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Atmospheric Science

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Shane Murphy, Assistant Professor

Room 6072, Engineering Building
Office Phone: (307) 766-6408
Visit Dr. Murphy's personal website


  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Minor in Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2000
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering,Minor in Environmental Science, California Institute of Technology, 2009

Research Statement

The Murphy research group makes novel field measurements with cutting edge instrumentation that advance the science of atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and climate. Measurements are made from our groups’ mobile laboratory and from airborne platforms. The group has two focus areas: 1.) Absorbing Aerosols and 2.) Methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) Emissions from Energy Development. Black carbon and other absorbing aerosols are thought to be the third most important post-industrial warming agent in atmosphere after carbon dioxide and methane. Despite this, there remains significant uncertainty regarding the magnitude of absorbing aerosol emissions and optical properties. Our groups’ field measurements reduce these uncertainties. Methane and VOC emissions from oil and gas extraction are significantly larger than inventory estimates and impact climate and air quality. Our group quantifies fluxes of these species and identifies ways to reduce fugitive emissions.

Current Projects/Research Areas

  • Mobile measurements of aerosol emissions from biomass burning in the Western U.S.
  • VOC and methane emissions from facilities in the Upper Green River Basin, WY.

Selected Publications:

  • Pokhrel, R. P., Wagner, N. L., Langridge, J. M., Lack, D. A., Jayarathne, T., Stone, E. A., Stockwell, C. E., Yokelson, R. J., and Murphy, S. M.: Parameterization of Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) and Absorption Angstrom Exponent (AAE) with EC/OC for Aerosol Emissions from Biomass Burning, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-184, 2016. (accepted to ACP)
  • Warneke, C., Veres, P. R., Murphy, S. M., Soltis, J., Field, R. A., Graus, M. G., Koss, A., Li, S.-M., Li, R., Yuan, B., Roberts, J. M., and de Gouw, J. A.: PTR-QMS vs. PTR-TOF comparison in a region with oil and natural gas extraction industry in the Uintah Basin in 2013, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 8, 411-420, 2015.
  • Field, R.A.; Soltis, J.; McCarthy, M.C.; Murphy, S.M.; Montague, D.C., “Influence of oil and gas field operations on spatial and temporal distributions of atmospheric non-methane hydrocarbons and their effect on ozone formation in winter” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15, 3527-3542, 2015.
  • Edwards, P.M.; et al. (authors include Murphy, S.M.), “High Winter Ozone Generated by Carbonyl Photolysis in a Shale Gas and Oil Producing Region” Nature 514, 351–354, doi:10.1038/nature13767, 2014.
  • Field, R.A.; Soltis, J.; Murphy, S. M. , “Air quality concerns of unconventional oil and natural gas production” Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 2014,16, 954-969 DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00081A, 2014

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