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Urbanski, Shawn

Position: 
Research Physical Scientist
Focus Area/Association: 
Employee Role: 
Research Scientist
Phone Number: 
(406) 329-4829
Address: 

RMRS Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory
5775 US Hwy 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808

Photo: Shawn Urbanski
Education: 
  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
Research topics: 
  • The evaluation and development of biomass burning emission inventory systems
  • Laboratory and field experiments characterizing the gas and aerosol emissions biomass burning
  • Development of satellite based wildfire emission inventories for the United States Airborne and ground based experiments for the validation of smoke dispersion models and atmospheric chemistry transport models
Personal Summary: 

Shawn has been a Research Physical Scientist for the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, since April 2004. Prior to joining the U.S. Forest Service, Shawn was a research associate and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he researched ecosystem carbon and energy exchange and participated in the development of high precision, rapid response instruments for the measurement of atmospheric trace gases. Shawn received his Ph.D. degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology where his doctoral research was a laboratory investigation of the atmospheric oxidation of dimethyl sulfide, a reduced sulfur compound produced by phytoplankton in the ocean’s surface waters and emitted to the atmosphere. As a scientist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station, his research tasks are focused on understanding the influence of open biomass burning on the chemistry and composition of the atmosphere. Several aspects of biomass burning are investigated in his research program, including smoke characterization, emission inventories, smoke plume dynamics, and the transport and air quality impact of emissions.

Ongoing studies in these areas include: 1) The evaluation and development of biomass burning emission inventory systems, 2) airborne and ground-based experiments for the validation of smoke dispersion models and atmospheric chemistry transport models, 3) laboratory and field experiments characterizing the gas and aerosol emissions from biomass burning, 4) the development of satellite-based wildfire emission inventories for North America, and 5) the impact of climate change on fire activity, emissions, and air quality in the continental United States.

Affiliation: 
RMRS-FFS
Modified: Dec 06, 2016

Select Publications & Products

Urbanski, S. 2014. Wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate: Emission factors. Forest Ecology and Management 317:51-60.

Urbanski, S. P. 2013. Combustion efficiency and emission factors for wildfire-season fires in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains, US. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13:7241–7262.

Hosseini, S.; Urbanski, S. P.; Dixit, P.; Qi, L.; Burling, I. R.; Yokelson, R. J.; Johnson, T. J.; Shrivastava, M.; Jung, H. S.; Weise, D. R.; Miller, J. W.; Cocker, D. R. 2013. Laboratory characterization of PM emissions from combustion of wildland biomass fuels. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres: 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50481.

Urbanski, S. P.; Hao, W. M.; Nordgren, B. 2011. The Wildland Fire Emission Inventory: Western United States emission estimates and an evaluation of uncertainty. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11:12973–13000.

Urbanski, S. P.; Salmon, J. M.; Nordgren, B. L.; Hao, W. M. 2009. A MODIS direct broadcast algorithm for mapping wildfire burned area in the western United States. Remote Sensing and the Environment 113:2511–2526.

Urbanski, S. P.; Barford C.; Wofsy S.; Kucharik C.; Pyle E.; Budney J.; McKain K.; Fitzjarrald, D.; Czikowsky, M.; Munger, J. W. 2007. Factors controlling CO2 exchange on timescales from hourly to decadal at Harvard Forest. Journal of Geophysical Research 12(G02020), doi:10.1029/2006JG000293.