Dr. Judith C. Chow

Research Professor Atmospheric Science
4a7564792e43686f77406472692e656475
775-674-7050
Air Quality, Atmospheric Chemistry, Black Carbon, Elemental Carbon, Organic Carbon, Particulate Matter

Background and Professional Interests

Dr. Judith C. Chow is a Research Professor, holding the Nazir and Mary Ansari Chair in Entrepreneurialism and Science in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at the Desert Research Institute (DRI).  She has over 38 years of experience in atmospheric, air quality, and environmental health research and education. As principal of DRI’s Environmental Analysis Facility (EAF), she leads a group of ~30 research scientists and technicians in developing and applying advanced analytical methods to characterize suspended atmospheric particles for source apportionment and their effects on visibility and health. Dr. Chow is also on the physics and chemistry graduate faculties at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where she advises graduate students working on advanced degrees in environmental studies.

Recent research includes: 1) Development and commercialization of a multiwavelength thermal/optical carbon analyzer; 2) real-world emissions factors and chemical profiles for sources in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region; 3) Organic and elemental carbon measurements for the U.S. IMPROVE and CSN particulate monitoring networks; 4) Long-term chemical speciation for the the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the state of Texas; and 5) Research on the quantification and chemical properties of brown carbon. 

Dr. Chow is the principal author or co-author of more than 350 peer-reviewed journal articles, 100 book chapters and conference proceeding articles, and more than 220 technical reports.  She is one of four Nevada researchers to be listed as highly cited by Thompson-Reuters. She has been principal investigator or a major collaborator on more than 50 large atmospheric studies and many smaller ones, and has managed contracts for carbon analysis for the National Park Service’s Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) since 1987 and EPA's Speciation Trends Network since 2008. 

Dr. Chow was appointed to EPA's seven-member Clean Air Science Advisory Committee in 2015.  She was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS)/National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter that was formed at the request of Congress to identify the most important research priorities relevant to setting particulate matter standards, to develop a conceptual plan for particulate-matter research, and, over five years, to monitor research progress toward improved understanding of the relationship between particulate matter and public health. She completed a three-year term on the NRC’s Board of Environmental Sciences and Toxicology. She was a member of the recent U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Energy Futures and Air Pollution in China and the United States, which completed its study in 2007. She served on the Board of directors for  the Air & Waste Management Association, chaired the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, and is currently a co-editor-for Aerosol and Air Quality Research and Particuology. Dr. Chow is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese and English.

Research Areas

  • Ambient Air and Source Sampling
  • Chemical and Physical Analysis of Suspended Particulate Matter
  • Field Study Design and Management 
  • Source Apportionment Modeling and Impact Assessment

Important Research Projects

  • California’s Fresno Supersite
  • California Regional PM 2.5/PM10 Air Quality Study (CRPAQS)
  • National Park Service’s Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environments (IMPROVE)
  • EPA's Chemical Speciation Network (CSN) analysis for carbon and ions
  • Air Quality effects on Historical Artifacts in Xi’an, China
  • Air Quality and Health in Tong Liang, China
  • Source Characterization of Oil Sands in Canada

 

Laboratory

 Education

DegreeYearInstitutionArea
Sc.D. 1985 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Environmental Science and Physiology
M.S. 1983 Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Environmental Health Sciences
B.S. 1974 Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taiwan Biology

Professional Experience

DatesExperience
2007-present Title
Nazir and Mary Ansari Chair in Entrepreneurialism and Science, Division
of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV
1992-present Research Professor, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research
Institute, Reno, NV
1989-1992 Associate Research Professor, Energy and Environmental Engineering
Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV
1985-1989 Assistant Research Professor, Energy and Environmental Engineering
Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV
1982-1985 Environmental Consultant, Environmental Research and Technology, Inc.,
Concord, MA
1982-1985 Technical Interpreter, Environmental Research and Technology, Inc.,
Concord, MA; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1982-1985 Research Fellow, Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston,
MA
1982-1984 Research Assistant, Energy and Environmental Policy Center, Kennedy
School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1977-1982 Environmental Scientist and Chemist, Environmental Research and
Technology, Inc., Concord, MA
1976-1977 Chemistry Technician, Soil Science Department, North Carolina State
University, Raleigh, NC
1974-1976 Biology and Health Science Teacher, Dominican High School and Chin-
Ching Junior High School, Kaohsiung, Taiwan