Hey there - welcome to my personal website. My name is Gaige Hunter Kerr. I'm a student, scientist, and freethinker. I use observations and experimentation to tackle and better understand complex questions in earth science. I like to learn, grow, and contribute.
I am a PhD student in the graduate program of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University, advised by Darryn Waugh. I am actively connected with the field of atmospheric sciences through internships and research appointments, by presenting at professional conferences, and through my involvement with local and national chapters of the American Meteorological Society.
I'm often found running the streets and trails of Baltimore or downing a pot of coffee and reading. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com and start scrolling and learn more about me.
Ozone (O3) and particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) are two of the principle air pollutants linked to increased morbidity and mortality [Racherla and Adams, 2006; Ebi and McGregor, 2008]. PM2.5 is a complex mixture of suspended aerosol particles (sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, organic and elemental carbon, dust, and sea salt) while O3 is formed when precursor species (i.e. NOx, CO, VOCs) undergo photochemical reactions. In the United States these two pollutants are most responsible for violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) [Fiore et al., 2015], thus making this topic of crucial importance. Changes in meteorology due to climate change and changes in emissions due to power demand and regulation create multiple competing effects for PM2.5 and O3 [Racherla and Adams, 2006], and the direction of future changes is unclear.
Historically, PM2.5 and O3 have been considered as separate problems although they are chemically coupled [Meng et al., 1997], but my research seeks to understand the coupled role of these pollutants. Moreover, because of the association of PM2.5 and O3 with meteorology and emissions as well as the impacts of these pollutants on public health and the environmental, my research is inherently interdisciplinary.
I solidified childhood interests in meteorology and climatology through my coursework at Cornell, and I graduated with a degree in Atmospheric Science and a minor in Music. My research focus under the supervision of Arthur DeGaetano was understanding the effects on climate change on forest fires.
As part of the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Arctic Atmospheric Science, I was fortunate to work with Norm O'Neill to analyze spectral aerosol optical depth curvature associated with Arctic and mid-latitude sites to test the presence of a brown carbon signal.
As a fellow with the NSF Integrative Graduate Education & Research Traineeship (IGERT) on Water, Health, and Climate, I aim to combine traditional earth sciences with the field of public health in my research. In addition to such research, I hone my teaching skill set through public outreach, and I savor spreading science through immersing children in authentic learning experiences. Click here for the latest copy of my curriculum vitae.
San Francisco, CA / 16 Dec 2014
Saratoga Springs, NY / 7 Mar 2015
New Orleans, LA / 11 Jan 2016
I'm passionate about outreach, progressive activism, and travel. Here is a sample of some of my favorite pictures to date, drawing from experiences I've had around the world. I am fortunate that these experiences provide a continuous source of motivation for my studies: mainly, to protect the natural world. I'm by no means a photographer, but I enjoy taking pictures of my experiences and being creative.