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Atmospheric Science

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Shane Murphy, Associate Professor

Room 6072, Engineering Building
Office Phone: (307) 766-6408
Visit: Centers of Excellence - Air Quality


  • 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:

*Indicates graduate student author

  • Bell, C.S.; Vaughn, T.L.; Daube, C; Edie, R.*; Field, R.A.; Heath, G.A.; Herndon, S.C.; Knighton, W.B.; Murphy, S.M.; Pétron, G.; Pickering, C.; Robertson, A.M.*; Roscioli , J.R.; Soltis, J.; Yacovitch, T.L.; Zimmerle, D., “Reconciliation of methane emission estimates from multiple measurement techniques at natural gas production pads” Submitted to Elementa, 2017
  • Robertson, A.M.*; Edie, R*; Snare, D.*; Soltis, J; Field, R.A.; Burkhart, M.D.; Bell, C.S.; Zimmerle, D.; Murphy, S.M., “Variation in Methane Emission Rates from Well Pads in Four Oil and Gas Basins with Contrasting Production Volumes and Compositions” Environ. Sci. Technol., 51(15), 2017
  • Pokhrel, R.P.*; Beamesderfer, E.R.*; Wagner, N. L.; Langridge, J. M.; Lack, D. A.; Jayarathne, T.; Stone, E.A.; Stockwell, C. E.; Yokelson, R. and S. M. Murphy, “Relative Importance of Black Carbon, Brown Carbon and Absorption Enhancement from Clear Coatings in Biomass Burning Emissions” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17.8: 5063-5078, 2017
  • Pokhrel, R.P.*; Wagner, N. L.; Langridge, J. M.; Lack, D. A.; Jayarathne, T.; Stone, E.A.; Stockwell, C. E.; Yokelson, R. and S. M. Murphy, “Parameterization of Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) and Absorption Angstrom Exponent (AAE) with EC/OC for Aerosol Emissions from Biomass Burning” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 9549-9561, 2016.
  • 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.

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