© 2019 LAHS STEAM Week

Dr. Josette Marrero

Sonoma Tech / Air Quality Scientist

Studying Wildfires from a Fighter Jet: Airborne Measurements and Air Quality Impacts

Emissions from biomass burning are a major source of a multitude of trace gases and particles that contribute to local and regional air quality, climate change, and have human health impacts. The Soberanes Fire began from an illegal campfire on 22 July 2016 in the Garrapata State Park in Monterey County, California. Over the following three months the fire burned a total of 132,127 acres. Presented here are aircraft measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), and formaldehyde (HCHO) from five flights near and downwind of the Soberanes wildfire, collected as part of the Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX). Transport of the smoke plume and the air quality impacts downwind of the fire are addressed using both measured and modeled data.
Aircrafts can be equipped with scientific instrumentation to observe these fires, the pollutants they emit, and how that effects downwind air quality.

​Meet Dr. Josette Marrero

Dr. Josette Marrero earned her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. She earned her Master’s degree from UC Irvine and her Bachelor’s from The College of New Jersey. She moved to NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, CA in 2015 as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Research Fellow and joined the Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) science team. She is currently an Air Quality Scientist at Sonoma Technology, Inc. (STI), and also holds an appointment as an Atmospheric Research Scientist with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute.