CGRER 25th Anniversary Profiles: Vicki Grassian

Vicki Grassian has been on the University of Iowa faculty since 1990 (Department of Chemistry/University of Iowa)

Nick Fetty | September 11, 2015

Biology may the first field of science that comes to mind when thinking about environmental research but chemistry too plays an important role according to UI professor and CGRER member Vicki Grassian.

“My research focuses on the chemistry and impacts of particles from micro- to nanoscale. This includes the chemistry of atmospheric aerosols – i.e. particulate matter in the air,” she said.

In addition to being a CGRER member, Grassian also serves as the co-director for the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE) which is through the National Science Foundation’s Center for Chemical Innovation. Recently, Grassian has been focusing specifically on the study of mineral dust and sea spray aerosols. She said she focuses not only the impact that aerosols have on the environment but also on public health.

“Understanding the molecular basis of the natural and human-impacts environment is a grand challenge that ties into nearly all areas including the ozone hole in the stratosphere to the health impacts of air pollution.”

Grassian has been at the University of Iowa since 1990 and has held the F. Wendall Miller Professorship in the College of Engineering since 2010. She became involved with CGRER shortly after its founding in 1990 and said that centers such as CGRER are not only benefits scientists and researchers but also the general public.

“CGRER brings together people with different backgrounds to work on important research projects related to the global and regional environment. This enables faculty, staff, and students to work on problems that they might not have able to by themselves,” she said. “CGRER also hosts a number of events to inform the general public and Iowans in particular about environmental concerns.”

This article is part of a series of stories profiling CGRER members in commemoration of the center’s 25th anniversary this October.

CGRER Research Focus – Betsy Stone

Betsy Stone, and assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s Chemistry department, discusses her research tracking air pollution in Iowa City.

For more CGRER Research Focus videos, check out our Youtube channel.