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Atmospheric Science

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Robert Field, Senior Research Scientist

Room 6072, Engineering Building
Office Phone: (307) 766-2180

Visit: Centers of Excellence - Air Quality


  • B.Sc. (Hons), Resources Science, Kingston University, 1989
  • PhD., Civil Engineering, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, 1996

Research Statement

My research is based within the general field of air quality. This work started with air pollution surveying as part of environmental impact statements for UK airports. Through 30 years of making high quality measurements, my focus has been upon volatile organic compounds (VOC), in particular benzene. From my Ph.D. “The Sources and Behavior of Selected Urban Air Pollutants” my data, including the last significant “pea soup” smog event in London, was used to define new ambient air quality standards for benzene and 1,3-butadine in the UK, my research extended to helping to build a national network while developing novel data validation procedures that used AI for chromatographic analysis. The UK standard for benzene was later adopted by the rest of the European Union. My VOC research has paid particular attention to instrument development, method standardization and wintertime ozone. At present my work has three focus areas: 1.) Methane and VOC emissions from energy development, in collaboration with Shane Murphy; 2.) Long term background air quality monitoring; and 3.) Diffusive sampling development in collaboration with the European Union. My research goals are to support the wider community with developing methods and strategies for high quality measurements and analysis to support both regulatory work and emerging air quality issues. This is driven by a concern for the impacts of air pollution upon health and quality of life.

Current Projects/Research Areas

  • VOC and methane emissions from oil and gas development, including influence upon wintertime ozone.
  • Long term monitoring of air pollution in Wyoming to support the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Development of a novel passive sampler designed by the European Commission for commercial application.

Selected Publications:

*Indicates graduate student author

  • Derwent, R.G., Field, R.A., et al. (2017) Origins and trends in ethane and propane in the United Kingdom from 1993 to 2012, Atmos. Environ., 156, 15-23,
  • Robertson, A.M., Edie, R.* et al. (2017) (authors include Field R.A.) 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.
  • Ballesta P.P, Grandesso E., Field R.A., and Cabrerizo A. (2016) Validation and modeling of a novel diffusive sampler for determining concentrations of volatile organic compounds in air; Analytical Chimica Acta, 908, 102-112, doi:10.1016/j.aca.2015.12.032.
  • Field R.A. et al. (2015) Distributions of air pollutants associated with oil and natural gas development measured in the Upper Green River Basin of Wyoming, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 3, 000074, doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000074.
  • Field R.A. et al. (2015) 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; Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 3527–3542, 2015, doi:10.5194/acp-15-3527-2015.
  • Field R.A., Soltis J. and S. Murphy (2014) Air Quality Concerns of Shale Gas Production; Environmental Science, Invited Perspective, Environmental Science, doi: 10.1039/C4EM00081A.
  • Edwards, P.M. et al. (2014) (authors include Field, R.A.), “High Winter Ozone Generated by Carbonyl Photolysis in a Shale Gas and Oil Producing Region” Nature 514, 351–354, doi:10.1038/nature13767, 2014.
Contact Us

University of Wyoming,

Atmospheric Science,

EN 6034

Dept. 3038

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-3245


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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