Dr. Dale F. Hurst
Dale F. Hurst earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry (cum laude) from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), in 1983. He was a laboratory researcher at UCI until September 1984, when he enrolled in the graduate program in chemistry at UCI under the research supervision of Professor F. Sherwood Rowland. Dale earned his Masters of Science (1987) and Doctor of Philosophy (1990) degrees in chemistry with specialization in atmospheric chemistry. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Seasonal Variations in the Latitudinal Distribution of Tropospheric Carbon Monoxide, 1986-1988, was a 3-year, seasonal study of carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations in approximately 50 remote locations over the latitude range 72°N to 47°S. This project entailed the design, construction, and use of a gas chromatographic system to measure background tropospheric mixing ratios (30 to 200 ppb) of CO in flask samples collected quarterly from remote locations in the Pacific region by members of the research group.
In 1990 Dale was awarded a 3-year Australian Research Council Fellowship to study trace gas emissions from biomass fires in Australia with Dr. David Griffith at the University of Wollongong. Work was undertaken to develop gas-phase and matrix-isolation Fourier-transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy techniques to measure trace gases in smoke samples. Smoke from biomass fires was typically collected using aircraft outfitted with a Teflon sampling bag from which parallel gas- and condensed-phase samples were withdrawn. During 1991-1992, two extensive field campaigns were conducted in northern Australia to sample numerous savanna fires. The first was based on “fire seeking” where a Fokker F-27 aircraft flew around Australia’s “top end” for several days looking for large savanna fire plumes to sample. The second campaign was conducted at an ecological fire study site (Kapalga Station) in Kakadu National Park, using small aircraft to sample smoke from large-scale prescribed burns of station compartments.
In 1993 Dale was awarded a National Research Council (USA) Fellowship at NOAA/CMDL to build a 4-channel gas chromatograph (GC) for the WITN tall tower site in Grifton, North Carolina. Autonomous GC measurements of 12 trace gases from the 496 m tall television transmission tower began in late 1994. During 1995 he built a similar instrument for a second tall tower (WLEF) in Park Falls, Wisconsin. These towers are located in rural areas intermittently influenced by pollution from distant urban centers. Pollution data from both tower GCs were used to quantify regional emissions of halocarbons and other anthropogenic gases, as well as to report a reduction in U.S. emissions of halocarbons as a result of the Montreal Protocol. Natural emissions of methane (CH4) and sinks of hydrogen (H2) were also assessed from the WLEF tower GC data.
Dale has been the lead Ph.D. for ACATS-IV since September 1997 and has worked since that time to steadily improve the instrument by increasing measurement rates, detecting additional trace gases, and generally increasing its dependability during science missions. Working with ACATS-IV has given Dale the opportunity to work in several remote locations including Fairbanks, Alaska and Kiruna, Sweden, and to take a two-week, 17,000 km ride on the trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and Khabarovsk, Russia.
Aside from two Fellowships, Dale has received several awards for his scientific and outreach work including the American Institute of Chemists Award (1983), Outstanding Student Speaker Award, UC Irvine (1989), honorary membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Lambda Upsilon (1983), and four NASA Group Achievement Awards for airborne science missions (1993-2001). In 2000, he and his “airborne science” colleagues Pavel Romashkin, Fred Moore, and Eric Ray were awarded the CIRES Members’ Council Award of Excellence.
This page was updated on May 13, 2002