Ongoing research focuses on investigating the effects of (1) atmospheric nitrogen oxides (NOx) on aerosol (particulate matter) formation, and (2) the atmospheric concentration and deposition of heavy metal air pollutants in Portland. We use satellite data analysis, regional chemistry/meteorology model simulations, and field and laboratory measurements. The latter include in-house capabilities for gas-phase measurement of NO, NO2, NH3, and O3, gas-phase organics measurement via GC-MS and GC-FID; aerosol chemical composition analysis by FTIR spectrometry (in-house) and HPLC-ESI-MS (via an off-campus collaboration); particle size distribution and growth measurements by scanning electrical mobility sizing (SEMS) and optical particle counting (OPC); black carbon measurement by aethelometer, CO2 measurements by LiCor, and metals measurements by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Ambient sampling is enabled by our roof lab at Reed as well as Hi-Vol samplers and absorption cartridges that can be deployed remotely. Laboratory studies employ chamber experiments in the Reed Environmental Chamber and a kinetics flow tube. Computer modeling tools employed include molecular structure and reaction coordinate computations, atmospheric kinetics box models, regional chemical and dynamic modeling, and positive matrix factorization (PMF) statistical source attribution analysis. Interested in getting involved? Contact Julie: for current research openings!

Meet the Reed Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group, past and present

Congratulations fabulous class of 2021!

group in front of chem

Kendal, Lena, Calin, Andrey, and Julie, before a fabulous rainy graduation celebration hike May 2021! 

Academic Year 2020-2021:


THESIS: Kendal Dragotto: Field Sampling of Portland Summer Protest Sites for Degradation Compounds and Secondary Pollutants of CS gas (Tear Gas) in Soil Samples and Respirator Cartridges


THESIS: Calin Grimm: Identifying and quantifying sources of diesel pollution in Portland, Oregon


THESIS: Lena Low: Measuring the Effects of Coal Power Plant Closure on Nitrogen Partitioning in the Columbia River Gorge


THESIS: Andrey Marsavin: Measurements of oxidized reactive nitrogen in wildfire smoke plumes at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon


Summer 2020, virtual edition:


Summer research crew 2020: Calin Grimm (diesel PM in Portland), Julie, Andrey Marsavin (NOy instrumentation for chamber studies and wildfire plumes), Spencer Mann (satellite analysis of COVID-19 impacts on nitrate aerosol in cities), Teddie Stewart (drone platform for PM vertical profile measurements), Arielle Sherbak (PM source apportionment in the middle east), Lena Low (modeling & measuring ammonium nitrate and sulfate in the Columbia River Gorge). We are all citizens of the global atmosphere.

Academic Year 2019-2020:


THESIS: Ted Hume: Characterizing diesel particulate matter sources in Portland, OR

Summer 2019:


Lena Low, Andrey Marsavin, Emily McLaughlin Sta. Maria, Julie Fry, Liam Farley, Cordero Ortiz, Ted Hume. Lena is working on modeling nitrate partitioning in the Columbia River Gorge using WRF-Chem; Andrey and Emily are working on chamber studies of SOA and product formation from thujene, a-pinene, and D-carene; Liam, Cordero and Ted are working to characterize diesel particulate matter from rail, trucking, marine, and construction sources in Portland.

Academic Year 2018-2019:


THESIS: Bella Brownwod: Nitrate oxidation of isoprene in chambers big and small


THESIS: Marcus Bamberger: Nitrate partitioning and deposition in the Columbia River Gorge: What effect will the shutdown of Boardman coal fired power plant have?


THESIS: Cordero Ortiz: Mapping the plumes of transportation-related emissions area sources in Portland


INDEPENDENT STUDY: Andrey Marsavin: Nitrate and aldehyde yield from NO3 + thujene

Summer 2018:


Andrey Marsavin, Hannah McFadden, Julie Fry, Anna Miller, Megan Hilton, Bella Brownwood. Andrey and Bella want to find out what happens when thujene is oxidized by NO3 radical, Hannah and Megan are developing new techniques and platforms for measuring diesel particulate matter, Anna is writing up a source apportionment of particulate matter in industrial SE Portland, and Julie is trying to keep up with it all!

Academic Year 2017-2018:


THESIS: Anna Miller: Atmospheric Heavy Metal Pollution in Portland, Oregon

Academic Year 2016-2017:


Julie is on leave, teaching and conducting research (and biking in the rain) as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in the Netherlands at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Universiteit Utrecht, and a Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Energy and Climate at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany.


THESIS: Annelise Hill: Sources, transport, and effects of airborne metals in Portland, OR.

Academic Year 2015-2016:

L&C graduation foto

Julie is on sabbatical in Portland, working on a Master's degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Law, writing about endangered salmon in the Federal Columbia River Power System and establishing standing for climate change lawsuits.


THESIS: Makoto Kelp: Tropospheric Particle Formation in Forests: Global Modeling of Secondary Organic Aerosol Production from Reaction of NO3 Radical with Speciated Monoterpenes. The consumption of raw herring was incidental to this thesis.

Summer 2015: Kang Kang and Natalie Keehan spend 2 months in Boulder to work on collaborative NO3 + terpene experiments in the brand-new CU Boulder chamber, while Catherine Neshyba investigates the initial steps of the same reactions in silica

kang-chamber nat-crds ro2

Academic Year 2014-2015


THESIS: Kang Kang: Chamber Study Exploring Aerosol Formation from NO3 Oxidation of α-pinene and Δ-carene under Varying HO2/RO2/NO3 Regimes


THESIS: Natalie Keehan: Organonitrate gas/aerosol partitioning and hydrolysis in NO3 + Δ-carene SOA formation.


