Zaneta K Gacek
Graduate Teaching Assistant
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
105 S Gregory St, Room #214
Urbana, IL 61801
I was born in Tarnow, Poland, and I moved to the United States in September 2005. I continued my education from Poland as a sophomore in high school in Saint Charles, IL. As a college student, I did not hesitate long on my major – atmospheric sciences seemed like a perfect fit. My research interests are atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric radiation. During my free time I enjoy travelling and photography.
I am a graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With the guidance of Professor Nicole Riemer, I will be studying the nocturnal vertical profiles of N2O5, which is an important particle affecting the atmospheric chemistry at night. In another part of my project I will analyze the impacts of the different boundary layer schemes within the WRF model on the tropospheric dynamics of air pollutants.
Education and Awards
August 2012 – Present: Master’s of Science in progress – Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
August 2008 – May 2012: Bachelor of Science with Highest Distinction – Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
April 2012: Ogura Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award
Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011: University of Illinois Dean’s List
Currently, I am studying the vertical nocturnal profile of the heterogeneous hydrolysis of N2O5 and how other pollutants affect its uptake efficiency.
In the past, I have worked on two research projects as an undergraduate student.
January – May 2012: With the help of Professor Nicole Riemer, I analyzed the air quality and meteorological data of the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Using MATLAB, I plotted the seasonal variations of concentrations of the six criteria pollutants: CO, NO2, O3, SO2, Pb, and PM2.5/PM10 for the year of 2011. In another part of the project I looked at the different emission sources based on the 2008 data from the Environmental Protection Agency website. Finally, for that same city I summarized the meteorological data, including temperature and relative humidity.
June – December 2011: Under the guidance of Prof. Stephen Nesbitt, we investigated the rainfall characteristics of the North American Monsoon through the JEMEX field campaign funded by NASA. The project required me to compare rainfall data from a rain gauge network with local WSR-88D radar data. I edited and analyzed the data using MATLAB and SOLO-II in the UNIX environment. In our results I found that peaks in gauge-measured rainfall for a specific day corresponded to high radar reflectivity: however, high radar reflectivity did not always correspond to peaks in gauge-measured rainfall.
Graduate Teaching Assistant: August 2012 – Present
I have assisted Professor Jeffrey Frame with teaching ATMS 100: Introduction to Meteorology. I teach three hours of lab weekly with about 35 students in each section.
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: February 2011 – May 2012
Much of my efforts were to make three of the courses in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences accessible to visually-impaired students. I coordinated with the Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES) and added descriptions to images used in lectures and assignments. My work was highlighted in the magazine “Inside Illinois” May 2011 edition.
Mathematics Tutor: August 2009 – May 2012
Since my sophomore year of undergraduate I assisted students with their course work in college algebra, pre-calculus, calculus I, II and III and differential equations.
by Zaneta Gacek
Photo by Zaneta Gacek