Author Archives: dlommers

Jaffe elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Dan-Jaffe-in -snow-in-front-of-mountainCongratulations to Dan Jaffe on his election to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS)! Jaffe was elected by members of the WSAS and recognized “for leadership in monitoring and understanding the global transport of atmospheric pollutants from energy production, wildfire, and other sources, as well as science communication and service that has informed citizens and enhanced public policy.” Jaffe has been at UW Bothell since 1997 and is also a professor at UW Seattle in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. His research focuses on atmospheric chemistry, ozone photochemistry, wildfire smoke, and the long-range transport of pollutants. He has operated the Mt. Bachelor Observatory research station in Bend, Oregon, since 2004.

New members to the WSAS were chosen for “their outstanding record of scientific and technical achievement, and their willingness to work on behalf of the Academy to bring the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington,” according to the WSAS press release.

The WSAS is a not-for-profit organization that provides expert scientific and technical information to inform issues and public policy making in the state of Washington. It was established in 2005 and currently has over 300 elected members, all residing in Washington State.

Smoky summer ahead?

Last summer was a smoke-filled one in Washington State. Will this summer be similar? Well, the drought conditions in Washington State have led to forests and grasslands filled with wildfire fuel. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, now is the time to prepare for the possibility of a smoky summer. Dan Jaffe was interviewed by KUOW recently and advised residents to get prepared. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to actually do a pretty good job of protecting your indoor air quality.” You can make a simple smoke filter for your home with a box fan and a furnace filter.

Listen and read the KUOW report

Learn how to make an air purifier for your home


Low-cost filtration method improves air quality during smoke events—see the new paper


A new paper by group members Dr. Nate May, Clara Dixon, and Dr. Dan Jaffe evaluates the effectiveness of low-cost air filter units during wildfire smoke events. The increased wildland fire activity in the western US in recent years produces high concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which negatively affects the health of millions of people. During wildfire smoke events, staying indoors is often recommended. However, how good is indoor air quality during smoke events? The authors looked at PM2.5 measurements from the PurpleAir sensor network, a publicly available network of low-cost air quality sensors located indoors and outdoors. They also analyzed the effectiveness of residential filter units in reducing indoor PM2.5. One low-cost DIY filtration method consists of attaching a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value-13 (MERV-13) fan filter to a standard box fan. This method was found to be highly effective at reducing indoor PM2.5 when recirculating air in a single room.

Read the full paper in Aerosol and Air Quality Research

See the video on how to make your own air purifier at home

A new age of wildfires

wildire in Pacific Northwest

Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

A new article on the University of Washington website looks at the growing severity of wildfires and the broad research that the university is doing on their impacts. The article highlights the work that we do on wildfires’ effects on air quality. Also featured is the Joel Thornton lab at UW Seattle and the work of other UW researchers who study wildfires and forests.

Faculty and students install instruments at Mt. Bachelor Observatory.

Claire Buysse and Dan Jaffe set up radiometers to measure UV light on the top of Mt. Bachelor Observatory, August 2019. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

In the summer of 2019, UW photographer Mark Stone visited Mt. Bachelor Observatory, as well as other research sites, and captured the UW’s research in stunning photographs.

Read the article.

Mt. Bachelor Observatory

Mt. Bachelor Observatory research site at the top of Mt. Bachelor, Bend, Oregon, August 2019. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

New post-doc Nate May joins group!

Nate_May_new_post-docWe are pleased to announce that Nate May has joined our group as a post-doctoral scholar! In his new position, Nate will be utilizing his atmospheric aerosol research experience to study indoor air quality, including the impacts of wildfire smoke events, and to contribute to the ongoing field studies at the Mount Bachelor Observatory. Nate is looking forward to “the opportunity to do field work at the Mount Bachelor Observatory and contribute to research on the increasingly important issue of air quality, and more generally returning to atmospheric research after teaching for the past two years.”

Nate received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. His dissertation research focused on the production, transport, and chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols generated from wave breaking in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

Originally from Poulsbo, Washington, Nate is a Pacific NW native and enjoys supporting the Seattle Sounders. In his free time, he can also be found hiking, biking, kayaking, baking, cooking, and spending time with his partner, Gloria, and puppy, Juniper.

We look forward to welcoming Nate in person in the not-too-distant future and hope to sample some of his culinary treats. Welcome, Nate! We are so glad to have you as part of our research team.