemistry research for many years.

Two new graduate students join the group!

Aug 28, 2021

Vishal Bagadia and Adam Deitsch began their coursework at UAlbany this Fall, just as we are transitioning to the new ETEC building. They both participated in our remote group meetings during the summer and we are excited to actually meet them in person now!

Summer Camp 2021

Aug 20, 2021

Justin Minder and I just wrapped up our first UAlbany Weather, Climate & Chemistry Camp, a free two week summer day camp for local high school students. What a great program to be part of!

PILS Deployed

Jul 30, 2021

This past week at Whiteface Mountain was a very productive trip for Chris and I. Fred helped me discover why the GCVI had been blowing fuses and acting erratically, and luckily it was an extremely easy fix! Chris then deployed the PILS behind the GCVI for the first time on Friday. I learned that one of our particle sizing instruments was not communicating perfectly with the software on Friday, too, but that is a relatively minor issue. The important thing is that Chris can start collecting PILS samples of the cloud droplet residuals next week, which we can then compare with the cloud water samples. This should give us several good weeks of measurements before the end of the season this year. Then all the instruments will need to be packed up so that the roof can be replaced before the cold is again upon us.

Very Hazy Day

Jul 20, 2021

Smoke from wildfires in the western US and south central Canada appeared to be strongly impacting air quality across New York State today, as evidenced by substantially reduced visibility and increased black carbon concentrations at Whiteface Mountain. The cloud water filter was the blackest we have ever seen it, and the cloud water conductivity and acidity the highest it has been in years. Chris obtained his first PILS samples from the Whiteface Mountain Lodge (at the base of the mountain), which will provide additional information about the aerosol chemical composition. Chris measured total organic carbon concentrations of 1-3ppm in the PILS samples, corresponding to approximately 8-24 micrograms per cubic meter of aerosol organic carbon (preliminary estimate)

GCVI installed

Jul 16, 2021

Archana, Paul, Rich and I finished installing the GCVI this week, and obtained our first cloud droplet residual measurements on Friday! This entailed mounting the wind tunnel and meteorological sensors on the roof, creating a new roof penetration and connecting all the power, data cables and flow tubes to the control modules inside the building. So far we've only obtained number concentrations. Next step will be to obtain the particle size distribution and chemical composition of the cloud droplet residuals, after we figure out why we keep blowing fuses. Chris spent the week getting our Particle into Liquid Sampler (PILS) ready for deployment to obtain samples for subsequent chemical analysis.

Progress in the Field

Jun 25, 2021

Archana, Chris and I came up to Whiteface Mountain again this week to continue deployment of the GCVI and aerosol instruments at the summit research observatory, and work on improving the cloud water collection efficiency. There were several sunny days to conduct spray tests of the cloud water collector and work on installing the GCVI wind tunnel on the roof. Significant progress was made, but still more to be done. During ascent today, we noticed what looked to be an elevated smoke layer coming in from the west, which might be attributed to a number of ongoing wildfires in the western and southern U.S.

First field deployment as a group

Jun 18, 2021

We went up to Whiteface Mountain as a group for the week, largely to deploy our new GCVI (Ground-based Counterflow Virtual Impactor). All 600 lbs of it. We had to disassemble much of it and take it up to the summit via elevator over multiple trips, carrying the individual components up the remaining ~40ft of spiral staircase to the top floor of the silo building. Chris also installed headspace in the cloud water collection system to remove air bubbles, and Joseph started setting up the FFSSP again so that we can measure cloud droplet size distributions, which will be needed to characterize the performance of the GCVI. Next task: GCVI reassembly!

Cover image on BAMS features the CPOC pilot study

Jun 2, 2021

This volume 102 of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society highlights the CPOC overview paper published late last year.

CHACHA workshop begins

May 23, 2021

Our CHACHA planning workshop began with remote sessions, this first one focusing on Hypothesis #1 regarding sea ice leads, sea spray aerosol, halogen chemistry and clouds.

Chris is awarded a NASA FINESST Fellowship!

May 20, 2021

Chris receives notice that he will be awarded a NASA graduate fellowship, which will cover his stipend and tuition for up to 3 years, and incentivizes collaboration with researchers at NASA to incorporate use of other in-situ and remote sensing observations in our analysis of cloud water and aerosol composition in New York State, particularly relating to biomass burning emissions and transport.

