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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( July 1, 1997)
SDSM& T A PART OF NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION RESEARCH PROJECT ON SULFUR DIOXIDE
Scientists from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are involved with a National Science Foundation research project involving sulfur dioxide. Part II of the Gaseous Sulfur Intercomparison Experiment ( GASIE) is a three- year, $ 324,000 project designed to study different measurement methods for sulfur dioxide at ultra- trace concentrations in air. The project director of GASIE is Dr. Sherry Farwell, SDSM& T’s Dean of Graduate Education and Sponsored Programs.
The amount of sulfur dioxide and other sulfur gases in the air is a very important factor in determining atmospheric and environmental conditions. Some sulfur gases are produced naturally by various processes in the oceans and on land, and others are produced by human activities. Being able to accurately measure very minute levels of sulfur dioxide is an important factor in the scientific study of haze and visibility, acid precipitation, cloud formation, radiative effects, and global climate change.
Scientists from the University of Alaska- Fairbanks recently spent four weeks on the Tech campus working with SDSM& T scientists on Phase II of GASIE to achieve a more rigorous test of measuring sulfur dioxide in air by quantifying and improving their measurement methods. This analytical performance characterization work conducted at SDSM& T is an adjunct to similar research done during Phase I of GASIE at the University of Delaware in 1994. Dr. Farwell’s research group was also directly involved in the 1994 GASIE study.
SDSM& T was selected to participate in the NSF- sponsored research project because of its expertise in accomplishing the very difficult task of precisely diluting atmospheric sulfur gases from parts per million to known parts per trillion levels. Sulfur gases are more difficult to dilute to very minute levels than other atmospheric compounds. Dr. Richard Benner, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, said he came to Tech to take advantage of SDSM& T’s “ world- class facility” and its abilities in producing ultra- trace concentrations of atmospheric sulfur gases. South Dakota Tech’s equipment also can be used to produce ultra- trace concentrations of other volatile atmospheric compounds.
The sulfur dioxide measurements taken by the University of Alaska scientists will be compared by an independent GASIE review committee with the actual amounts of sulfur dioxide in the air produced by the SDSM& T dilution apparatus. Dr. Douglas MacTaggart, SDSM& T Research Scientist, said the NSF research project was very important in establishing verification of the measurement process before conducting real world atmospheric measurements. Other scientists involved with the research project include: Dr. David Crosley, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California; Dr. Paul Goldan, NOAA Aeronomy Lab, Boulder, CO; Lee Bamesberger, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University, Pullman; Dennis Nicks, graduate student in Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Teresa Corbin, graduate student in the Atmospheric, Environmental, and Water Resources program at SDSM& T.
SDSM& T received funding from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences to equip and maintain a laboratory that provides national and international scientists with the opportunity to conduct evaluations of their measurement instruments and methods. For additional information about SDSM& T’s role in this National Science Foundation research project, contact Dr. Sherry Farwell, SDSM& T Dean of Graduate Education and Sponsored Programs, at 394- 2493.
( fs1/ programs/ dept/ univrel/ pressrele/ 0697/ GASIE NSF Research fax/ stwd)
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