Kerri Pratt

Pratt_Kerri_sqKerri is passionate about the Arctic, where climate change is occurring most rapidly.  She recently published a study in Nature Geoscience showing that the surface snowpack is a major source of atmospheric bromine in the Arctic springtime following polar sunrise.  The results of this study are important because they point to atmospheric chemistry feedbacks between the sea ice, precipitation, and atmosphere.  These results, from outdoor snow chamber and aircraft-based measurements, are from the NASA Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) held in March-April 2012 near Barrow, Alaska.  She hosts a blog about their adventures during the field campaign, which also included outreach to the local elementary school, another topic for which Kerri is passionate.  For Kerri, conducting research in the Arctic was a dream come true that she plans to continue in her faculty career!IMG_1751 As a Goldwater and Udall Scholar, Kerri received a B.S. with honors in Chemistry with a watersheds and water resources minorfrom Penn State, where she conducted research on the fate of perfluorinated polymers in the environment using nuclear magnetic resonance.  She received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, where she completed her dissertation in the lab of Prof. Kim Prather as a NSF graduate research fellow and EPA STAR fellow.  Her primary project was the development and field-based testing of the aircraft aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer.  Beyond Arctic photochemistry studies, Kerri hasstudied a variety of atmospheric chemistry topics, including the interactions of urban pollution with trace gases emitted from trees, clouds (including a 2009 Nature Geoscience paper), reactions in wildfire plumes, and urban air pollution.  Her research approach is through the field experiments and simplified modeling to improve our understanding of the chemical interactions of atmospheric trace gases, particles, and clouds. IMG_0964Kerri joined ESWN as a graduate student and has appreciated learning about how to thrive as a woman in science!  She is most at home in the mountains, where she enjoys backpacking and skiing.  Her greatest passion is mentoring students, the reason that she is pursuing a career as a professor.  Kerri loves field collaborations and is always looking for a reason to conduct research in exciting, new locations!

Kerri Pratt - Spotlight