Student Research Projects

Heterogeneity of Aerosols from Pleasure House Point, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Student Andrew Simerson '14
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Earth and Environmental Sciences
Course BIO 400: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)


The purpose of this project was to use qualitative analysis using SEM imaging and EDS to determine the composition and heterogeneity of passively collected aerosol particles in a local coastal environment. The results of this study show that a diverse range of materials and elements can be found reflecting diverse natural and anthropogenic sources. Instead of looking at concentrations and sheer numbers of aerosols, this study took a different approach and looked more at the qualitative aspects of aerosols, e.g., size and composition. One third of aerosols sampled were found to have a heterogeneous composition.