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William Martin gift to enable MIT aerosol study at Mount Washington Observatory
Thanks to a generous gift of $100,000 from William (Bill) Martin, of Boston, Dan Cziczo and his group will be able to deploy state-of-the-art aerosol and cloud instrumentation to the Mount Washington Observatory at the summit of the highest peak in New England: 6,288 feet above sea level. To date, Mount Washington has not yet been used for studies of aerosols and clouds. Cziczo and his team propose to link data from Mount Washington to two other mountaintop sites in Oregon and Colorado to better understand the movement of aerosol particles in the free atmosphere and how they evolve as they move across the U.S.
A regular guest at the Annual John Carlson Climate Lecture Series, Bill Martin has long been interested in climate science. As president of CME Energy, LLC, Mr. Martin has participated in the development of community-focused, environmentally-conscious, independent private power plants and other energy-related projects - including a recent solar energy installation that received the 2015 Rhode Island Clean Energy Future Award.
“While hotly debated, CO2 emissions and impacts are well-quantified and understood by the scientific community, if not the public at large”, remarked Bill Martin. “What is less well understood is the impact of aerosol emissions and clouds on climate, and so we are very pleased to be able to support this important work by Dr. Cziczo and his team at MIT. “
During a recent visit to the Cziczo lab, Bill Martin met EAPS graduate student Libby Koolik ’17 who will be playing a key role in the two-year research project, deploying instrumentation to count and size particles in the atmosphere order to understand their chemistry and cloud formation potential. Ms. Koolik is undertaking graduate studies in atmospheric chemistry during the project.
Dan Cziczo noted: “We are so grateful to Bill for his support for our work – this is just the kind of data that is needed to help us find the “missing link” between aerosols and their impact on climate. Our vision is to use Mount Washington as a base for coursework and to train the next generation of MIT climate scientists in precise measurements of atmospheric aerosols and clouds, to generate the data that is essential for sophisticated modeling of climate change”. EAPS expects this study to be the pilot for a longer term collaborative partnership with the Mount Washington Observatory.