What have we seen so far, you may ask, besides some amazing wildlife and landscapes?


One of the missions of the van is to help characterize the specific emissions signature of various sources. When we go for drives, we sample air on the road to look at traffic emissions and we zigzag around on the dirt roads to collect air samples downwind of well and oil pads, compressor stations, and processing plants. There is also a large power plant in the region called Bonanza. Its huge panache of steam tells us something about how turbulent the atmosphere surface layer is and where the wind is blowing.

Every day we learn something about the oil and gas Basin. A few days ago, I learned that this region has been producing oil and gas for over 60 years. Today, I learned that a number of the pumping jacks that pump the oil out of the ground use the associated natural gas collocated with the oil 5,000 to 6,000 ft below the surface.

mobile laboratory along a road

mobile laboratory