Studying Sea Spray (Kerri Pratt)

Video Shot in: 2022

Professor of Chemistry Kerri Pratt discusses her ongoing research on snowpack photochemistry and aerosol composition, building on the work of her mentor, Dr. Paul Shepson. She explains how her team connects sea spray with snowpack halogen chemistry and Arctic Haze, studying the interactions between gasses and particles in a comprehensive system. Kerri highlights the importance of sea spray throughout the year, including a surprising discovery of sea spray with thick organic coatings, resembling algal blooms. Through years of analysis, she has found that these coatings are exopolymeric substances produced by sea ice algae and bacteria. This revelation has connected seawater microbiology to sea spray, leading to collaborations with experts in the field. Kerri and her collaborators are currently working on a project to investigate sea spray aerosol production in the high Arctic during summertime pack ice conditions, stemming from an Icebreaker campaign conducted several years ago.