TAEM – Could you expand upon your atmospheric studies as they have a direct relationship to what would effect explorers on other worlds and where we should look to discover life forms.
My research background is in the area of chemistry and dynamics of planetary atmospheres. I’ve worked extensively on the chemistry of the Earth’s middle atmosphere (stratosphere, mesosphere and lower thermosphere) and its chemical and dynamical response to solar effects and climate forcing. This work entails several topics related to ozone chemistry, the budget of the greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone, and the formation of Earth’s highest clouds – noctilucent clouds (also called polar mesospheric clouds PMCs, at around 80-85 km altitude). I’m also interested in the long-term changes in the atmosphere due to human activities, such as lower atmosphere global warming, upper atmosphere cooling, and middle and upper atmosphere weather. I’m a co-investigator on the AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere) satellite mission that is focused on the study of these high altitude clouds and how they respond to global change. The public website for this mission is at: http://aim.hamptonu.edu