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!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pratt Lab members at the American Geophysical Union meeting

Prof. Kerri Pratt, post-doc Dr. Peter Peterson, and Ph.D. student Matt Gunsch presented Arctic research results at the 2015 American Geophysical Union meeting held in San Francisco from Dec. 14-18. It was a productive, Arctic-focused meeting for us!

Prof. Pratt presented a poster titled "Single-Particle Chemical Composition in the Arctic during the Winter-Spring Transition" highlighting work by Ph.D. student Rachel Kirpes. She also gave an invited talk titled "Arctic Ozone and Bromine Chemistry: Relationships with Snow Composition and Open Lead Presence", based on work by post-doc Peter Peterson and undergraduate student Mark Hartwig through our NASA grant.

Post-doc Dr. Peter Peterson presented a poster titled "Characterizing Variability in the Spatial Distribution of Bromine Explosion Events in the Vicinity of Barrow, Alaska" based on his work through our NASA grant.

Ph.D. student Matt Gunsch presented a poster titled "Size-Resolved Chemical Analysis of Individual Atmospheric Aerosols near Barrow, Alaska" based on his work through our NOAA grant.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Collaborative research highlight in Traverse City Record Herald

Our collaborative UM Water Center research with Prof. Andrew Ault's lab was highlighted in the Traverse City Record Herald!  We are studying the generation of aerosols from wave-breaking on the Great Lakes.

Monday, December 7, 2015

CHEM 125/126 - Snow Chemistry Poster Session Wednesday

The semester poster session for CHEM 125/126, section 400 (General Chemistry Laboratory - Authentic Research Experience in Snow Chemistry), will be Wed Dec 10 from 2:20-4:00 pm in the lower atrium of the Chemistry building. 28 freshman and sophomore undergraduate students will be presenting individual research posters about Arctic snow chemical composition and atmospheric impacts! Posters will be judged by UM Department of Chemistry faculty, post-docs, and graduate students from CSIE-UM. This course was developed by Prof. Pratt with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the University of Michigan Authentic Research Connection. The overaching goal of the course is to enhance STEM retention.  Notably, 77% of the class is female, with two students in the UM Comprehensive Studies Program.

Fall 2015 CHEM 125/126 Section 400 (General Chemistry Laboratory - Authentic Research Experience in Snow Chemistry)

CHEM 125/126 Section 400 Team:
Professor Kerri Pratt
Future Faculty Graduate Student Instructors: Nate May & Stephen McNamara
Post-doc Instructor: Siyuan Wang
Undergraduate Instructors: Mark Hartwig, Evan Schwartz, Alexa Watson
*All instructors are part of the Pratt Lab.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nate gives talk at CSIE-UM event

Pratt Lab Ph.D. student Nate May gave a talk titled "Arctic Snow Research in the General Chemistry Laboratory" at the Dec 4 CSIE-UM (Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education - University of Michigan) event! Pratt Lab students Nate May and Stephen McNamara are currently future faculty graduate student instructors (FFGSIs) helping with course development and the first offering of CHEM 125/126, section 400 - General Chemistry Laboratory - Authentic Research Experience in Snow Chemistry.  This course is being developed with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the University of Michigan Authentic Research Connection.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

GAANN Fellowships to Nate & Stephen!

Pratt Lab graduate students Nate May and Stephen McNamara have been awarded Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowships for Winter 2016 for their participation in the continued development of our special snow chemistry research section of CHEM 125/126!  Congratulations Nate & Stephen!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Congrats to Stephen and Garrett!

Congratulations to second-year graduate students Stephen McNamara and Garrett Welshofer for receiving Graduate Student Research Grants from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2015 AAAR Conference

Sunday night, before the conference started, members of the Pratt and Ault labs had time to explore Minneapolis and check out the sculpture park!

On Oct 11th-16th, Pratt lab graduate students Nate May and Rachel Kirpes, along with members of the Ault lab, attended the 34th Annual American Association for Aerosol Research Conference in Minneapolis, MN. It was a great experience to share our research, attend research talks and tutorials, and meet many important people in the field of aerosol science.

Congratulations to Nate, who was one of 15 students who received a AAAR student poster award!  He presented his research on characterizing lake spray aerosol from the Great Lakes!

Rachel also presented a poster on characterizing Arctic aerosols in the winter. 

Both Nate and Rachel were awarded UM Rackham Conference Travel Grants and AAAR Travel Grants to attend the conference!  Thank you Rackham and AAAR!

At the conference Prof. Kerri Pratt also gave a talk titled "Aqueous Processing of Atmospheric Organic Particles in Cloud Water in the Southeast United States" in "The Role of Water in Aerosol Chemistry" special symposium.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Life in Barrow, Alaska

With the end of our field campaign rapidly approaching, I figured it was a good time to show everyone a bit of what it has been like living in Barrow for the past month and a half. I've been staying in a duplex funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility on the grounds of the former Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL).
The ARM Duplex on a snowy September day.
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside the duplex are all the comforts you'd need. It has been a great place to stay for the past weeks! If it wasn't for snow in August, you'd almost forget you are above the Arctic Circle. 

Here is our kitchen, complete with a stove and microwave.
The living room, a good place to take a break from work and catch NFL Monday Afternoon Football or an 8 am Michigan football game. Thanks Alaska time zone!
The duplex has six bedrooms, most with a similar set-up to this.
If you don't feel like cooking while in Barrow, the town has a handful of restaurants. With so few places to eat, all of their menus seem to contain just about everything. Below is a picture of a meal we ordered at a local pizza place.
A pizza, chinese food, and a fish sandwich. One of the strangest combination of meals I've ever seen ordered from the same place.
Unfortunately, things were not always smooth throughout the trip. While getting ready to leave the lab one day, we noticed that our car had a flat tire! We were slightly out of the area that AAA will service, so we had to take care of it ourselves. Tate made sure to snap a picture while I was lowering the jack.
Using all of those handy skills I was taught. Thanks Dad! 
It's been a great field campaign so far up in Barrow! Hopefully it continues to go well for the final stretch!

Bonus picture: I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the end of summer. Happy Fall everyone!
There aren't any trees in Barrow to steal twigs from, so I had to get creative for the arms.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Congratulations Nate and Rachel!

Congratulations to PhD students Nate May and Rachel Kirpes for being awarded travel grants from the American Association for Aerosol Research to attend the national meeting in Minneapolis in October!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pratt Lab graduate students featured in Chemistry Department Video

Thinking of chemistry graduate school at the University of Michigan?  Pratt Lab graduate students Matt Gunsch and Nate May are featured in a recent video about the chemistry PhD program at Michigan!