Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 129 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

James J Schwab

Committee Members

Robert Keesee, Sara Lance, Fangqun Yu


aerosol, air quality, particulate, Atmospheric aerosols, Particulate matter, Air, Environmental monitoring

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences | Other Chemistry


Atmospheric aerosol has profound impacts on air quality, though particles of differing sizes can have profoundly different characteristics which are understated when measurements are reported as a single parameter (typically number concentration or total mass). To address some of these concerns and to better understand the nature of atmospheric aerosol, continuous particle size distributions have been measured at two sites in New York State. Measurement was performed for particle diameters between 7.6nm - 20µm at Pinnacle State Park (Addison, New York; March 2017-April 2018) and Queens College (May 2018-September 2019) at a 5-minute time resolution. At Pinnacle State Park, aerosol was characterized by gradually moving modes of well-aged particles at low number and mass concentrations. The primary mechanism disrupting the particle size distribution was new particle formation events, which occurred semi-frequently, though less frequently than expected when compared to other rural studies. Queens College demonstrated a particle size distribution with more activity, including few identifiable new particle formation events. Instead, influence from the nearby roadway and other local sources dominate the particle size distribution. Particle microphysics demonstrate how the aerosol measured at Queens College is comparably unsettled with elevated microphysical processing of the aerosol.