After growing up in the American Central Plains and Boise, Idaho, I relocated to beautiful Boulder, Colorado to study mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado. Little did I know that I would end up staying in Boulder for the next decade earning my B.S., M.S., and PhD in mechanical engineering while working with many wonderful engineers and scientists in the air quality community. I am currently a post-doc at CU researching ambient aerosols and dust, hospital infection control, indoor air quality, and the built environment microbiome.
I blame my love of the environmental sciences on my fifth-grade science teacher, Mr. Cornell, who gathered a group of students to work on a science project outside of class and present the project with high school students at a local college. Our project was about how electronics are recycled and the importance of keeping electronics out of landfills. In high school I co-founded the Environment Club and was fascinated by chemistry and physics, which lead to studying engineering in college.
While attending the University of Colorado Boulder, I got involved in air quality research through the Discovery Learning Apprenticeship and worked on a UV-C disinfection project for public transportation. Just before graduating with my undergraduate degree, I began working on my PhD research project, the Colorado Coarse Rural-Urban Sources and Health (CCRUSH) study, a three-year air quality monitoring project aimed at understanding coarse and fine particulate matter concentrations in rural and urban communities in Colorado. The CCRUSH study included long-term mass concentration monitoring at three locations using the TEOM 1405-DF, a year of filter sample collection for composition analyses using an in-house built dichotomous sampler, and an epidemiological study.
As a post doc, my research focus shifted towards infection control and indoor air quality. I am currently working on designing a temporary isolation ward to increase hospital surge capacity and analyzing a large indoor air quality data set from 15 homes in Boulder County. Future research directions include studies of: indoor and outdoor air quality, dust emissions, hospital infection control and contamination transport, bioaerosols and the microbiome, applied statistics in air quality, data visualization, and open dissemination of air quality data.