William Martin gift to enable aerosol study at Mount Washington Observatory

Angela Ellis | EAPS Development Office
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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.


Bill Martin (left) with Dan Czizco.


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 Dr. Michael Roesch, lead scientist of the project, and EAPS graduate student Libby Koolik ’17. She is undertaking graduate studies in atmospheric chemistry and will be playing a key role during the two-year project. Instrumentation to separate, count and size particles will be deployed at the summit of Mt. Washington in order to understand their chemistry and cloud formation potential.

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.

To find out more about the Cziczo group’s research, visit: http://cziczogroup.scripts.mit.edu/wp/

To support EAPS climate science research, please contact Angela Ellis, EAPS Development Officer, at aellis@mit.edu or 617-253-5796.

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As president of CME Energy, William J. Martin has participated in the successful development of community-focused, environmentally conscious private power, energy conservation and energy-related projects, either as lead developer, team member or financier in the United States, South America, Europe and North Africa. Prior to his work in the energy field, Mr. Martin was a leader in the effort to create accessibility for people with mobility challenges, particularly paraplegics and quadriplegics. MORE

Dan Cziczo's research group is interested in the interrelationship of particulate matter and cloud formation. His team utilizes laboratory and field studies to elucidate how small particles interact with water vapor to form droplets and ice crystals, which are important players in the Earth’s climate system. Experiments include using small cloud chambers in the laboratory to mimic atmospheric conditions that lead to cloud formation and observing clouds in situ from remote mountaintop sites or through the use of research aircraft. MORE

Michael Roesch's research focuses on the separation of droplets and ice crystals formed in clouds using virtual impaction technique.

Libby Koolik ’17 in the Cziczo lab at MIT