THESIS: Eve Mozur: Organic aerosol composition around the Brooklyn Railyard


INDEPENDENT STUDY: Makoto Kelp: Particulate Matter, Black Carbon, and Human Health

Summer 2014: Kang Kang, Makoto Kelp, and Natalie Keehan work alongside Dr. Ayres & Prof. Fry to seek (fame, fortune, and) insights about the role of organonitrates in aerosol formation, and the contribution of rail traffic to diesel particulate matter in the Columbia River Gorge, including a field study in the Dalles and a collaborative chamber study in Boulder, CO.


Congratulations, 2014 graduates! Enjoying a sunny afternoon in Portland.

Aerosol science is serious business.


Academic Year 2013-2014


POSTDOC FELLOWSHIP: Dr. Ben Ayres joined the group in April 2013 to work on SOAS 2013 and subsequent lab studies. Here he surveys the Alabama forest from atop the SOAS tower.


THESIS: Hannah Allen: Inorganic gas & aerosol composition in the Pacific Northwest and Southeastern U.S. Hannah shows you her fabulous Monitor for AeRosols and GAses (MARGA) instrument.


THESIS: Chris Cogell: Spatial analysis of the NO2 plume near Brooklyn Railyard.


THESIS: Alan Tuan: Railyard black carbon and particulate matter emissions. Can't look at the camera now - busy setting up our aethelometer in the Reed warehouse.

Field season 2013: The Atmospheric Strike Force of Ben Ayres, Danielle Draper, Hannah Allen, and Julie Fry head off to the Talladega National Forest in Alabama for the Southeastern Aerosol and Oxidant Study (SOAS)!


Congratulations, class of 2013! The fabulous four at senior dinner, 2013:


Danielle Draper, James Bianconi, Julie Fry, Laura Krause, Kathryn Sackinger

Academic Year 2012-2013


THESIS: James Bianconi: GC measurement of pinene oxidation products


THESIS: Danielle Draper: Chamber studies of NOx effects on BVOC SOA formation


THESIS: Laura Krause: Measuring and interpreting aerosol chemical composition in the eastern Columbia River Gorge


THESIS: Kathryn Sackinger: Synthetic analogs for oligomer formation in oxidation of a-pinene and D-carene


Summer 2012: Danielle Draper and Laura Krause work on chamber studies of acidity effects on SOA formation, and quantifying functional group contributions to aerosol composition via FTIR.

Julie just returned from a 2011-2012 sabbatical at NCAR and NOAA CIRES (Boulder, CO), where she investigated NO3-initiated aerosol formation in Colorado front range forests. Click here for a glimpse of what field research in atmospheric chemistry looks like (July-Aug 2011), and here for a summary of laboratory chamber and flow tube experiments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Sept-Nov 2011).


Danielle Draper, Julie Fry, and Kyle Zarzana, August 2011 at BEACHON-RoMBAS field campaign, Woodland Park, CO. Yes, but do you have a flag?

Congratulations graduates 2011! Some of Reed Chem's best & brightest celebrating at senior dinner:

chem seniors 2011

Claire Remington, Steven von Kugelgen, Caleb Arata, Lauren Sanders, Ariyeh Conrad-Antoville, Alice Newton, Alex Diezmann

Academic Year 2010-2011

Fluffy Cass photo

THESIS: Caleb Arata: Alpha-pinene Secondary Organic Aerosol: Formation kinetics and chemical composition


THESIS: Claire Remington: Sound wall effects on benzene concentration near roadways

meade schomaker

Rhiana Meade's (left) independent study project focused on SOA yields from a-pinene under differing NOx and light conditions; Lisa Schomaker's (right) biology thesis included ozone exposure experiments on douglas fir pines in our Plant Torture Chamber.

katz zha

Josh Katz is finishing up a project quantifying organic nitrates in FTIR of ambient aerosol samples; Li Zha is working on a manuscript on our satellite analysis of NOx/aerosol correlation.

Summer 2010: The Reed Atmospheric Army Motto: "Aim high!"

Atmospheric Army

Julie Fry, Claire Remington, Rhiana Meade, Caleb Arata, Josh Katz, Li Zha, Kathryn Sackinger. Not pictured: Kassandra Reuss-Schmidt, Holly Neill.

Academic Year 2009-2010

Fluffy Cass photo

THESIS: Tara "Fluffy" Cass: Atmospheric abundance of silver nanoparticles and reactions of NO2 thereon

Holly Neill and Josh Katz Air quality deck Satellite correlation

Holly Neill (PSU Master's student) and Josh Katz continued work on Soxhlet extraction for FTIR analysis of filter-collected aerosol on our new roof deck lab; Li Zha develops correlation code for studying NOx/aerosol interactions in satellite data

Summer Research 2009

Caleb Arata

Caleb Arata: Measuring NO2 concentration gradients in the Columbia River Gorge

Steph Dillon

Steph Dillon: Polartiy fractionation and GC/MS techniques for aerosol chemical composition and source tracer analysis

Li Zha

Li Zha: Satellite analysis of NOx/aerosol correlations in the western U.S.

Academic Year 2008-2009

Julie Look Anna

Celebrating thesis completion at senior dinner!

Anna Stonestrom

THESIS: Anna Stonestrom: FTIR functional group analysis of filter sampled ambient atmospheric aerosol

Look Tobin

THESIS: Jessica "Look" Tobin: Satellite data analysis of NOx and aerosol in the Pacific Northwest