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Katherine Heal's research was an overview of the Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS), a high-resolution, field-deployable, real-time mass spectrometer for air particles. For the first month, she worked with both the Atmospheric Chemistry group and the Engine and Energy Conservation Lab on analyzing the aerosol emissions from different types of biodiesel. They hope to incorporate the spectra obtained to a growing library of spectra so they, and other scientists, can use it in future air analyses. The data can also help people make decisions about future uses different types of biodiesels. This experiment really demonstrated the AMS's utility in a laboratory controlled setting.

The second month she used the AMS for ambient sampling in the field. She took the AMS to Rocky Mountain National park for a week and performed 24-hour sampling of real-time data. This data will be analyzed to look at temporal differences in concentration and composition of aerosols in the park on a daily basis. Combined with mass spectra obtained by CSU and other labs around the country, their ambient sampling can be used to determine some of the sources of the aerosols in Rocky Mountain National park. It was great to see the versatility of the AMS as a field and lab instrument.

Katherine created a poster of her research available here.

Beyond mass spectrometers, Katherine enjoys biking, outdoor yoga, camping and just reading a book under the blue sky in the summer. In the winter months, she can be found knitting, sewing, baking, cooking and reading.