Why one UB scientist is studying dust

“In my field of research, you don’t get dust from burning things. You get dust from ground up rocks,” geographer Stuart Evans explains. Photo: Douglas Levere, University at Buffalo / Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA


UB researcher Stuart Evans studies dust — not the balls of stale grey fluff that collect under your bed, but the tiny bits of mostly reflective material that hang in the Earth’s atmosphere, influencing weather conditions like temperature, rain and wind.

It’s a curious field of study that matters a lot — especially as the planet’s climate changes.

“The level of dust in the air can have far-reaching effects on climate, but there are still a lot of unknowns in the field,” says Evans, an atmospheric scientist who is an assistant professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty member in the UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute.

“I’m interested in fundamental questions about precipitation and drought,” Evans says. “How does the atmosphere respond to dust? Where does the rain move as the levels of dust change? How does the timing of the wet season change?”


Published May 20, 2019

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