Betsy Andrews’ research focus is on in-situ aerosol optical properties for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth Systems Research Laboratory's (ESRL) Aerosol Group. This program is dedicated to measuring and understanding aerosol characteristics relevant for climate change. The approach is to make aerosol measurements at a wide variety of sites across the globe in order to encompass various aerosol types (e.g., dust, smoke, sea salt, etc.) and regions (e.g., Asia, Arctic, etc). Currently, Betsy is very involved in using these measurements of the surface in-situ measurements of aerosol optical properties to evaluate global climate model simulations of aerosols.
Betsy received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for her studies of aerosol hygroscopicity in an electrodynamic balance. She followed her graduate work with two post-doctoral fellowships. The first was at Colorado State University studying aerosol-cloud interactions with Dr. Jeffery Collett and Dr. Sonia Kreidenweis. The second was an NSF funded project at University of Northern Colorado investigating factors influencing low-income students’ participation in STEM fields. Since 1999, Betsy has been a research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. Betsy’s over-arching research focus is aerosol optical properties, but some specific aspects she’s explored include aerosol climatologies across a variety of site types (e.g., Arctic, mountain, continental) and platforms (surface and airborne). In addition to climatological studies which have looked at temporal patterns in aerosol data, she’s also investigated trends in long-term measurements. Additionally, in order to better characterize measurements, Betsy has participated in instrument intercomparison experiments and investigated relationships between remote sensing and in-situ aerosol optical properties.