My home base at UW-Madison is the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, affectionately known as “SAGE." SAGE is an interdisciplinary research center connecting physical science methods with environmental policy issues. My work on air quality fits into SAGE, since air quality links meteorology, chemistry, computer science, and engineering with public policy, urban planning, and public health. In particular, my team uses computer models, ground-based measurements, and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. For a general overview of my work, I’d suggest a 2015 article online here.
Most of my work relates to computer models of atmospheric dynamics and chemistry, especially the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. We run these models over specific regions of the world, with most work focused on the U.S., but past studies looking at East Asia and India as well. These computer models allow us to understand how specific chemical reactions or meteorological processes affect air pollution, and they allow us to test out “what if?” scenarios related to energy policy, technology, urban planning, and climate change.
Over the past few years, I have become an active promoter of satellite data, and I have worked with the NASA Air Quality Applied Science Team (AQAST, 2011-2016) and the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Science Team (HAQAST, 2016-2019), which both have the mission of connecting satellite data and other NASA science with decision-making and applications for health and air quality.