Dr. Dara Salcedo
I am originally from Mexico City were I grew up and eventually got my Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. When I started college, I had many questions about molecules, reactions, colors, substances, and I thought that everything was going to be answered in my classes. Soon, I realized that every time a question was answered, three or four new questions arose! By the time I got my degree, I knew that doing science to answer questions is a never ending story, but it is fun, so I went to Cambridge, MA to get my PhD. I chose the field of Atmospheric Chemistry because it is about applying Chemistry to understand the environment. Also, I like to think that the research I do will be useful for policy makers to generate new laws that will protect our health and environment. Now, I live in Cuernavaca, a city south from Mexico City, which is called "the city of the eternal spring" because it has a very mild weather and you can always find a tree blooming!
During MILAGRO, I will be at T0 measuring particles. The objective is to learn about their chemical and physical properties and to deduce their history (where they were emitted and how they were transformed once in the atmosphere). I could not do the latter without the help of other colleagues measuring gases, temperature, wind, etc. That is what it is important about the MILAGRO project: every research group is doing a different measurement; when all the measurements are put together will be able to understand air pollution better (like pieces of a puzzle that form a landscape when put together).
When I am not doing science, I enjoy to be at home, cooking, hiking and going to the movies. I also like traveling with my husband and we use every opportunity we have. This photo was taken last year in Sidney, Australia. Next April, we are going to visit some caves in Central Mexico (a well deserved trip after all the hard work in March during MILAGRO).