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The Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program

Dr. Vicki Grassian

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
10 a.m., Sateren Auditorium, Anderson Music Hall

“What Is In the Air We Breathe?”

The atmosphere is composed of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.  Other gases are present at much lower concentrations and include ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde just to name a few.  nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and formaldehyde just to name a few. Besides these gases, there is something else in the air we breathe, tiny microscopic particles called aerosols. Not just the aerosol that comes from spray cans that you are all probably familiar with but this talk will focus on any liquid or solid particles that is suspended in the air, which is the definition of an aerosol.  These tiny particles come from many sources and can impact the Earth’s climate and human health in ways we are just starting to understand.


Vicki H. Grassian is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of California San Diego with appointments in the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Nanoengineering and Scripps Institution of Oceanography and she holds the Distinguished Chair of Physical Chemistry within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is also the co-Director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment a multi-institutional NSF-Chemical Center of Innovation and the Executive Associate Dean for the Division of Physical Sciences. Prior to her appointments at the University of California San Diego she was a professor at the University of Iowa for 25 years. Professor Grassian has mentored hundreds of students in her laboratory including over twenty-five students who have received their PhDs under her guidance.

Professor Grassian’s research interests are in the areas of chemistry and the environment, atmospheric aerosols and sustainability. She is the recipient of several awards including the National American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology, the Royal Society of Chemistry John Jeyes Award for her pioneering contributions to chemistry as it relates to the environment and the American Chemical Society Midwest Award which recognizes a scientist in the midwest region who has made meritorious contributions to the advancement of pure or applied chemistry.  Just recently, she became the 2018 recipient of the American Institute of Chemists  Chemical Pioneer Award and the American Chemical Society Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education for her leadership in articulating the roles of both chemistry research and chemical education in sustainability.

Sponsored by the General Leif J. Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program at Augsburg University.