Chemistry and Materials Science Seminar: Formaldehyde in the Earth’s Atmosphere

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scms seminar

Chemistry and Materials Science Seminar
Formaldehyde in the Earth’s Atmosphere

Dr. Jason St. Clair
UMBC – Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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This seminar may be attended in person in 2300 Gosnell Hall or online via Zoom.


Formaldehyde (HCHO) is an oxidation product of many atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Because it has a short atmospheric lifetime (a few hours), the presence of HCHO is an indication of recent VOC oxidation. This has led to many applications for HCHO observations, ranging from satellite-based global estimates of isoprene, a biogenic VOC, to estimates of methane oxidation rates in the remote atmosphere. In this talk, Dr. St. Clair will give an overview of formaldehyde’s central role in atmospheric chemistry and highlight the results of some recent aircraft-based atmospheric research campaigns, with a focus on the formaldehyde observations.

Speaker Bio:
Over the last 20 years, Dr. St. Clair has worked on developing and deploying novel instrumentation for the in situ measurement of trace atmospheric compounds, with science goals ranging from quantification of the convective transport of water into the stratosphere to understanding how biogenic emissions can lead to ozone and aerosol formation. He graduated from Colby College with a chemistry major and did his PhD work in Jim Anderson’s lab at Harvard. He then did his postdoctoral study at Caltech with Paul Wennberg, where he transitioned from optical spectroscopy to mass spectrometry. After his postdoc, he stayed on at Caltech as a staff scientist before moving in 2014 to the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he has switched back to shooting lasers at molecules.

Intended Audience:
Undergraduates, graduates, experts. Those with interest in the topic.

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Nathan Eddingsaas
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When and Where
November 15, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Room/Location: 2300

This is an RIT Only Event

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