Vikram Pratap published in Environ. Sci.

Dec 22, 2020

Our collaborators at University of Maryland, Baltimore County have published a paper at Environmental Science titled: "Investigating the evolution of water-soluble organic carbon in evaporating cloud water" based on samples obtained during the 2017 CPOC pilot study.

Chris awarded an ASP Graduate Visitor Program Fellowship

Dec 17, 2020

Chris will again visit Mary Barth (hopefully in Fall 2021), this time as an Advanced Study Program participant. (This picture is from the American Meteorology Conference in Boston Jan 2020, which I think was the last time Mary and Chris were able to meet in person!)

Final MOCA Network Workshop webinar

Nov 10, 2020

The final webinar for the MOCA workshop took place on November 6, bringing back all invitees (and a few more) to discuss our refined vision for the network of mountain observatories and our plans for the upcoming infrastructure proposal. Stay tuned!

2018 and 2019 cloud water data finalized

Nov 4, 2020

The 2018 and 2019 cloud water data has been finalized and the datafiles have been uploaded to the cloud water website

CPOC pilot study overview paper published in BAMS

Oct 23, 2020

An overview paper on the CPOC pilot study has been published in the Bulletin for the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

Jie publishes in Geophysical Research Letters

Sep 28, 2020

This paper "...investigates the evolution of aerosol mass and chemical composition in moist and foggy nighttime environments in a rural forested area of the Northeast U.S. Organic aerosols that were identified as biogenic secondary organic aerosols were observed to increase in mass concentration during foggy conditions, and in this environment, they increased linearly in mass as a function of the base 10 logarithm of aerosol liquid water over a wide range. "

CHACHA field campaign is a GO!

Sep 11, 2020

Heading back to the Arctic after more than 10 years! This time we will deploy via the University of Wyoming King Air for the CHemistry in the Artic: Clouds, Halogens and Aerosols (CHACHA) project in the spring of 2022. We will be deploying a counterflow virtual impactor on the King Air so that we can characterize the cloud droplet residual composition. We will target clouds forming over open sea ice leads, like in this photo from ARCPAC 2008!

Chris passes his written qualifying exam

Aug 27, 2020

The two day exam comprised two questions posed by each of his committee members: Mary Barth, Jim Schwab, Justin Minder and I.

Archana joins the group!

Aug 24, 2020

Archana Tripathy begins taking classes at UAlbany, even while she is still in India awaiting the U.S. consulates to reopen so that she can obtain her visa. She already has a Master's degree in atmospheric sciences, and we are excited for her to begin her doctoral research after joining us in the spring (hopefully!) In the meantime, she joins us remotely for weekly group meetings and literature review, even while she is 9.5 hours ahead.

Jie publishes in Atmospheric Environment

Jul 27, 2020

This paper describes a method for determining aerosol liquid water content, an important quantity for understanding the optical properties of ambient aerosol, their pH and the phase partitioning of water soluble gases.

MOCA Network Workshop

Jul 11, 2020

The first webinar for the MOCA workshop took place on July 10. We had 38 people join the call online and begin providing feedback on our proposed network design. The next two webinars will be conducted separately with the different focus groups to delve more deeply into issues specific to those groups. We will join back together in one final webinar to conclude the virtual workshop.

First Filtered Samples of 2020

Jul 8, 2020

I re-installed the peristaltic pump at the summit of WFM at the start of July so that we could start making organic acid measurements again. Nearly 2 liters of cloud water was collected with automated filtering on July 7 and another liter was collected the following morning. With only 3 liters sent through the filter shown here, the dark color suggests we encountered a polluted sample. Whether this black material removed from the cloud water is associated with biomass burning smoke, industrial emissions or something else is yet to be determined.

New Research Website

Jun 28, 2020

The old research website (on Wix) was so slow(!), cost money to run every year, and wasn't on an albany.edu domain, so a new website was created for a more permanent repository. Many of the old posts are re-posted again here. A free template from HTML5UP was used to create this new site.

