Adam Norris

Adam Norris

Ph.D. Student


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Google Scholar Bio


Adam grew up in Southern California as the final of four kids. He went to college in Utah, where he studied wildfire effects on water quality using high-temporal resolution sensors to understand stream nutrient cycling of dissolved organic carbon and nitrate, among other research projects focused on climatic changes’ effects on soil and water ecosystems. While there, he also worked extensively in a soil analytical laboratory focused on helping homeowners and researchers with soil, water, and plant tissue analysis. From his tenure there, he developed an interest in soils and their diverse impact and importance in our lives. During the academic year, he works in Fort Collins. He spends his summers with the Army Corps of Engineers, working in their Environmental Lab focused on various soil chemistry projects. Adam is excited to work with the Borch Lab because of their diverse research and projects on environmental chemistry using advanced analytical techniques. Adam works primarily on Structural Fire Emissions at the Wildland Urban Interface. Outside of academics and work, Adam enjoys reading, bicycle touring, and running.

Project Summary: Structural Fire Emissions of the Wildland Urban Interface

Structural Fires at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI): Emission Factors Inventories and Implications is a joint project between the CSU Mechanical Engineering Department and the Borch Lab. Our goal is to create a database of anthropogenic material emissions commonly found at the WUI interface, which we will use advanced analytical chemistry techniques to characterize and classify. Essentially, we ask, “What emissions are released from burning a couch? A Tesla? A motorhome?”

Wildfire regimes are changing, resulting in more WUI fires and the loss of homes and businesses. Understanding these sources of novel atmospheric pollution emissions is a critical knowledge gap. We hypothesize that these contaminants play a sizable role in atmospheric pollution from WUI wildfire burning, which can have adverse human health effects.

Our group uses advanced analytical chemistry techniques to approach, characterize and classify these (sometimes novel) chemical compounds. Some of the instruments that we use include IC, HR-GC/HR-MS, Triple Quad MS, HPLC, GC-MS, and 21 T FTICR-MS, in targeted and non-targeted analyses. With this data, we will publish databases of chemicals from emissions to better track, understand, and prevent atmospheric pollution and inform the environment and public health.

Browse the Borch Lab Research page to learn more. 

logs burning in an outdoor fire