Education

2015-present | North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

  • Ph.D Atmospheric Science, 3.72 GPA (as of Spring 2017)

2012-2014 | University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

2008-2012 | Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

  • B.S. Meteorology, Minor in Technical Mathematics, 3.42 GPA (cum laude)

 

Research & Work Experience

January 2017-present | Pathways Intern, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Research Triangle Park, NC

  • National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC)/Decontamination and Consequence Management Division (DCMD) of the Office of Research and Development (ORD)
  • Federal GS-level position to complete dissertation research work while enrolled at NCSU
  • Use of dispersion models to understand and better quantify aerosol resuspension from biological, chemical, or radiological threats

August 2015-present | Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant (RA/TA), North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

  • Use and application of the online-coupled WRF/Chem model in 4-km nested simulations over California to evaluate current and future emissions-change scenarios
  • Use of the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernal Emissions (SMOKE) Model to generate model-ready anthropogenic emissions
  • TA for MEA135: Introduction to Weather and Climate Lab course for two semesters; TA for MEA100: Earth Systems Science Lab for one semester
  • Extensive use of C-shell scripting, NCL, FORTRAN, large datasets, and management of terabytes of data

July 2014-July 2015 | Research Technician, National Park Service and University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks/Juneau, AK, Southeast Alaska Network (SEAN) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program

  • Analyzed seasonal atmospheric wet deposition at the NADP-NTN precipitation monitoring site in Juneau, with focus on nitrogen and sulfur species and the connection to anthropogenic activity
  • Analyzed mercury deposition data from the NADP-MDN precipitation site in Bartlett Cove
  • Published the data analysis in a NPS Natural Resources Technical Report, which included recommendations for the long-term monitoring of airborne contaminants Southeast Alaska, as well as a scalable monitoring network
  • Used of R statistical package and MatLab

August 2012-May 2014 | Research Assistant, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

  • Evaluated WRF/Chem model simulations over Southeast Alaska, with emphasis on temperature inversions inside Glacier Bay National Park, to analyze their interactions with cruise ship emissions during the tourist season
  • Key Skills: Analysis and interpretation of weather model output data, experience with large data sets, programming with NCL, Unix, Microsoft Office Suite, and technical writing

May 2012-August 2014 | AmeriCorps VISTA, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, New Haven, CT

  • Assisted local historian in successful expansion of Winchester Repeating Arms Historical District
  • Created a database of every house in the historic district through the research of historical documents and property title searches

2011-2012 | Hartman Union Building Manager, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

  • Opened and closed the building, managed other student employees, answered phone calls, and staffed the information booth. Gained useful communication and administration skills

2007-2012 | Intern, School for Ethical Education, Milford, CT

  • Created and maintained databases in Excel, Word, and Endnote, supported research tasks on academic integrity, prepared electronic and postal mailings, and designed a Moodle eLearning website

2011-2012 | Intern, WTNH News 8, New Haven, CT

  • Assisted in writing material for WxEdge website and developed personal promo tapings

2011-2012 | Intern, Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway, CT

  • Assisted staff as needed, and conducted a research project through the analysis of meteorology data in Matlab

 

Publications

6. Yahya, K., Wang, K. Campbell, P., Chen, Y., Glotfelty, T., He, J., Zhang, Y., and Pirhalla, M. (2017) Decadal Application of WRF/Chem for Regional Air Quality and Climate Modeling over the U.S. under the Representative Concentration Pathways Scenarios. Part 1: Model Evaluation and Impact of Downscaling. Atmospheric Environment, 152, 562-583.

5. Pirhalla, M. and M. Bower (2016) Considerations for Long-Term Monitoring of Airborne Contaminants and Ecological Effects in the Southeast Alaska Network, Natural Resource Report, NPS/SEAN/NRR–2016/1238, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO, 116 pp.

4. Pirhalla, M., Gende, S. and Mölders, N. (2014) Fate of Particulate Matter from Cruise-Ship Emissions in Glacier Bay during the 2008 Tourist Season. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1235-1254.

3. Pirhalla, M. (2014) Assessment of Particulate Accumulation Climatology under Inversions in Glacier Bay for the 2008 Tourist Season Using WRF/Chem Data. Thesis, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 148 pp.

2. Mölders, N., Bruyere, C., Gende, S., Pirhalla, M. (2014) Assessment of the 2006-2012 climatological fields and mesoscale features from regional downscaling of CESM data by WRF-chem over Southeast Alaska. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 4, 589-613.

1. Mölders, N., S. Gende, and Pirhalla, M. (2013) Assessment of cruise-ship activity influences on emissions, air quality, and visibility in Glacier Bay National Park, Atmospheric Pollution Research, 4(4), 435-445.

 

Conference Presentations

8. Pirhalla, M., Campbell, P., Yan, F., Lu, Z., Streets, D., and Y. Zhang (2016), Fine-Scale WRF/Chem Simulations over the Western U.S. for the Assessment of Future Technology-Driven Air Quality, poster presentation at the 15th Annual Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Conference, Friday Center, University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill, October 24-26, 2016.

7. Pirhalla, M., Mölders, N, and S. Gende (2016), Evaluation of Particulate Matter Emissions from Cruise Ships in Glacier Bay using the WRF/Chem Model, oral presentation at the National Park Service Centennial Science Symposium, Fairbanks, AK, October 19-21, 2016.

6. Pirhalla, M. and M. Bower (2016), Considerations for Long-Term Monitoring of Airborne Contaminants and Ecological Effects in the Southeast Alaska Network, poster presentation at the National Park Service Centennial Science Symposium, Fairbanks, AK, October 19-21, 2016.

5. Pirhalla, M., Campbell, P., and Y. Zhang (2016), Fine Scale WRF/Chem Application and Evaluation over California for 2005, poster presentation at the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) Workshop, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, April 8, 2016.

4. Pirhalla, M., Mölders, N, and S. Gende (2014), Evaluation of Particulate Matter Emissions from Cruise Ships in Glacier Bay using WRF/Chem Data, oral presentation at the American Fisheries Society Alaska Chapter, American Water Resources Association Meeting, Juneau, AK, October 2014.

3. Pirhalla, M. and M. Bower (2014), Wet Deposition of Contaminants in Juneau's Rainfall, oral presentation at the Atmospheric Sciences Informal Seminar, UAF Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, September 2014.

2. Mölders, N, Madden, J. M., Pirhalla, M., Butwin, M.K., Jackson, E., and G. Kramm (2013), Anthropogenic Impacts on Weather and Climate of Alaska, poster presented at the Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, UAF Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, October 2013.

1. Pirhalla, M. and N. Mölders (2013), Evaluation of WRF/Chem simulations of the 2008 tourist season to investigate inversion characteristics in Glacier Bay, AK, poster presented at the Alaska Weather Symposium, UAF Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, March 2013.

 

Professional Affiliations

2016-present | American Geophysical Union (AGU), Member
2011-present | American Meteorological Society (AMS), Member
2014-2015 | American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Alaska Section, Member