Susan Kaspari receives NSF grant for Single Particle Soot Photometer

Central Washington University Geological Sciences Assistant Professor Susan Kaspari was recently awarded a grant for $187,000 through the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program for acquisition of a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2).

The SP2 is used to analyze the size and mass of black carbon particles, which originate from incomplete combustion of fossil and bio fuels. Black carbon in the atmosphere can lead to atmospheric heating, whereas black carbon deposited on snow and ice reduces the reflectivity of the surface, which may lead to melting. Kaspari and her students are using the SP2 to analyze black carbon in snow and ice core samples from the Cascades, Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau to assess the role of black carbon in past and modern climate change.

Professors Carey Gazis (Geology) and Anne Johansen (Chemistry) were also involved in the grant, and will use the SP2 to investigate the role of black carbon in the atmosphere and hydrologic cycle.

Matt Jenkins and Susan Kaspari in front of the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2)