Welcome to the Pratt Lab blog! Dr. Kerri Pratt is an assistant professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Earth & Environmental Sciences and faculty associate of the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. We study the chemical interactions of atmospheric trace gases, particles, clouds, and snow, with a focus on the Polar Regions and wintertime environments. Our interdisciplinary research has relevance to climate change, air quality, and human health. As an analytical chemistry lab, we primarily apply novel mass spectrometry techniques to our field research. We invite you to follow our adventures in (and outside!) the lab!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Poster Symposium

Ryan Tedd, a freshman undergraduate student in the Pratt lab, participated in the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) during the 2013-2014 academic year.  The culmination of this program was a poster symposium where Ryan described his research!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day - Arctic short film screening TODAY online!

For Earth Day, our video "Young Ice" (about our research and the community in Barrow, AK) is open to public viewing today (only)!  Please watch and share!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Award from the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh!

Prof. Pratt was awarded the 2014 Starter Grant Award ($40,000) from the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP)!  The award is given each year to one analytical chemistry assistant professor, within the first three years of starting their position. Prof. Pratt will be honored at the annual SACP/ACS Awards Night at Duquesne University in May.

Monday, April 14, 2014

URG Ambient Ion Monitor

AIM used for training at URG Headquarters in North Carolina.

Earlier this semester we added a new instrument to our lab, the URG 9000D Ambient Air Monitor (AIM). The AIM features a sampling unit in the center that samples chemical species in the particle and gas phase simultaneously. The collected samples are then sent to the two ion chromatography (IC) systems on each side, one for anion analysis and one for cation analysis. The ICs can also be detached from the sampling unit for direct injection analysis of water or melted snow samples. Over winter break, Nate May (me) and Dr. Kerri Pratt flew to URG headquarters in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for training. A week was spent with URG staff Julie Stone and Anwar Nicola, and Dr. Russell Long from the EPA, learning the ins and out of initial setup and operation. Thank you to Julie, Anwar, and particularly Russell for teaching us! Dr. Russell Long's years of field work for the EPA with this instrument was particularly helpful in giving us advice for taking the instrument out on our own future field campaigns. It felt like information overload at times, but we learned a ton and at the end felt prepared to put our AIM to good use back in the lab at the University of Michigan and on future field research campaigns.

As a special end of the week treat, Dr. Russell Long gave Nate a tour from of the atmospheric chemistry laboratories at the EPA Research Triangle Park campus. It was a great chance to see how some of the most advanced laboratory techniques and instrumentation are being used in the atmospheric chemistry field!

Our AIM in the process of installation at the University Of Michigan

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michigan Geophysical Union Poster Session

This past Monday, Pratt lab graduate student Eric Boone and undergraduates Jill Cellini, Wuliang Zheng and Zhuoyu Peng took part in the Michigan Geophysical Union (MGU) poster session. MGU is a great organization that allows many types of environmental researchers to display their work with their peers. Our group presented our current work on aerosol and cloud interactions in the southeast United States, particle growth events in the Arctic, and chemical analysis of cloud water from Whiteface Mountain (quite the diverse subject matter!). The session was very exciting, with many good discussions with researchers and faculty. In addition, Eric was honored to have his poster judged as 1st place in the Atmospheric and Climate Sciences category!
Eric with his poster on aerosol and cloud interactions in the southeast United States
Jill  with her poster on particle growth events in the Arctic.
Wuliang and Zhuoyu with their poster on chemical analysis of cloud water from Whiteface Mountain.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jillian Cellini to attend grad school at the University of Illinois at Chicago!

Pratt lab undergraduate Earth Systems Science major Jillian Cellini will be attending the University of Illinois at Chicago starting this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences!  She will be joining the research group of Prof. Kathryn Nagy to study mercury impacts on the environment.  Congratulations Jillian!!!  We will miss you this fall!
Jillian at the University of Michigan Biological Station in summer 2014