RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program US Forest Service - RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program

US Forest Service Research and Development


decorative green bar

Rocky Mountain Research Station
 RMRS Science Program Areas
 Air, Water and Aquatics Science Program
 Research Subject Areas
 Field Locations
About the Rocky Mountain Research Station

AWAE Program Headquarters
322 East Front St., Ste 401

Boise, ID 83702

(208) 373-4340


Rocky Mountain Research Station Headquarters

2150 Centre Ave., Bldg A
Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 295-5923

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


RMRS Home | Field Units | Research Subjects | Publication Search | Science for Kids | Contact Us


Atmospheric Sciences: awae research subject areas

Atmospheric Sciences image

Atmospheric science is the study of the atmosphere - the blanket of air covering the Earth. Atmospheric scientists study the atmosphere's physical characteristics, motions, processes, and the way in which these factors affect the rest of our environment in an attempt to identify and interpret climate trends, understand past weather, and analyze today's weather. Weather information and meteorological research are also applied in air-pollution control, agriculture, forestry, and the study of possible trends in the Earth's climate, such as

global warming, droughts, wildland fires and ozone depletion (bls.gov).


The primary focus at AWAE is on Atmospheric Deposition, which is the transfer of pollutants from the air to earth surfaces such as water and land through precipitation, absorption, falling particles, etc. and how this affects aquatic environments.

Scientists (profile pages)


bulletRobert Hubbard

bulletDan Isaak

bulletCharlie Luce



bulletJim McKean

bulletBob Musselman

bulletChuck Rhoades

bulletBruce Rieman


Subcategories (quick jump)

bulletAir Quality/Ozone/Atmospheric Deposition

bulletClimate Change


featured Science


Air Quality & Ozone

Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for people's health and for the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere. In the troposphere, the air closest to the Earth's surface, ground-level or "bad" ozone is a pollutant that is a significant health risk, especially for children with asthma. It also damages crops, trees and other vegetation. It is a main ingredient of urban smog.

The stratosphere, or "good" ozone layer extends upward from about 6 to 30 miles and protects life on Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This natural shield has been gradually depleted by man-made chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A depleted ozone shield allows more UV radiation to reach the ground, leading to more cases of skin cancer, cataracts, and other health and environmental problems (epa.gov | AirNow.gov)


Air Quality: Ozone

Air Quality in Mountain Ecosystems

The monitoring of ozone in remote ecosystems is problematic, since continuous ozone monitors need electric power to operate. Two solutions to this problem exist. The first is to use passive samplers to estimate ozone loading. Passive samplers utilize a chemical reaction of ozone with nitrite to form nitrate. The amount of nitrate indicates the amount of ozone loading. Nitrite-coated filters are exposed for 1-2 weeks and then analyzed for nitrate. The second method is to use portable battery powered ozone monitors for continuous monitoring of ozone in remote ecosystems.


Science Briefing


Research Subject Areas




bulletAquatic Ecology

bulletAtmospheric Sciences


bulletClimate Change




Fire & Fuels








Plant Physiology

bulletSediment & Erosion

bulletSpatial Analysis

bulletWater & Watershed Processes




Stream Temperature Modeling Website

River Bathymetry Toolkit (RBT)


Bull Trout and Climate Change - Risks, Uncertainties and Opportunities for Mapping the Future



Western Watersheds and Climate Change Workshop - November 17-19, 2009


Rocky Mountain Research Station - Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Sciences Program
Last Modified:  Thursday, 03 April 2014 at 18:36:38 CDT

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.