CARB Research Seminar

This page updated October 31, 2018

Characterization of PM2.5 Episodes in the Wintertime San Joaquin Valley using Surface and Aircraft Observations

Photo of Christopher Cappa, PhD.

Christopher Cappa, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

November 27, 2018
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) in California experiences persistent air quality problems associated with elevated particulate matter (PM) concentrations, especially in winter, due to anthropogenic emissions, topography, and meteorological conditions. Unravelling the various sources and processes that affect the PM is important to better inform pollution abatement strategies and improve air quality models. In this talk, results from ground and aircraft measurements made during the 2013 DISCOVER-AQ field study are discussed and used to develop insights into the factors that govern wintertime particulate pollution in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) air basin, with a particular focus on particulate ammonium nitrate (AN).

Speaker Biography

Christopher Cappa is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California, Davis, and is currently a Chancellor's Fellow. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Hope College in 2000, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Physical Chemistry in 2005. Since starting at UC Davis in 2007, the work in Prof. Cappa’s group has entailed a mix of laboratory experiments, field measurements and conceptual model development. He has focused on understanding the formation and properties of organic aerosol particles, interactions between particles and water, and the relationship between composition and the light absorption and extinction properties of atmospheric aerosols. He is currently leading projects funded by NSF, the Department of Energy Atmospheric Systems Research Program, US EPA, and NOAA to develop clearer linkages between particle composition (including organic components) and optical properties.

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