Chris visit to NCAR ACOM

April 6, 2020

Chris was ready to start a 2 month visit at NCAR on March 9 after driving all the way to Boulder, CO. Unfortunately, the pandemic had other plans. After spending a few weeks cooped up in his home away from home, with no end in sight, he made the wise decision to return to NY early. Hopefully, Chris will be able to resume his in-person visit with Mary Barth at NCAR sometime in the next year. In the meantime, all meetings, with collaborators at NCAR and with his own group, are being held remotely. But at least he's safe and comfortable at home.

NSF CAREER Grant!

Feb 27, 2020

This award will enable us to make additional measurements at the summit of Whiteface Mountain to better constrain aerosol-cloud-chemistry interactions.
UAlbany Press Release

Chris' first oral presentation at a National Conference

Jan 17, 2020

At the centennial AMS meeting in Boston, MA and the atmospheric chemistry sessions were excellent, with great talks on aerosol pH and aqueous chemistry, oil and gas emissions, dust and biomass burning, and halogen chemistry spread out throughout the week.

Jie Zhang's successful PhD Defense

Dec 6, 2019

Jie presented results from several of his published papers and papers in preparation focusing on High Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) measurements and measurements obtained via the ASRC mobile laboratory (Sprinter Van) throughout NY State, including WFM, Long Island and Pinnacle State Park.

Chis receives grant to work with Mary Barth at NCAR

Nov 19, 2019

Chris received a grant from NCAR for a one-month visit to the Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling (ACOM) office in Boulder CO
ACOM visitor program

Chris and Sara attend the AAAR meeting in Portland OR

Oct 18, 2019

AAAR 2019 Abstract & Presentation

Joseph joins the group!

Sep 16, 2019

Dr. Joseph Niehaus comes to UAlbany to perform heterogeneous chemistry experiments using the Electrodynamic Balance. Our first group photo at the top of WFM.
Dr. Jim Schwab and Dr. Sara Lance from SUNY Albany

Gordon Research Conference

Aug 2, 2019

The GRC Atmospheric Chemistry conference was fantastic! This year the meeting was held in Newry Maine.
GRC Air Qual. & Climate 2020
Jim Schwab and I drove up from Albany and drove right past Mount Washington on the way, so we stopped in to take a tour (another first, for both of us!)

Chris summer visit to CO

Jul 25, 2019

Chris flew to CO to visit Amy Sullivan few a few days at CO State to learn to use the Particle Into Liquid Sampler (PILS) and then drove to Boulder to attend the International Conference on Photochemistry (ICP) and visit Mary Barth at NCAR to discuss modeling activities he could work on. What a productive trip!

Jie publishes again at Earth and Space Chemistry

Jun 28, 2019

This paper quantifies potassium sulfate concentrations and characterizes a newly defined "fireworks oxidized organic aerosol" factor using online HR-ToF-AMS measurements

Jie publishes at Earth and Space Chemistry

Jun 25, 2019

This paper is the first publication from the CPOC pilot study at WFM and focuses on measurements of below-cloud aerosol chemical composition, which was dominated by organic matter during the CPOC pilot study, ranging from 68 to 85% of the submicron aerosol mass, and contributing 78% of the submicron aerosol mass on average throughout the study.

Start of the 2019 Cloud Water Collection Season

Jun 5, 2019

We had everything set up by May 31st (a nice 50 degree Fahrenheit afternoon) but it started snowing by June 3rd! Unfortunately, our temperature sensor was reading incorrectly, so the cloud water collector ended up getting rimed. Luckily, Paul was on site that morning to manually override the system and bring the collector back down, so that it could thaw out before it was seriously damaged.

Install of new equipment at the WFM Summit

May 31, 2019

A new peristaltic pump head, reinforced platinum-cured silicone tubing and in-line pressure gauge were installed for more robust automated filtering of cloud water. As in 2018, the peristaltic pump was set to turn on whenever the cloud water collector was deployed and set to turn off in clear-air or in rainy conditions, to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the tubing. We also tested out a new automated accumulator rinse sequence, which worked perfectly the first time we left it unattended. Chris monitored the rinse sequence remotely from the car as I drove us back to Albany! Unfortunately, it never worked again so well while unattended, presumably due to bubbles accumulating in the lines, preventing the peristaltic pump from operating optimally. A bubble trap or pressure relief valve will be tried next!

