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!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Welcome Rashad!

Welcome Rashad! Rashad is participating in the Detroit Research Internship and Summer Experience (D-RISE) program through the University of Michigan Department of Chemistry, and we are excited for him to part of our lab this summer! Rashad is a rising senior at Cass Technical High School in inner city Detroit.

Preparation to do science...in the sky!

Last week, I packed up the car, put on some tunes, and took a road trip to West Lafayette, Indiana to visit our collaborators at Purdue University.
Later this month, we will be collaborating with Paul Shepson's group from Purdue University to conduct research flights on Purdue's Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (ALAR) at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS). As part of a larger campaign at UMBS this summer, I will have the opportunity to fly on ALAR to study cloud composition.
ALAR outside of the Purdue hangar, ready for my training session to begin!

I thought it would be a good idea to visit Purdue beforehand to get acquainted with the plane and receive training on the instrumentation I will operate before I'm flying through clouds several thousand feet above northern Michigan. Apparently, collecting cloud water samples during a bumpy flight on a small, two seater airplane is no easy task.
After my visit, I feel much more confident about operating these instruments, and much less confident that I will not get motion sick.

Stay tuned this July for more tales from our adventures at (and above!) UMBS.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stephen and Nate participate in CSIE|UM Chemistry Education Symposium

Stephen and Nate, both future faculty GSIs for the Snow Chemistry CHEM 125 lab course taught last fall, recently attended and presented a poster at the 2nd annual Chemistry Education Symposium organized by CSIE|UM (Chemical Sciences at the Interface of Education). This year's symposium was all about chemistry laboratory courses, which was a fitting topic for us as we continue to develop and improve our snow chemistry course for its second offering this fall. The event included in-depth discussions and workshops dealing with the purpose and goals of the chemistry lab course, as well as new ways to innovate and understand how our efforts eventually affect the students who enroll in them. The symposium brought together students, faculty, and staff from across the department and from nearby universities, including Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, UM-Flint & Dearborn, and Wayne State University. Prof. Marcy Towns from Purdue University, the invited guest speaker for the afternoon, gave a fantastic seminar on her research in assessing the students' learning in chemistry lab courses and her team's recent innovations in tracking students' development of laboratory skills. Overall, it was a great opportunity to discuss new ideas, meet other educators, and learn about the interesting chemistry education projects taking place at Michigan and elsewhere!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pratt Lab wins Ann Arbor Commuter Month Challenge!

And we wore green to celebrate our commitment to the environment! During the month of May, the Pratt Lab participated in the Ann Arbor Commuter Challenge. Pratt Lab members biked, walked, took the bus, carpooled, and telecommuted to reduce our environmental footprint. We had 100% participation from undergraduates (Anna Leemon), graduate students (Matt Gunsch, Ryan Cook, Nathaniel May, Rachel Kirpes, Becky Craig-on loan for this from the Ault Lab!) and postdoctoral researchers (Peter Peterson, Katie Kolesar, Siyuan Wang) who were working diligently in lab throughout the month of May. Altogether we logged an average of 48 trips and saved a total of 943 individual vehicle miles traveled! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Welcome Megan & Mark!

Welcome Megan Connor and Mark Panas! Megan graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill this past spring and is an incoming Chemistry graduate student. She received fellowships from both the Department of Chemistry and University of Michigan Biological Station for her summer rotation in the Pratt lab! She will be spending most of her summer at the Bio Station studying atmospheric chemistry as part of the multi-institution PROPHET 2016 - AMOS campaign! Mark is a junior Chemistry undergraduate student at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and joined the Pratt lab this summer as a Chemistry REU participant!  We are excited to have you both in the lab this summer!