Chris Hamm, 2014, Environmental Engineering

As a part of the Zondlo Group, I worked in the lab and in the field to accurately measure ice supersaturation and cirrus cloud formation in the lower stratosphere. I traveled to Salina, Kansas to take part in the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) Campaign to help maintain our water vapor detecting instrument, the VCSEL hygrometer, as it was flown over the western U.S. Working in conjunction with NASA, the National Science Foundation and several other research groups, we obtained a wealth of data, tracking the chemistry of the inflow and outflow of deep convective storms to gain a better understanding of the role of convection in the chemistry of the lower stratosphere. I spent the rest of the summer in the lab at Princeton, working with data from the campaign and designing systems to calibrate our instrument. I came away from my experience with an understanding of the importance of scientific research in gauging the rate of climate change and the impact we have on our planet. I am going to keep working with Professor Zondlo throughout the year, and plan to use my experience this summer to start my junior independent research in the spring.