Cloud Water website is now live

Jan 1, 2019

Created to report data and background info for the NYSERDA project, this new website is a good way to find out more about some work being done at ASRC.
ASRC Atmos. Chem. Cloud Water

Chris presents his first results!

Dec 17, 2018

The end of the semester provided an opportunity for Chris to present preliminary results on the 2018 cloud water collection season and some analysis he has done with the historical data. He presented a poster at the National Acid Deposition annual meeting, which was conveniently held in Albany! He also presented at the first poster symposium at the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Air Quality Analysis and Research (shown here). In January he will present a poster at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Phoenix.

Flash Freezing Cloud Water

Aug 16, 2018

Brianna and Chris drove up to Whiteface Mt to assist with calibrating the CCN counter and to do some testing of the cloud water chemistry as a function of time during storage (by flash-freezing a subset of the samples at regular intervals). Cloud water samples are typically kept just above freezing in a refrigerator and then stored in a freezer (where they take several more hours to freeze solid) as they await chemical analysis. Flash freezing a 250mL sample in liquid nitrogen (LN2) takes a few minutes, we found out. As far as we know, flash freezing hasn't been done with cloud water samples at WFM before. This was suggested to us by colleagues at UC Davis and U Mich. So far we have mainly frozen test samples that we sprayed on the cloud water collector (to mimic the conditions that cloud water is exposed to, potentially including any bacterial contaminants that might have been picked up in the wind). These spray tests allow us to know what the cloud water composition "should be", and we can see how the measurements change over time after being exposed to different conditions during collection and storage. We've done a few rounds of these spray tests this summer, but this is the first time we've tried flash-freezing.

Back up and Running

Aug 8, 2018

After giving a Falconer lecture at Whiteface Mt on Tuesday night, I hiked up with Paul to get the aerosol instruments at the summit back up and running. The inlet (though capped) was full of bugs! And everything was covered in dust! We stored much of the equipment up there through the winter, since we knew the elevator renovations might not be finished this year. Many universities and research institutions in the US have been conducting studies on the evolution of the wildfire emissions coming from the western part of the US. Researchers involved in the NSF-funded WE-CAN field campaign that is currently taking place have said: "We will start as close as we can to the fires, and track the smoke for 12 to 24 hours of atmospheric aging. That's when a lot of the chemical evolution happens. We have very few existing samples of this evolution in the atmosphere." CSU Press Release Our measurements of particle concentrations, cloud condensation nuclei concentrations and black carbon can add to this picture if the wildfire plumes happen to drift this way (which coincides with the predominant wind direction). Our measurements could be helpful for understanding how those wildfire emissions change after several days of transport and photochemical aging.

Start of the 2018 Cloud Water Collection Season

Jun 7, 2018

June 4-6: New graduate student Christopher Lawrence (Chris) started gaining on the job experience at Whiteface Mountain, to assist with the start of our new cloud water collection season. Since it was drizzling and windy/cold the first couple of days, we were grateful the stairwell was still an option for getting up and down from the summit, while the elevator is being renovated (great work-out!) We installed a new peristaltic pump to assist with automated filtering of the cloud water to remove microbes that could eat up the organic acids we want to begin measuring this year. We also installed temperature sensors in the refrigerators, to check that the cloud water never warms above 4 degrees Celsius.

Two Graduate Students starting in the Fall

Apr 17, 2018

Christopher Lawrence and Brianna Lydon will be starting graduate school in the Fall! Both will begin research this summer prior to the start of their coursework.

NYSERDA grant approved!

Apr 10, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has approved funding over the next five years for ASRC to continue the cloud water monitoring (sampling and analysis) at Whiteface Mountain, taking over from the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation. We will continue monitoring the inorganic compounds and will also monitor for additional select organic analytes (particularly organic acids) within the cloud water on a routine basis throughout each summer sampling season. This is a very important step towards better understanding of the increasing organic aerosol mass loadings observed at the site, while extending the decades-long dataset that has provided a wealth of information about regional air quality and the health of the Adirondacks.

