Seminar - Reassessing Emissions Estimates of Atmospheric Reactive Carbon

Ford Environmental Science & Technology Building, Room L1205
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 15:00


Jennifer Kaiser, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Natural emissions have a large impact on air quality. Tropospheric ozone and particulate matter—the two largest concerns for air quality today—are formed in part from the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Large uncertainties in emission rates directly translates to uncertainty in air quality models, and uncertainty in how the atmosphere changes under anthropogenic influence. Satellite observations enable a top-down perspective of VOC emissions, if the chemical link between the observable species and the emitted compound is well characterized. Once such much-researched link is the relationship between formaldehyde and isoprene. In this talk, I will discuss the use of satellite-based formaldehyde observations to constrain isoprene emissions in the South East US. In the context of recent and the near-future satellite launches, I will discuss the range of other VOC species that can be derived from observable oxidation products. Finally, I will address the work needed to bring top-down and bottom-up inventories into agreement.


Dr. Kaiser joined Georgia Tech in the Fall of 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She received a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she developed and deployed spectroscopic instrumentation for aircraft-based measurements. During her postdoctoral work at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dr. Kaiser expanded her focus to include satellite-based observations and global chemical-transport modeling. Now at Tech, Dr. Kaiser is working to combine ground-based instrumentation, remote observations, and global models to probe atmospheric composition and air quality at broad spatial and temporal scales. A common thread throughout her research is a focus on the chemistry of volatile organic compounds from emission through oxidation to removal.