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Member Details

Mark Potosnak

Dr. Mark Potosnak has degrees from Harvard (Earth & Planetary Science and Physics, undergraduate) and Columbia (Earth and Environmental Sciences, PhD) and he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. His research focuses on how climate change impacts interactions between the plants and air quality. His studies have revealed complex connections between temperature, drought, invasive species, carbon dioxide concentration and other global climate change factors on ecosystem emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds at field sites spanning from Brazil to Alaska. In recognition of his expertise, he was elected as co-chair of the 2022 Gordon Research Conference on Biogenic Hydrocarbons and the Atmosphere. He also does research locally on air quality in Chicago. He deploys low-cost air quality sensors to engage citizen scientists and to explore how spatial patterns of air quality within Chicago are related to socioeconomic drivers. Through the Metropolitan Chicago Data-science Corps​, he fosters the work of student researchers who partner with local nonprofit organizations to meet their data science needs. Dr. Potosnak has been trained as a Climate Ambassador for the Catholic Climate Covenant, and in this role, he shares his scientific understanding with others from a faith perspective.

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