2002-2003 Science Planning Summary

Aeronomy & Astrophysics

Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili
Program Manager


NSF/OPP 98-75829
Station: McMurdo Station
RPSC POC: Robbie Score
Research Site(s): Arrival Heights

In situ measurements of halogen oxides in the troposphere
Dr. Linnea M. Avallone
University of Colorado Boulder
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
Dr. Darin Toohey
University of Colorado, Boulder

Deploying Team Members: Linnea M Avallone . Anna G Hallar
Research Objectives: This project has two components, research and education. The research component examines the role of halogen oxides in tropospheric chemistry. The education component will develop two graduate courses, a laboratory experience and a professional development seminar.

In the research component, an instrument based on low-pressure chemical conversion/resonance fluorescence will be deployed at sites in the boundary layer and the free troposphere. The sites -- Niwot Ridge, Colorado, Bremen, Germany and McMurdo Station have been chosen chosen because of their location, facilities and their potential for detecting halogen oxides under a variety of environmental and meteorological conditions. The instrument will be augmented by a meteorological measurement system providing data on temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and wind direction and speed, plus an ozone analyzer.

The education component will develop and implement two new courses in the atmospheric and oceanic science. The first will be an inquiry-based laboratory course for upper-division undergraduates and beginning graduate students. This course will build on the resources available within the campus and surrounding atmospheric sciences communities to acquaint students with the nature and practice of experimental science. The course will offer students opportunities to acquire and improve career skills in teamwork and in oral and written communication.

The second course, a seminar-style professional development class, will be designed to better prepare graduate students for the array of academic and nonacademic jobs available to them after they receive their degrees. This class will expose students to topics such as ethics in research, methods for writing and reviewing papers and proposals, and resources for improving teaching skills. Speakers from industry, national laboratories, community colleges, and more, will be invited to help students explore the diverse avenues their careers might take.

Field Season Overview:
Project team members will install and operate ozone, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide sensors to track the effects of local pollution on the air quality at Arrival Heights, McMurdo Station. Another sensor will be installed at Arrival Heights to detect the presence of halogen oxides, which are rare ozone-destroying compounds. The existing halogen oxide sensor has been operational at Arrival Heights since mid-September.

Data collection will continue through October 2002, when the research team will conclude their science activities and disassemble their sensor suite for return to their home institution. This is a collaborative project with Dr. Terry Deshler (AO-131-O).