Dr. Jenny Hand

Research Scientist/Scholar III
Fort Collins, Colorado
National Park Service (NPS)


Jenny Hand received her double B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Kansas (1995) and her M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University. Her research interests include characterizing the physico-chemical, radiative, and hygroscopic properties of atmospheric aerosols using techniques ranging from single-particle analysis to remote sensing. She has investigated the role of aerosols in visibility degradation in national parks using novel techniques for analyzing in situ measurements of aerosol physical and optical properties. In 2001 she was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Advanced Studies Program at the National Center of Atmospheric Research where she studied the transport and deposition of mineral dust aerosols and bioavailable iron to the remote oceans using remote sensing and in situ observations and a global transport model. In 2003 she joined CIRA as a research scientist, working full time with the National Park Service (NPS) group. Since joining CIRA she has characterized the physical and optical properties of tar balls, a specific type of organic biomass smoke aerosol, using single particle analysis and bulk measurements. She has also examined the single particle characteristics and hygroscopic and optical properties of laboratory generated biomass smoke particles as part of the FLAME (Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment) study. In 2005 Jenny co-lead a project that included evaluating and refining protocols applied in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule, a mandate that tracks trends in visibility in protected visual environments. In 2005 and 2006 she served as a science mentor with the SOARS program and collaborated with a student to characterize dust sources in the under-studied desert regions of northern Mexico using remote sensing techniques. During 2012 she served as a science mentor to a student in the CMMAP program who examined trends in mineral dust concentrations across the Southwest. Currently she is involved in the analysis of long-term trends of major aerosol species at remote and urban sites across the U.S. This work also includes investigating the spatial and seasonal variations in urban and remote aerosols, including urban excess, using combined data from the IMPROVE and CSN networks. Jenny serves as the PI for the NPS/CIRA cooperative agreement.

Recent Work

March 12, 2014

Transmission electron microscopy image of a biomass smoke particle generated in a laboratory setting from the burning of Poplar. The particle is amorphous carbon surrounded by a layer of graphitic carbon, with spherules of graphitic carbon attached. Photo obtained at ...