CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Deserai Crow, Adrianne Kroepsch, Elizabeth Koebele, and Lydia Dixon
Assessing Wildfire Mitigation Outreach Strategies in the Wildland-Urban Interface
by Deserai Crow, Adrianne Kroepsch, Elizabeth Koebele, and Lydia Dixon
Abstract: Colorado residents, local governments, and non-governmental organizations are becoming increasingly aware of damages that wildfire – and especially catastrophic wildfire – can inflict on their communities and watersheds. Because wildfires are expected only to escalate in frequency and destruction in the American West due to regional demographic and climate trends, it is important for policymakers and water resource planners to understand how to best promote effective wildfire risk mitigation techniques among residents who choose to live in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). What types of wildfire mitigation information do homeowners in WUI zones receive, how is information distributed to them, and what effects does that information have on individual behavior? This study uses data from in-depth interviews and focus groups with fire professionals, wildfire-focused watershed groups, and homeowners in two communities in Colorado that have recently experienced historic wildfires, as well as a cross-jurisdictional survey of fire professionals in the American West, to examine programmatic efforts used to encourage homeowners to mitigate their wildfire risk. The results provide insights into constraints on individual and collective capacity, the effectiveness of formal versus informal roles for government, and other findings that may inform more effective wildfire risk mitigation policies in Colorado and across the American West in the future.
Biogrpahy: Deserai Crow is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she works with Adrianne Kroepsch, Elizabeth Koebele, Lydia Dixon, Rebecca Schild, and Katie Clifford, all doctoral students in Environmental Studies and Geography. The Crow research group studies local environmental policy processes and the role that information plays in those processes, with a geographic emphasis on the American West. In addition to the wildfire-related research presented here, members of the Crow group are actively studying water governance, climate change, oil and gas extraction, wolf restoration, and environmental citizenship. Crow is affiliated with the Center for Science & Technology Policy Research at C.U., and is also the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism.
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Margaret Tolbert and Paul Ziemann
A new mechanism for solid formation in the atmosphere: Contact efflorescence
by Margaret Tolbert
The phase state of atmospheric particulate is an important factor in the magnitude of both the direct and indirect radiative effect of aerosols on climate. While the homogeneous phase transitions of deliquescence and efflorescence have been studied for decades, there is far less information available on heterogeneous efflorescence. Here we describe a new mechanism of possible atmospheric importance, contact efflorescence, a process that occurs when a supersaturated droplet comes in physical contact with a solid particle. A newly constructed optical trap is used to measure contact efflorescence for single levitated droplets exposed to single collisions. This talk will describe the experimental technique and present preliminary data for contact efflorescence.
Laboratory Studies of the Chemistry of Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation
by Paul Ziemann
In this talk I will describe for incoming graduate students the atmospheric chemistry research being conducted in my laboratory. Laboratory studies provide much of the fundamental data on reaction kinetics, products, and mechanisms that are needed to achieve a deep understanding of atmospheric chemistry and to develop detailed and accurate models that are used to establish air quality regulations and to predict the effects of human activities on global climate. Research in my laboratory focuses on the atmospheric chemistry of organic compounds emitted from natural and anthropogenic sources and the physical and chemical processes by which oxidized organic reaction products form microscopic aerosol particles. Studies are conducted in large-volume environmental chambers where experiments are designed to simulate but simplify atmospheric chemistry and conditions in order to obtain information on gas and particle chemical composition; gas and heterogeneous/multiphase reaction rates and equilibria; thermodynamic, hygroscopic, and phase properties of particles; and gas-particle-wall interactions. Obtaining such data is a challenge, but in this talk I will describe how we approach this problem by using a diverse array of measurement techniques including real-time and offline mass spectrometry, temperature-programmed thermal desorption, gas and liquid chromatography, NMR, spectrophotometry, and scanning mobility particle sizing. I will then provide examples of our use of these methods to develop quantitative chemical reaction mechanisms of organic gas and aerosol chemistry and models of SOA formation and particle properties such as hygroscopicity and describe some ongoing research projects.
Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program