Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University

I am a postdoc in the Kreidenweis Group in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. I received my BS in Physics in 2008, and MS and PhD in Atmospheric Science in 2011 and 2015, all at North Carolina State University.

I study atmospheric aerosols. Aerosols are airborne particles between 10 and 1000 nanometers in diameter (examples include dust, smoke, haze, seaspray, and particulate pollution). Aerosols can reflect or absorb sunlight, cause respiratory or cardiovascular problems, and serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

Aerosols serving as CCN help determine cloud brightness and lifetime, but there are still large uncertainties in the effect of aerosols on climate. Organic aerosols in particular have a wide range of hygroscopic properties that can change as they are aged in the atmosphere.

My research is aimed at reducing this uncertainty by establishing

(1) measured hygroscopicity for complex aerosols under controlled conditions, and

(2) theoretical recommendations for predicting aerosol interaction with water in the atmosphere.

Aerosols, clouds, and climate

Copyright (C) Sarah Petters