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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Greenhouse Gas and Pollutant Measurements in the Los Angeles Basin using Remote Sensing Spectroscopy
Disciplines:  Environmental Science, statistics, geography
Mentor:  Stanley Sander, (JPL), Stanley.P.Sander@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 354-2625
Mentor URL:  https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Sander/  (opens in new window)
Background:  Methane and carbon dioxide are the two most important greenhouse gases (GHGs)responsible for global climate change. Megacities are major GHG emitters, accounting for three-quarters of global human-caused emissions. There are many sources of urban methane emissions but these sources are poorly understood; locating and quantifying these emissions has a very high priority in current research.
Description:  This project uses a high resolution IR spectrometer on Mt. Wilson to record hourly maps of GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O and their isotopologues), and pollutants (CO, aerosols) over Los Angeles. Data will be analyzed to determine the spatial and temporal variability of GHGs and pollutants and to infer their emission rates. The project involves the use of statistical and meteorological models to understand patterns of emissions in the LA basin and to assist state and federal agencies in formulating strategies to reduce emissions.
References:  Wong, K. W.; Pongetti, T. J.; Oda, T.; Gurney, K. R.; Newman, S.; Duren, R.; Miller, C. E.; Yung, Y. L.; Sander, S. P.; Monthly trends of top-down methane emissions in the South Coast Air Basin from 2011-2015; Atmos. Chem. Phys.; 2016, 16, 9019-9045, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13121-2016

Zeng, Z.-C., Zhang, Q., Margolis, J. S., Shia, R.-L., Newman, S., Fu, D., Pongetti, T. J., Wong, K. W., Sander, S. P., Wennberg, P. O., and Yung, Y. L.: Investigating wavelength-dependent aerosol optical properties using water vapor slant column retrievals from CLARS over the Los Angeles basin, Atmos. Chem. Phys.; 2017, 17, 2495-2508. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.5194/acp-17-2495-2017

Zhang, Q.; Natraj, V.; Li, K.-F.; Shia, R.-L.; Fu, D.; Pongetti, T. J.; Sander, S. P.; Roehl, C. M.; Yung, Y. L.; Accounting for aerosol scattering in the CLARS retrieval of column averaged CO2 mixing ratios, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.; 2015, 120, 7205-7218, dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JD023499

Wong, K. W.; Fu, D.; Pongetti, T. J.; Newman, S.; Kort, E. A.; Duren, R.; Hsu, Y-K.; Miller, C. E.; Yung, Y. L.; Sander, S. P.; Mapping CH4:CO2 ratios in Los Angeles, with simulated satellite remote sensing from Mount Wilson, California, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2015, 15, 241-252, http://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-241-2015

Fu, D.; Pongetti, T. J.; Blavier, J-F L.; Crawford, T. J.; Manatt, K. S.; Toon, G. C.; Wong, K. W.; Sander, S, P.; Near-infrared remote sensing of Los Angeles trace gas distributions from a mountaintop site, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2014, 7, 713-729, http://doi.org/10.5194/amt-7-713-2014
Student Requirements:  Desired skills and course work: intro. physics and chemistry, statistics, numerical methods. Proficiency in programming and data analysis language, e.g. Matlab Python, R, Igor, etc.
Additional desired skills/courses: include GIS software and techniques, atmospheric chemistry and meteorology
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: .
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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