AAAR 38th Annual Conference

Special Symposia

Special Symposia: “The role of aerosol science in the understanding of the spread and control of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases”

Gedi Mainelis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Paul Dabisch, NBACC

Release of infectious aerosols, either directly from the respiratory tract during talking, coughing, or breathing, or due to aerosol generating processes, such as intubation or doffing of protective equipment, are potentially relevant in the transmission of infectious disease.  While studies from the current COVID-19 pandemic and previous coronavirus outbreaks suggest that aerosol transmission of disease may be possible, uncertainty remains regarding its contribution to disease burden relative to other routes of exposure, such as fomite transmission.  The goal of this symposium is to highlight recent research examining the potential for aerosol transmission in COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, as well as gaps in our understanding that need to be filled in order to better understand the role aerosols play in the transmission of infectious diseases.  Specific topics of interest include the identification of potential aerosol sources, factors influencing the survival of infectious aerosols in the environment, sampling approaches, and development of inhalational animal models of disease to aid in understanding both disease progression and medical countermeasure assessment.  While the focus will be on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, talks focusing on other infectious diseases that highlight information relevant to the current pandemic are also encouraged. 


Special Symposia: “Satellite-Data and Environmental Health Applications”

Meytar Sorek-Hamer, NASA Ames Research Center/USRA
Richard Moore, NASA Langley Research Center
Meredith Franklin, University of Southern California
Shannon Capps, Drexel University

The recent WHO report estimated that globally, around 4.2 million deaths were attributable to air pollution exposure. Airborne fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μg (PM2.5) have been associated with adverse health effects, especially with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Several epidemiological studies have shown the association between exposure to PM2.5 with different mortality and morbidity rates. The emerging field of applied remote sensing, recognizes the intersection of aerosol sciences and health sciences. Satellite data remote sensing has been used for air quality modelling for the past two decades, improving our knowledge on the air we breathe. This capability supports spatiotemporal investigations of particulate characteristics and human exposure to better understand their association with certain adverse health outcomes. Substantial research has focused on linking aerosol optical depth (AOD) to PM2.5 concentrations, aerosol composition, wildfires, and exposure estimates in urban and rural areas, using passive and active, Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and Geostationary (GEO) satellites.

This special symposium aims to share all of these recent results.  Abstracts focusing on research using remote sensing aerosol data for environmental health applications, including computational efforts, are welcome.


Special Symposia: “Environmental Justice: Technology, Frameworks, and Outcomes”

Shelly Miller, University of Colorado Boulder
Lupita Montoya, University of Colorado Boulder

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Achieving environmental justice is challenging and requires creative and comprehensive approaches. In this special symposium, we seek Abstracts about research that focuses on technology like low-cost sensors, frameworks for working in communities, novel methodologies of intervention, as well as measurable outcomes.


Special Symposia: “Dusty Plasma”

Girish Sharma, Washington University in St. Louis
Sukrant Dhawan, Washington University in St. Louis

The goal of this symposium is to bring together the field of aerosol science and plasma science, to promote interactions, collaborations, and learning from each other. There are several topics which are being studied by both aerosol and plasma scientists, independently, from their respective frame of references. For instance, material synthesis using aerosol processes as well as particle capture using electrostatic precipitators involve deep understanding of aerosol dynamics involving coagulation, evaporation, nucleation, particle-ion interactions, etc. The synthesis of material using plasma reactors, on laboratory as well as industrial scale, also involves aerosol dynamics like particle evaporation, as well as particle-ion and neutrals interactions. Both the fields approach these problems from their own standpoint, and therefore, the interaction and collaboration between the two will envisage new discoveries.

We seek abstracts in the following subject areas:

  1. Material Synthesis using Plasmas
  2. Plasma Physics: Particle-Ion/electron/neutral Interaction
  3. Plasma Physics: Particle Evaporation/Nucleation in Plasmas
  4. Plasma Physics
  5. Particle Capture Technologies using Corona/Plasma
  6. Industrial Applications of Plasma Reactors


Special Symposia: “Missing contributors to SOA: The Role of Volatile Chemical Products (VCPS)”

David Cocker, University of California, Riverside
Brian McDonald, University of Colorado, Boulder and CIRES

Volatile Chemical Products or VCPs are a major class of compounds whose impact on air quality is not well understood.  Recent work reported by McDonald et al., (Science, 2018) suggests that VCPs may be a largely underrepresented and major class of compounds significantly contributing to SOA and ozone formation.   This symposium will explore the emerging research on the atmospheric chemistry of VCPs leading to SOA formation within the atmosphere.  Topics include VCP emission estimates, experimental and model evaluations of chemistry leading to SOA formation, experimental protocols to study atmospheric chemistry leading to SOA formation, VCP detection, and estimates of VCP contribution to secondary pollutant formation.  


Dates to Remember

July 6, 2020
Abstract Submission Deadline (no extensions)

October 2020
AAAR 38th Annual Conference


Code of Conduct



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