Tis the Season for Meetings

Dec 18, 2017

A series of meetings this winter showcase preliminary results from the CPOC pilot study as well as laboratory and modeling efforts concurrently underway by researchers at various institutes to understand multiphase chemistry within clouds. The WFM lab has been highlighted as a tremendous resource for long-term monitoring of the chemical state of our atmosphere, as well as a powerful tool for observing long range transport of chemical pollutants and evaluating chemical processes taking place within clouds.

  • NSF Long-term Biosphere-Atmosphere Chemical Flux Workshop, Irvine CA, Nov 2017
  • International Aerosol Modeling Algorithms (IAMA) Conference, Davis CA, Dec 2017
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, New Orleans LA, Dec 2017
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS) Meeting, Austin TX, Jan 2018

CPOC Pilot Study

Aug 28, 2017

We successfully concluded our ~2 week intensive Pilot Study at WFM! I am proud of the students who essentially ran all field operations, from instrument deployment, data acquisition, forecasting and balloon launches to data analysis and presentation of preliminary data at the end of the project. All of this work was coordinated between 3 field sites (Northwood School in Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Turn along the road to the summit, and the summit itself). To complicate matters, the elevator to the summit (27 stories!) could be used only sparingly, when necessary for transporting heavy equipment and supplies. Otherwise, we had a scenic hike up and down from the summit (oftentimes while cloaked in clouds). What a privilege to work in such a beautiful location and with such great people! For more information about the pilot study, including the scientific motivations, list of participants, measurements, locations and access to data, see the CPOC overview page.

Sprinter Van preparations

Aug 11, 2017

The ASRC Sprinter Van (Mobile Research Facility) was given a new life, with the help of Mike Costello at DEC, in preparation for the CPOC Pilot Study. Jim Schwab purchased a new power inverter and Mike designed and built a battery cart, which ended up capable of sustaining operations (with the HR-ToF-AMS, CCNc, SMPS and two air conditioners!) for as many as 8 hours at a time. Janie, Jim and Jie all worked to get the instruments integrated in the Sprinter van just in time for the Pilot Study deployment!

Meeting Summary Published in BAMS

Aug 1, 2017

New publication came out in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) regarding the Cloud Chemistry Workshop we hosted last year at WFM.

Rotating Platform for the FFSSP

Jul 28, 2017

July 27-28: Dan has been working to control a rotating platform using an arduino microprocessor, so that the FSSP (forward scattering spectrometer probe), which measures the size and concentration of cloud droplets, will be normally facing into the wind (unless there is a rain or hail storm rolling through, in which case we will point the FSSP away from the wind to protect the rear fan and keep the instrument safe/clean). The arduino reads in a new wind direction measurement that Richard Brandt installed for us at the summit, and the plan is to add measurements from a rain sensor already being used in the deployment of the cloud water collector. Janie helped with the mechanical mounting of the FSSP tower, rotating platform, external gears and motor. Janie and John Sicker helped wire up the electronics control box, which includes the arduino, motor power supply and controller. Paul Casson and summer intern Brian Frei helped to actually mount the rotating platform on the roof of the Silo.

Aerosol & Cloud Instruments Deployed to the WFM Summit

Jun 22, 2017

June 21-22: Dan and Matthew helped install aerosol instrumentation at the summit WhiteFace Mountain (WFM) research observatory to measure the particle size distribution and CCN activity of ambient aerosol this summer.
May 30-31: Matthew helped install a Parsivel disdrometer at the summit WhiteFace Mountain (WFM) research observatory to measure drizzle and rain drop size distributions, just before a hail storm blew through! We also tested our retrofitted FSSP (forward scatter spectrometer probe) in clouds for the first time.

Cloud Chemistry Workshop at WFM

Sep 17, 2016

Researchers from various institutes came together to visit the Whiteface Mountain (WFM) observatory and to discuss plans for future field projects at the site focused on multiphase chemical processes within clouds. Researchers reviewed past mountain-top field projects at various sites including WFM, evaluated the state-of-the-science regarding aqueous secondary organic aerosol formation, and developed scientific questions to be addressed with coordinated field and modeling studies. After the workshop, select researchers received sample vials of cloud water collected at the site, for chemical analysis by individual groups and future intercomparisons. Insights from previous campaigns and recommendations for future summertime field deployment at WFM were highlighted, including issues relevant for experimental design, logistics and essential personnel. For more information, see the NCAR EOL Summary and BAMS overview.

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