Dr. John G. Watson

Research Professor Atmospheric Science
Air Quality, Chemical Mass Balance, Emission Inventory, Particulate Matter, Receptor Modeling, Source Apportionment, Source Characterization, Visibility

Professional Interests

Dr. Watsons recent research includes: 1) evaluating, characterizing, and advancing methods to measure carbonaceous material in suspended particles; 2) developing and applying real-world, multipollutant emission measurement technologies; and 3) designing and conducting aerosol characterization and source apportionment studies. He is currently participating in studies on the emissions in the oil sands region of northern Canada, engine exhaust characterization in Hong Kong, and commercialization of a multi-wavelength thermal/optical aerosol carbon analyzer. These projects involve supervision and mentoring of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Watson was principal investigator or co-investigator for more than 120 major and minor air quality studies. These include: 1) real-world emissions characterization in the Athabasca Oils Sands Region of Canada; 2) the Fresno Supersite; 3) the California Regional PM10/PM2.5 Air Quality Study (CRPAQS); 4) the Department of Defense (SERDP) diesel source characterization study; 5) the San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Study and Atmospheric Utilities Signatures, Predictions and Experiments; 6) the Imperial Valley/Mexicali Cross Border PM10 Transport Study; 7) the Mt. Zirkel Visibility Study; 8) the Northern Front Range Air Quality Study; 9) the Mexico City aerosol characterization study, and numerous smaller studies. He has participated in PM2.5 and PM10 control strategy development in various western states. He developed EPAs Chemical Mass Balance receptor modeling software and prepared EPA monitoring guidelines for PM2.5 and PM10.National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Dr. Watson has authored or co-authored more than 325 journal publications, more than 120 book chapters, and more than 250 full technical reports. He is one of 250 highly-cited authors in the energy and environment section of ISIHighlyCited.com with more than 9800 citations to his work. Dr. Watson co-chaired the National Academy of Engineering panel on Energy Futures and Urban Air Pollution Challenges for China and the United States and was a member of the National Academy of Science panel on New Source Review for Stationary Sources of Air Pollution. He authored the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) 2002 critical review on Visibility: Science and Regulation, and has served on the A&WMA Critical Review committee since 1982. Dr. Watson is fluent in the English and Spanish languages

Prior to joining DRI, Dr. Watson was a Senior Environmental Scientist at Environmental Research and Technology, Inc. (ERT) (now ENSR Consulting and Engineering), where he played a major role in the Electric Power Research Institute's Eastern Regional Air Quality Studies (ERAQS), the Sulfate Regional Experiment (SURE), the 1978 Denver Winter Haze Study, and the interpretation of data from EPA's Inhalable Particulate Network. He also organized and conducted the Quail Roost I Receptor Model Workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Watson was a Research Fellow at the Oregon Graduate Center, where he was technical manager of the Portland Aerosol Characterization Study (PACS). During this time he developed cost-effective procedures for sequential aerosol sampling systems, as well as better procedures for applying x-ray fluorescence, neutron activation, ion chromatography, and carbon analysis techniques to examination of aerosol samples. Prior to returning to graduate school, Dr. Watson taught Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry to prospective and in-service teachers in Chiclayo, Peru, as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps.

Research Areas

  • Source Apportionment
  • Visibility
  • Particle Sampling and Analysis
  • Field Study Design and Management
  • Motor Vehicle and Fugitive Dust Emissions



Ph.D. 1979 Oregon Graduate Institute Environmental Sciences
M.S. 1974 University of Toledo Physics
B.A. 1970 State University of New York at Brockport Physics

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