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- Scholarly Interests
At Saint Mary�s College, I am currently pursuing two main avenues of scholarship: (1) �Atmospheric Aerosol Research� and (2) �Research and Design of Forensic Experiments�. The avenue, �Atmospheric Aerosol Research�, demonstrates my on-going scholarship in the area for which I gained expertise as a graduate student at the University of Washington and as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. The avenue, �Research and Design of Experiments�, demonstrates my desire to bring new and interesting pedagogies to the classroom to further engage and excite students about chemistry and its broad-range of applications. In the area of atmospheric aerosol research, I have worked to develop two projects. The first project explores the potential influence of some model organic compounds on the hygroscopic properties of aerosols. The basis of the research was to determine the influence of atmospherically relevant organic species on the vapor pressure of aqueous (water) systems that mimic the early stages of cloud droplet growth. Measurements of this type have not been reported and the effects of organics on droplet vapor pressure have only been modeled. The second project focuses on the development of a technique to aid in the speciation of atmospheric organics. The potentially most effective and most novel approach for the speciation and quantification of organics is HPLC-UV (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography/Ultraviolet) with SPME. Although direct analysis is possible with HPLC, the concentration of the organic compounds of interest in an atmospheric sample could be too low for detection. SPME could then be used to extract and concentrate polar organics directly from a liquid matrix for analysis using HPLC-UV, allowing for detection of organic materials at concentrations that would otherwise be too low. In the area of �Research and Design of Forensic Experiments�, I have introduced a series of new experiments into a chemical instrumentation course. In the spring 2007 version of this course, students analyzed a 12th century Russian icon painting to determine if anachronisms were present and to access the paintings authenticity.