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



Friday, July 2, 2021

A new study by AirUCI faculty Jun Wu and cited in an article in National Geographic measures the impact of fireworks on air quality and population health. Fireworks produce colorful, crackling light displays but they also create smoke. It’s less widely known that the smoke can be dangerous due to their particulate matter, which can be an asthma trigger and a leading contributor to respiratory disease as well as a cocktail of toxic metals like strontium, barium, and lead. While the pollution from a single fireworks display tends to dissipate quickly, many fireworks being set off over the Fourth of July can cause regional air pollution levels to spike and remain elevated for several days, posing a potentially serious health risk to vulnerable populations.  Read the article

Thursday, June 3, 2021

AirUCI is thrilled to announce the addition of three new faculty to our institute: James Randerson (Earth System Science), Ulrike Luderer (Environmental and Occupational Health), and Vojislav Stamenkovic (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering).  Additional details about each of our new colleagues are available on our People page, but here is a brief biography for each of them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

AirUCI faculty Jun Wu is quoted in a May 25th article in National Geopgraphic that discusses the combined effects of air pollution and extreme heat on health, particularly respiratory health.  Bad heat and bad air work in tandem to increase the stress on people’s bodies and increase their risk of hospitalization.  “Some of the associations [of extreme heat and ozone pollution] are hidden unless you look at the very local scale,” says Jun, pointing to historical influences like decisions to route freeways through communities of color which contribute to the extra burden of heat and pollution for some heavily affected areas. The risks will persist and perhaps expand in the future due to climate change.  Read the article

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Edward K.C. Lee Dinner is the annual ceremony for UCI’s Department of Chemistry where numerous awards are presented.  Most years, AirUCI team members are among the recipients of these prestigious awards, and it was true again for the May 2021 virtual awards ceremony. 
AirUCI undergraduate Kimberly Zhang (Nizkorodov and Furche groups) received the 2021 Don L. Bunker Award which is given to one undergraduate student in the UCI Chemistry Department who has shown outstanding research and plans to pursue graduate work in chemistry.
Graduate student awardees of the 2021 Michael C. Gebel Award are Alexandra Klodt, Natalie Smith, and Jose Uribe.  (Alexandra and Natalie are AirUCI team members from the Nizkorodov research group.)  This award goes to graduate students working in Environmental Chemistry who have had a period of time employed outside of school before continuing on to graduate studies, and additional awards are also presented to undergraduate students in Environmental Chemistry.  Undergraduate awardees of the 2021 Michael C. Gebel Award are Zaira Barrera , Jonathan Galicia, Elliott Einstein, and Sofiya Woodcock. We congratulate all winners at the Lee Dinner from all of Chemistry!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Jorg Meyer, longtime glass blower for UCI's School of Physical Sciences, has passed away.  He was indispensable to generations of UCI scientists and researchers who relied on him to design and construct unique and techically complex containers and apparatuses.  More than this, Jorg was instrumental in revising laboratory and fabrication procedures, making enormous contributions to the safety of chemical laboratories at UCI and around the world.  As a global leader in his field, tributes are pouring in expressing condolences from near and far.  Jorg was a dear friend of AirUCI, and we will miss him greatly.  Details

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

AirUCI undergraduate Kimberly Zhang, a 2020-21 Beckman Scholar working in the Nizkorodov and Furche groups, is one of the 53 recipients of the 2021 Chancellor’s Award of Distinction at UCI.  Out of numerous nominees, Kimberly was selected from an exceptional group of graduating students who exhibit a commitment to cutting-edge research, leadership, or service to UCI.  Congratulations, Kimberly!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

AirUCI grad student Annie Rohrbacher (Finlayson-Pitts group) has received  the Judges' Highest Score Award for her presentation at the UCI Associated Graduate Student Virtual Symposium held April 24, 2021.  There were more than 40 presenters with over 100 people registered to attend the event and, in their words, Annie's project and presentation blew the judges away.  This symposium showcases the research and accomplishments of students in the graduate division who are invited to participate.  Way to go, Annie!.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

AirUCI grad student Jinlai Wei (Shiraiwa group) has received the 2021 C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award. This competitive award from the American Chemical Society is presented to graduate students at U.S. and international universities who submit the highest quality research papers. Way to go, Jinlai!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

In an article on, AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is widely quoted on the increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the first two months of 2021 compared to the first two months of 2020.  This indicates an economic and societal rebound from the period of COVID lockdown.  New tools developed by Steve and his collaborators allow much more precise tracking of emissions based on source data.  “The idea here was to move away from annual energy statistics toward something that could give us a clearer picture about how energy use was changing in what we would call near real time,” Steve said last week in a virtual lecture hosted by the Beckman Center.  Read the article

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

An international team—led by AirUCI faculty Steve Davis and his postdoc Chaopeng Hong—has this week unveiled a new data resource focused on the United States. The U.S. Carbon Monitor web site complements the global monitoring site launched last year, and is designed to serve the academic community, policy makers, the news media, and the general public, measuring near real-time, state-level carbon emissions estimates.  “The data provided in these resources will allow us to monitor the pandemic recovery and the impact of state-level efforts to reduce fossil fuel carbon emissions going forward,” said Chaopeng.  Read the article