Participating Students - Shelley Pressley

Shelley Pressley
Washington State University
Enrollment Year: 2000
Email Address: spressley at
Atmospheric Mentor: Brian Lamb, Washington State University
Biosphere Mentor: Peter Curtis, The Ohio State University

Research Topics
Isoprene Flux Measurements Above a Northern Hardwood Forest

Isoprene is an important trace gas species that is naturally emitted by various vegetation and it affects the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere.  Isoprene emissions are regulated by many environmental variables; the most important variables are thought to be temperature and light.  The proposed work seeks to improve our understanding of isoprene emissions from forest ecosystems as a basis for advancing our ability to describe the role of isoprene in regional and global atmospheric chemical cycles.

This research will continue the isoprene flux measurements made during the three previous years at the Program for Research on Oxidants: Photochemistry, Emissions, and Transport (PROPHET)/Ameriflux site, located at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS).  Measurements involve employing a fast isoprene analyzer along with fast CO2, water vapor, and temperature sensors to obtain continuous flux measurements above the canopy throughout the growing season.

One specific objective of this research is to explore a potential relationship between the surface energy budget (primarily sensible heat flux) and isoprene emissions.  Our hypothesis is that the surface energy flux is a better model parameter for isoprene emissions at the canopy scale than temperature and light levels, and the link to the surface energy budget will provide a significant improvement in isoprene emission models.  Since surface energy budgets are an integral part of meteorological models, this will significantly improve our ability to describe the role of isoprene in regional and global atmospheric chemical cycles.

Shelley's Washington State University Website

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