What I do...

I develop and deploy photoacoustic instruments for measurement of black carbon emission from vehicles in source sampling, and in ambient air quality studies.   These measurements are often combined with other real time particulate emission measurements for the larger purpose of establishing detailed knowledge of the conditions giving rise to most of the black carbon and particulate emission to the atmosphere, and their environmental impacts.  

I teach in the Atmospheric Sciences Program and Physics Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.  My course in Atmospheric Radiation Transfer takes a hands-on approach. Students learn the theory of FTIR instruments, then use one to make measurements of the downwelling IR spectral radiance from 500 to 2000 1/cm. With this motivation, they develop a theoretical understanding, and numerical model that seeks to explain their measurements.   A simple 1-D model is developed and explored to understand multiple scattering. My atmospheric instrumentation course also employs a very practical approach where students learn theory and measurement at the same time.

My previous research has included work on a general formulation of thermoacoustics, model development and verification for sound propagation in ideal porous material, in situ   acoustic detection of soil properties and use of laser doppler vibrometry for acoustic-to-seismic coupling measurements, backscattering of light by freely-rising spheroidal bubbles in water with application to ocean optics, computer simulations of farfield radiation patterns of phased-array laser diodes, and x-ray diffraction from liquid surfaces to determine the atomic radial distribution function. My previous experimental and theoretical research efforts also include Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer determination of the scattering and absorptive properties of ice crystals in the IR region of 1 µm to 20 µm, and cirrus cloud microphysics measurements and analysis using research aircraft. . These efforts are useful for quantifying the role of ice clouds and aerosols in the earth's radiation budget and for producing useful semi-empirical radiation and scattering relations for aerosols and ice clouds. 

My mission in life is to find out as much as I can about how the universe works, including everything, from my own eyes and ears, to partons, quarks, gluons, gravity, human nature, the universe as a whole, chaotic systems with random inputs (the atmosphere). I also am very interested in understanding how human relationships work. I interact broadly in the society of science, and have many opportunities to hear from experts across the spectrum of science, and am often struck with a sense of wonderment at the greatness of our universe, our Earth, and my garden out back. This is a trip best taken with friends and family, and students stimulate progress.

I like to be surrounded by smart people doing interesting things, and to sponge off of their greatness, adding in my 2 cents worth when useful. I like to work on practical problems that have positive societal outcomes.