Our research addresses the role of trace gases and aerosols on climate, atmospheric oxidation, and air quality. We primarily develop instruments for in situ measurements from the ground, balloons, and aircraft.  We have participated in over 60 field campaigns to examine topics such as stratospheric ozone depletion over the Arctic, the impact of rockets on stratospheric chemistry, long-range transport of pollutants, and the role of aerosols in modification of cloud properties. In addition to many sites throughout the continental United States, we have conducted work in Alaska, Hawaii, Antarctica, Norway, Sweden, Spitsbergen, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Chile, South Korea, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  For more details, see
Google Scholar,, and ResearchGate. We are located on the second floor of the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Complex (SEEC) on East Campus.

In 2018 we participated in two new major field campaigns. The WE-CAN C-130 aircraft deployment, based at Boise, ID in July and August,  investigated the properties of clouds and aerosols in biomass-burning impacted regions. In January and February we conducted studies of supercooled clouds over the Southern Ocean during the SOCRATES campaign, which was based at Hobart, Tasmania. We plan to spend the next few years analyzing the results from over thirty successful flights from these field missions and presenting the results at scientific meetings.

Prof. Toohey is currently on sabbatical working on some long-overdue papers on these and previous field campaigns, and preparing proposals for 2020 and beyond for some new and exciting projects related to low-cost, highly portable laser-spectroscopic instruments. He will return to campus in August, 2019.

Prof. Toohey has taught in the classroom since 1980. He has taught two dozen different courses in fields ranging from fundamental physics and chemistry, to global ecology, sustainability, and science policy. He created many of these courses, teaching them for the first time. He is teaching a course on climate, atmospheric, and oceanic circulation in New Zealand during Fall of 2018.

Science Policy
In 2011-2012 Prof. Toohey served as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, working on issues related to energy and green growth for APEC
. He organized a high-level meeting on Open Governance and Economic Growth, chaired by the Secretary of State, served as a delegate for the United States at the 10th APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting, and organized  an APEC Workshop in Singapore on the use of observations to address resilience and disaster response. Following that year of service, from 2013 to 2015 he helped a group of international scientists develop a sucessful proposal for hosting a hub of the Future Earth Secretariat in the United States and for linking educators and researchers in Colorado and in the United States working in the fields of sustainability and global development. 

Maybe of further interest
Photo: 2011 Jefferson Science Fellows
Read: 2014 Jefferson Science Fellowship brochure
Read:  My Year as a Jefferson Science Fellow

Watch: Understanding Climate Change and the Redistribution of Heat, Winds, Water, and Worries (U.S. Center, Doha Conference, November 2012) 
Watch: The Canary in the Coal Mine: Why the Stratosphere is Still Relevant (U.S. Dept. of State, April 2012)

This page was last updated October 5, 2018