Research

Below is a list of our active research projects.  Please feel free to contact any lab group member or Bill Simpson to find out more about these projects.

OBUOY:

Since 2008, our group has been building low-power spectroscopic remote sensing instruments to study arctic halogen chemistry and deploying these instruments on the NSF-funded O-Buoy project, which is a part of NSF’s Arctic Observing Network.  We have deployed more than a dozen of these instrument packages, which have filled a data gap by producing high-quality observations from the data-poor Arctic Ocean region.  The instruments drift freely on floes of sea ice and send data back to us via satellite (iridium) telecommunications.  Realtime updates from the instruments including webcam image movies can be seen at the Obuoy data transport site.  The data are updated in real time — see if you can spot one of the polar bears that visit our instruments!

BROMEX:

In Spring 2012, our group was involved in the NASA-funded BROMEX project, where we deployed instrumentation packages upwind and downwind of sea ice features to determine the role of various sea ice types in converting salts in the snow/ice to reactive gases.  The reactive halogen gases produced by this chemistry cause Arctic springtime ozone depletion and greatly alter the oxidation chemistry of the atmosphere, causing deposition of mercury and altering the fate of organic pollutants.

Arctic/Boreal climate gases:

Niki Jacobs has wrote and received an Alaska Space Grant Fellowship to analyze historic methane observations from 2000-2010 observed at the Poker Flat Research Range by Japanese and UAF researchers with a direct-sun viewing Fourier-Transform Spectrometer.  These observations provide a regional-scale view of carbon gas exchange in the Arctic-Boreal region that can be used to validate flux models and satellite observations.  We are seeking funding to expand this work and improve our understanding of carbon gas exchange in the region.

Using spectroscopy to study air-ice interactions from the microscopic to global scales