The Air Resources Laboratory’s (ARL) mission is to improve the ability of the Nation to protect human and ecosystem health and to support a vibrant economy through advanced atmospheric sciences and technologies. ARL’s research focus is on the surface of the Earth from a few feet below the soil up to 2-3 miles in the atmosphere, known as the boundary layer, which has a direct impact on people’s health and safety, business, and the environment. ARL studies the physical and chemical processes that occur in the boundary layer, on time scales spanning a few hours to several years.

ARL studies the mixing, exchange, and transformation of energy, moisture, trace gases and particles and contributes inputs to meteorological models and forecast operations that are vital in improving weather, climate and air quality forecasts. Primary applications include emergency response, homeland security, air quality, weather forecasts, climate outlooks, commerce and transportation. ARL’s vision is to effectively protect people, the environment, and commercial activities from atmospheric risks using the best available scientific understanding of boundary layer processes.

Primary Research Area

Surface Atmosphere Exchange

  • Research processes and variables controlling heat and water vapor exchanges between land and atmosphere

Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion

  • Research main processes that drive transport and dispersion in the atmosphere
  • Improve the quality of and assess uncertainties/applicability of modeling tools

Boundary Layer Characterization

  • Collect meteorological measurements to improve atmospheric models
  • Provide reference-grade data through the US Climate Reference Network

NOAA internship recipient Emily Faber improving climate modeling

June 17, 2024

PhD candidate Emily Faber was one of the inaugural recipients of the WINGS Fellowship. Read her story on UMBC’s website here.

Dr. Osinachi Ajoku: ARL 2024 Scientist-in-Residence

May 23, 2024

Dr. Osinachi Ajoku from Howard University was selected as the 2024 Scientist-in-Residence working with ARL’s Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division…read more

ARL at the Port of Baltimore

May 22, 2024

After the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, scientists at ARL have been busy measuring air pollution in the Curtis Bay area east of the bridge…read more