Contact information: Phone: (870) 972 3215

Heterogeneous Environmental Chemistry


The increase in earth’s temperature has resulted in the worldwide decrease in precipitation (i.e rainfall). This effect has a major role in two of very important atmospheric processes.

  • Decreased precipitation results in reduced wet deposition of pollutants from the atmosphere. These reduced deposition rates have resulted in an increase in air pollutants and consequently reduced air quality.  Coupled with an increase in anthropogenic activities (automobiles, industries etc.) which produce pollutants at an alarming rate, the air quality has significantly been affected. This has adverse effects on all living organisms, who depend on clean air to stay healthy.

  • Decreased precipitation has also resulted in reduced water for irrigation purposes. This has placed added pressure on farmers to keep up production with the ever increasing demand for food.  This pressure has led farmers to digging deeper water wells for irrigation (reducing our finite freshwater resources) and supplementing that with fertilizers (to increase farm production). All these factors contribute to a decrease in water quality due to contamination.

My research involves studying these two interelated problems : increase air pollution due to reduced air quality (heterogenous particle chemistry) and increase in water contamination due to increases in fertilizer use (groundwater contamination studies).

Heterogeneous Particle Chemistry

Air pollution and the resulting deteriorating air quality greatly influence our climate and our health respectively.  Aerosol particles play a significant, but poorly understood, role in the chemistry of the atmosphere ( above land or over oceans/seas).


My research:

  • Investigates how organic aerosol particles interact with sunlight, water and atmospheric gases in manipulating the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

  • Investigates the dynamics of the marine chemistry above and below the sea/ocean by tracking the chemistry of sulphonated species.  

  • Analyzes the air quality in and around Jonesboro, AR, using air and particle collectors.

BalloonSAT program at ASU

With the support from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) and NASA EPSCoR, we launch weather balloons into the lower stratosphere (an altitude of about 87,000 feet), carrying payloads that are equipped with instrumentation that measure light intensity, absolute and relative humidity, temperature, and ozone concentration as a function of altitude. 



Pre launch: Weather balloon filled with helium

Launch! Weather balloon with payload containers


We recently launched our new payload container that will collect aerosol particles for analysis in the laboratory. These "vertical profile" aerosol measurements would provide important information both on the chemical and physical properties of aerosols, and most importantly help us understand the underlying mechanisms of vital atmospheric processes.

These data can also provide essential information on the global distribution of aerosols to help understand the impact of aerosols on atmospheric processes, for the purposes of predicting weather and climate, as well as for monitoring the transport of industrial pollution.

More research is ongoing to improve the overall accuracy of the collection and analysis of the balloon aerosol data. For more information about the weather balloon launch dates, success stories, collected data and images, visit :


Groundwater Contamination Studies

Concern for pollution developed alongside concerns for the environment in general.  The advent of automobiles, increased chemical wastes and accumulation of garbage in landfills created awareness among the public that was aimed at decreasing pollution. Among the types of pollution, the one that has existed longer than any other is water pollution. Its consequences are readily seen when pollutants reach groundwater reservoirs, creating serious health hazards to people drinking the water.

Groundwater contaminants can come from municipal landfills, leaking gasoline storage tanks, leaking septic tanks, and accidental spills and are examples of what we call point sources. Infiltration from farm land treated with pesticides and fertilizers is an example of a non-point source.

Jonesboro AR is sorrounded by farms (rice, corn, soybeans) which use alot of fertilizers and water. My research and outreach efforts are geared towards helping farmers understand the issues involved with water usage and hopefully (hopefully) change their farming methods to improve water conservation.

My research :

  • Investigates adsorption characteristics of contaminants like arsenates and emerging persistent organic compounds (EPOCs) on the surface of several adsorbents ( iron oxides, titanium oxides and selected carbonates).
  • We also collect water samples from Creeks in and around Jonesboro AR, to test for several contaminant levels.

  • We use chromatographic (IC, GC) and spectroscopic (IR, ATR, NMR) techniques for our analysis.