Craig Smith

Dr. Craig Smith’s professional interests are in Energy Meteorology, Wildfire Meteorology, and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP). With over 15 years experience in NWP, Dr. Smith has built and runs several applied operational weather decision support systems for Wind Energy companies, public lands managers, and the construction and outdoor event industries.

His works seeks to quantify and improve the predictability of weather-driven variable generators to facilitate and accelerate their integration onto the electrical grid, and determine and improve the predictability of extreme weather-driven processes such as wildfires and high wind events.

Vic Etyemezian

Dr. Etyemezian currently holds the position of Research Professor in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences of the Desert Research Institute. He is active in several ongoing research projects including two DoD studies focusing on dust emissions and quantification from military activities, characterization of playa dust emissions from Mojave basins, measurement of emissions of particulate matter from fires in the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts as well as measurement of post-fire aeolian dust emission potential, continued development of a portable wind tunnel-like device for measuring aeolian sediment transport, and identifying controls on wind erosion on Steppe landscapes in Mongolia. Dr. Etyemezian’s research interests and specialties include direct measurement and quantification of atmospheric pollutant emissions, source apportionment, designing research instrumentation, and analysis of spatial data.

Hans Moosmuller

Dr. Moosmüller’s interests include experimental and theoretical research in optical spectroscopy as well as its applications to atmospheric, aerosol, and climate physics. His research focuses on development and application of real time, in situ measurement methods for aerosol light absorption, scattering, extinction, and asymmetry parameter, and new optical remote sensing techniques. These measurement methods are being used for ambient air monitoring and vehicle, fugitive dust, and biomass burning emission studies. His latest research interests are fast, ultra-sensitive measurements of elementary mercury concentrations and fluxes and aerosol morphology and its influence on aerosol optical properties with a focus on fractal-like chain aggregates found in combustion particles. Dr. Moosmüller has also participated in the planning, fieldwork, and data analysis of several major air quality studies. During his first three years at DRI, he was responsible for the airborne ozone lidar research program under a cooperative agreement with the USEPA.

Before joining DRI, Dr. Moosmüller was at Colorado State University where he investigated Brillouin light scattering of spin waves and millimeter-wave effective line widths in thin metal films. He also did research on high-spectral-resolution lidar and coherent light scattering techniques. This work included the development of supersonic flow measurement techniques and the investigations of spectral line shapes. His earlier work at the Ludwigs-Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany focused on laser remote sensing.

Heather Holmes

Dr. Holmes is an Assistant Professor, Physics in the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Her PhD research focus was experimental investigations to study air pollution, turbulence, meteorology and chemistry in the atmospheric boundary layer.  Following her PhD, two visiting researcher positions took her to Asia and Europe where she studied airborne pollen collection and wind energy.  She completed her postdoctoral training at Georgia Tech as part of the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution and Epidemiology (SCAPE, working with engineers, atmospheric scientists and epidemiologists to characterize air pollution mixtures and their associated health effects.  As part of SCAPE, her research focus was to analyze air pollution and air quality modeling data to better understand and quantify how emission sources combine to impact air quality and provide air quality metrics to epidemiologists for use in health assessments.  Her current research interests incorporate numerical weather prediction and chemical transport modeling with field experiments to investigate pollutant accumulation, transport and mixing and provide data for health and public policy assessments.

Eric Wilcox

Dr. Wilcox’s research addresses the interactions among aerosols, clouds, and precipitation towards a goal of improved understanding of precipitation, cloud variability and radiative forcing of climate at regional scales. This work relies on satellite and in-situ observations, as well as simulations with numerical models of the atmosphere and climate.

Dr. Wilcox manages DRI’s climate modeling group, which implements a wide range of numerical models, including fine-resolution atmospheric models for regional climate studies and applied research in water resources and renewable energy projects, air quality and chemistry models, and global coupled ocean/atmosphere climate models.

Dr. Wilcox teaches Atmospheric Physics (ATMS 411/611) and Atmospheric Modeling (ATMS 746) at University of Nevada, Reno. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, an associate director of the Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium for DRI, and he serves as a member representative to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on behalf of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Gannet Hallar

Dr. Hallar is an Assistant Research Professor with the Desert Research Institute, she directs Storm Peak Laboratory, a high elevation atmospheric science facility in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This laboratory has undergone major changes under her leadership including new instrumentation, new research foci, new field courses, and a significant building expansion. Currently, at Storm Peak Laboratory, Dr. Hallar also work as adjunct faculty for the University of Nevada, Reno and teaches a graduate level field course in Mountain Meteorology.

The overarching theme of Dr. Hallar’s research is using high quality measurements of trace gases, aerosol physical and chemical properties, and cloud microphysics to understand connections between the biosphere, atmosphere, and climate, along with the impact of anthropogenic emissions on these connections. More specifically, currently her research uses high elevation sites, combined with airborne measurements, to study the formation processes of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and Ice Nuclei (IN) and how differing formation processes impact mixed-phase cloud microphysics. This research topic is stemmed in many potential formation mechanisms of aerosols, including nucleation, secondary organic aerosols, and primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP’s).

William Arnott

Dr. Arnott develops and deploys photoacoustic instruments for measurement of black carbon emission from vehicles in source sampling, and in ambient air quality studies. These measurements are often combined with other real time particulate emission measurements for the larger purpose of establishing detailed knowledge of the conditions giving rise to most of the black carbon and particulate emission to the atmosphere, and their environmental impacts. He teaches courses in the Atmospheric Sciences Program and Physics Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Umakanta Jena

Dr. Jena got his doctoral degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia in 2011. His research interests include, generation of alternative fuels and value added co-products from microalgae and lignocellulosic biomass via thermochemical conversion routes. Dr. Jena has been working on hydrothermal conversion (liquefaction and carbonization) of biomass that involves pressure cooking of algae/ lignocellulose biomass into a higher energy content liquid and/or solid fuel. In his doctoral research, he investigated the production of bio-oil (biocrude) from algae via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis, compared their process mass distribution and energy efficiency, and developed the concept of algae biorefinery around HTL process. Earlier, Dr. Jena investigated on downdraft gasification of woody biomass and crop residues for thermal and engine applications, syngas cleaning and conditioning, and catalytic upgrading of bio-oil generated from HTL and pyrolysis processes. At DRI, he is investigating on the HTC process for converting biomass into hydrochar (a solid fuel that has similar fuel characteristics to that of the naturally occurring coal) along with water soluble high value chemicals in the aqueous phase.