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 atmospheric trace gases, particles, snow, and clouds and their interactions with the biosphere (forests) and cryosphere (snow and sea ice). Our interdisciplinary research has relevance to climate change, air quality, and human health. As an analytical chemistry lab, we primarily use novel mass spectrometry techniques during our field research. We invite you to follow our adventures in (and outside!) the lab!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

D-RISE Highlighted by University of Michigan!

University of Michigan Diversity, Equity & Inclusion news just highlighted the summer D-RISE program, which former Pratt lab and Cass Tech high school students Rashad, Jackelyn, and Desmond have participated in! The Pratt lab is one of four labs on campus participating in the program.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Field Campaign at Oliktok Point, Alaska!

During August and September, we will conducting a field campaign, funded by NOAA and DOE and in collaboration with DOE ARM and Prof. Rebecca Sheesley's group at Baylor University. We're at Oliktok Point, AK to investigate the emissions from the oil and gas extraction activities within Prudhoe Bay, the third largest oilfield in North America. We will be using the A-ATOFMS, MOUDI, and supporting sizing instrumentation to investigate individual particle chemical composition, morphology, and concentrations!

I (Matt Gunsch) arrived to Prudhoe Tuesday morning after staying over in Anchorage Sunday night and in Deadhorse Monday night.
Slightly different hotel accommodations in Anchorage (left) and Deadhorse (right)
After a two hour drive from Deadhorse to our site at Oliktok Point, we got to work moving our equipment into the ARM AMF3 facilities located on the Oliktok Long Range Radar Site run by the US Air Force. 

Luckily the A-ATOFMS had a much shorter distance to move compared to last year in Barrow, so it was a quick and (mostly) stress free move! Thank you to everyone who helped!
Perfect fit!
The A-ATOFMS is now resting comfortably in its temporary home! Let's hope for a great field campaign!
I swear it still looks this clean after setup... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Arctic sea salt aerosol paper published!

Congratulations to graduate students Nate May and Stephen McNamara!  Nate's first-author paper titled "Multiyear study of the dependence of sea salt aerosol on wind speed and sea ice conditions in the coastal Arctic" was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres as part of The Arctic:An AGU Joint Special Collection.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Research Rotation in the Field

What better (and more exciting) way to begin a graduate career in analytical chemistry than to participate in a summer field campaign in Northern Michigan? Luckily, that's exactly what I (Megan, an incoming chemistry graduate student at the U of M) had the opportunity to do.  
  This is me on my first field campaign (and first research rotation)!
All first-year U of M graduate students are given the opportunity to rotate among research labs before choosing the lab in which they will conduct their graduate research. I was awarded a summer internship from the Department of Chemistry to rotate in Prof. Kerri Pratt's lab this summer,  and by doing so I was able to operate the lab's Ambient Ion Monitor- Ion Chromatography System (AIM-IC) throughout the PROPHET-AMOS 2016 field campaign. This campaign took place in the forests of the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) during the month of July, and I am very grateful to have been awarded a Marian P. and David M. Gates UMBS graduate student fellowship that covered my lodging and research fees! During this time, atmospheric research groups from across the country parked their mobile research trailers around the PROPHET research tower (depicted below) and collected atmospheric measurements relating to photochemistry, emissions, and transport of oxidants. 
The PROPHET research tower. I'm standing at
the top of the tower in the previous picture. It was
a very scary (but beautiful) climb!
The sampling inlet of the AIM-IC.  The AIM-IC
collects ambient air and provides hourly measurements
of inorganic, water-soluble fine particulate
 matter and associated precursor gases.
When I wasn't admiring the natural beauty of the University of Michigan Biological Station (depicted below), I was busy using the AIM-IC to collect inorganic particulate and gas measurements (also depicted below). Thank you to Nate May (Pratt Lab), Milos Markovic, and Greg Wentworth (Univ. of Toronto) for all of your advice for successfully deploying the new AIM-IC inlet box for the first time! The data that I collected during the month of July will hopefully contribute to the understanding of the nitrogen budget below the forest canopy in Northern Michigan.  
 Douglas Lake from the shore of the University of Michigan Biological Station. 
 Me again, collecting AIM-IC data inside the U of M research trailer. 

I recently moved to Michigan from North Carolina, so this research rotation was the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of my new home while also participating in exciting analytical work. I look forward to my future research rotations, but I doubt they will be able to top this! 

One final view of Lake Michigan before heading back to Ann Arbor!

UMBS Field Work!

From June 28 - August 3, the Pratt Lab participated in a large, collaborative field study at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS).The field campaign, Program for Research on Oxidants:  PHotochemistry, Emissions, and Transport – Atmospheric Measurements of Oxidants in Summer (PROPHET-AMOS), took place during the month of July and involved 21 institutions from across the country and Europe. Pratt lab students Megan Connor and I (Ryan Cook) maintained and sampled with a variety of aerosol instrumentation, including the aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) and the Ambient Ion Monitor- Ion chromatograph (AIM-IC). This study also marks the first deployment of the University of Michigan mobile laboratory that I helped Prof. Andrew Ault design during my rotation in his lab.
Entrance to UMBS where we stayed during the field campaign.
Inside of mobile laboratory during the field study.
At the PROPHET site with the tower in the background!
We learned a lot about how to conduct a field study and the science behind atmospheric chemistry in a forested environment! We also met many interesting atmospheric scientists from around the world!
PROPHET-AMOS Group photo at the beginning of the campaign!
Though we stayed busy, we did find time to have some fun! On one of the last days of the campaign, we took a trip to Charlevoix with members from Purdue Univ. and Indiana Univ..
Charlevoix welcome sign mural 
View of the harbor across the street from where we ate breakfast
Wildlife
View of Lake Michigan
Once back at camp, it was nice to sit by the lake with an awesome view of the sky....
View of Douglas Lake from UMBS camp
...But you aren't alone!