Judith Chow Profile Photo
Dr. Judith Chow
Research Professor, Atmospheric Science

Background and Professional Interests

Dr. Judith C. Chow, Nazir and Mary Ansari Chair in Entrepreneurialism and Science and Research Professor in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at the Desert Research Institute (DRI; http://www.dri.edu), has more than 40 years of experience in atmospheric, air quality, and environmental health research and education. Dr. Chow is a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Atmospheric Sciences Program in the Department of Physics at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where she advises graduate students working on Masters and Doctoral degrees. As founder and leader of DRIs Environmental Analysis Facility (EAF), she heads a group of research scientists and technicians in developing and applying advanced analytical methods to characterize suspended atmospheric particles for source attribution and their effects on health, climate, visibility, ecosystems, and cultural artifacts. Her current strategic priorities include expansion of EAF capabilities to obtain more information from archived samples of existing monitoring networks using thermal and mass spectrometric technologies; improving detection of brown carbon in speciation network samples; applying microsensors to human exposure estimates and fugitive dust control; and simulating source profile changes using a photochemical flow tube reactor. Current and recent projects include assessment of contributions from seaport operations to adverse air quality in southern California; measuring real-world emissions in Canada’s Oil Sands Region; designing air quality networks in developing countries for the World Bank; and evaluating effects of photochemical aging on biomass burning emissions. She has been principal investigator or a major collaborator on more than 50 large atmospheric studies and many smaller ones. During her career at DRI, Dr. Chow has established cooperative agreements and collaborative research projects with environmental scientists in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Croatia, Italy, South Africa, and Antarctica. Her research leadership crosses traditional university departmental lines involving chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, biostatisticians, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and physicians. Dr. Chow is the principal author or co-author of >590 journal articles, book chapters, and printed conference papers and >260 technical reports. She has been recognized by ISIHighlyCited.com in ecology and environment, with more than 28,000 citations and an h-index of 83, and is one of Stanford Universitys Top 2% of the Worlds Most Cited Scientists.

Dr. Chow was re-appointed to as one of seven chartered members on the U.S. EPA’sClean Air Science Advisory Committee in 2021, after previous service from 2015-2018. She was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS)/National Research Councils (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 NRCs Board of Environmental Sciences and Toxicology. She was a member of the 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 forthe 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

  • Californias Fresno Supersite
  • California Regional PM2.5/PM10Air Quality Study (CRPAQS)
  • National Park Services 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 Xian, China
  • Air Quality and Health in Tong Liang, China
  • Source Characterization of Oil Sands in Canada



Degree Year Institution Area
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

Dates Experience
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,
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


Air Quality, Atmospheric Chemistry, Black Carbon, Elemental Carbon, Organic Carbon, Particulate Matter