HMT would like to welcome Jessie Creamean who has been part of the Boulder, CO team since October 2012. Jessie became involved with HMT through collaborative fieldwork with Dr. Marty Ralph's group at NOAA/ESRL during her Ph.D. research at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She was involved with the CalWater field campaign during the 2009-2011 winter seasons by investigating how aerosols serve as seeds for cloud formation and how they may influence precipitation in the California Sierra Nevada.As an NRC postdoctoral associate in Dr. Ralph's group, Jessie continues to investigate how aerosols form cloud droplets and ice by collecting rain and snow samples at various HMT sites in California, and chemically analyzing aerosols as insoluble residues in the precipitation using a technique called aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS). Jessie hopes to investigate long-term links between aerosols, cloud microphysics, and meteorology in the Sierra Nevada using a combination of in situ aerosol, satellite, and radar measurements.
Jessie received a B.A.S. in Chemistry and graduated with high distinction from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007. Her bachelor's thesis in inorganic chemistry titled, "Bi- and Tri-dentate Phopshine Compounds as Ligands for Metal Centers" earned her the Proctor & Gamble Research Award. Her interests in the environment and climate change led her to attend graduate school at UCSD, where she earned her Ph.D. in chemistry (specializing in atmospheric chemistry) under Prof. Kimberly Prather in 2012. Her thesis titled, "The Impact of Meteorological Conditions and Variation in Chemical Composition of Aerosols on Regional Cloud Formation" investigated aerosols as cloud seeds in various regions, such as Riverside, CA; Atlanta, GA; and a remote site called Sugar Pine in the Sierra Nevada. Her fieldwork focused on how pollution aerosols form small cloud droplets that may suppress precipitation, while dust aerosols transported far distances can form cloud ice crystals, which are generally thought to enhance precipitation. Although larger-scale dynamics play a large role in controlling precipitation location and intensity, she hopes to develop a better understanding of the role aerosols play in precipitation formation.