Here's the latest news from AirUCI — our events, our people, our science.



Wednesday, October 11, 2023

AirUCI sponsors a student chapter of the American Association of Aerosol Research on campus, a group that was started after our student retreat in 2018 and continues holding regular meetings.  The group, while initiated by AirUCI students, is open to all and has regular attendees from several departments.  For the 2023-2024 year their newly-elected officers are: President Jeremy Wakeen, Secretary Sukriti Kapur, Treasurer Yinting Chiu, Professional Development Chair Kasey Edwards, Social Events Chair Anna Kapp, and Undergraduate Liaison Lena Gerritz.  Congratulations, all!

Monday, October 9, 2023

AirUCi faculty Jane Baldwin is quoted in an October 9th Reuters article on the threat to human health from high temperatures combined with high humidity, especially as the planet warms.  A new study shows that the currently accepted point at which heat and humidity combine to push the human body beyond its limits without shade or help from technologies such as air too high.  Previous studies indicated that a "wet-bulb" temperature of 95 degrees F persisting for six or more hours could be the conservative limit for the human body, but the new study puts that benchmark at 84-86 degrees F. "This will be a critical benchmark for future studies," said Jane, who was not involved in the project.  Read the article

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

At this week's AAAR meeting, AirUCI faculty Annmarie Carlton was presented with the Suzanne Hering Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to aerosol science that have an impact on public health, the built environment, or the global ecosystem.  Congratulations, Annmarie!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

AirUCI Co-Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts was presented at this week's AAAR meeting with the David Sinclair Award recognizing sustained excellence in aerosol research and technology by an established scientist still active in his/her career..  Congratulations, Barbara!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

At this week's American Association for Aerosol Research meeting, AirUCI faculty Jim Smith was named as a AAAR Fellow..  Congratulations, Jim!

Sunday, October 1, 2023

In an October 1st article in the Washington Post, AirUCI grad student Audrey Odwuor (Randerson group) is quoted on her study into the 2021 KNP fire and its destructiveness. Using a mobile laboratory, the team analyzed smoke during the fire and looked for radiocarbon signatures associated with large fuel sources. Old, large-diameter fuels like fallen logs drove the conflagration, causing it to burn at a higher intensity than other fuel sources such as pine needles or leaf litter.  Read the article

Thursday, September 28, 2023

AirUCI faculty Michael Kleinman was asked to comment on the effects of air pollution in a September 28th article for NBC News.  With the unprecedented levels of smoke from wildfires this summer, especially in the Northeast which received smoke and ash from vast Canadian fires, concern has grown over the effects of breathing this air on the lungs and heart.  Breathing in particulate matter, especially the smaller molecules, causes inflammation and irritation in the lungs, which triggers the body’s immune response, said Mike.  “This creates a cascading effect that impacts the cardiovascular system.  There is a direct link between what goes on in the lung and what goes on in the heart,” he said.  Read the article

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

In a September 27th article on, AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is given his own insert to say that “green” or “eco-friendly” cleaning products which are certified by third parties can still contain VOCs  However, these kinds of products are supposed to contain fewer VOCs and fewer harmful agents compared to products that have not been certified by reputable and known third-party certifiers, including GreenGuard, USDA Organic, and A Safer Choice.  Read the article

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

AirUCI grad student Audrey Odwuor (Randerson group) took the lead on a study published in Environmental Research Letters determining that one of the chief fuels of wildfires in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is the decades-old remains of large trees. "Our findings support the idea that large-diameter fuel build-up is a strong contributor to fire severity," said Audrey.  She drove a mobile laboratory to King's Canyon National Park during the 2021 KNP Complex Fire to take measurements and samples.  These were analyzed for their radiocarbon content at UCI’s W.M. Keck Accelerator Mass Spectrometer facility with co-author and AirUCI faculty Claudia Czimczik.  "The idea is that because we can’t control the climate, we can only do our best to manage the fuels," said Audrey.  Read the article

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

AirUCI faculty Annmarie Carlton is featured in a KUNC radio segment discussing how increasing wildfire smoke is cancelling out progress made in improving air quality.  “The gestalt is that wildfires in the U.S. are increasing in terms of frequency, intensity, duration, acres burned, and that's negatively impacting air quality in the United States,” said Annmarie. 

Wildfire smoke releases a tiny particulate matter called PM 2.5. It contributes to air pollution, as well as increases health risks like cancer and heart attacks.  “You can breathe (those particles) in very deeply to these little sacs at the end of your lungs called the alveoli, and that's where the blood-air exchange happens,” she said. “That's what makes this sized particle such a health hazard.”  Between 2000 and 2016, average annual PM 2.5 levels dropped in most states, largely due to advances made under the Clean Air Act. But since 2016, wildfire smoke has affected PM 2.5 trends in three-fourths of the United States. Additionally, that smoke has reversed 25% of the air quality progress made since 2000.  Hear the broadcast