Tamara Sparks
Payne Institute Research Associate
Earth Observation Group

Tamara grew up in Colorado before moving to California to study chemistry, first receiving a B.S. in Chemistry from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA and then a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she specialized in studying urban air quality, including measuring atmospheric nitrogen oxides from aircraft and investigating the effect of nitrogen oxide chemistry on air pollution. After graduating, she spent two years at the California Department of Public Health studying the composition of particulate matter in wildfire smoke and modeling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 via exhaled droplets. She returned to Colorado to join the Earth Observation Group at the Payne Institute to work on the VIIRS Nightfire (VNF) product. When not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, playing board games, and cooking.