Research Associate

(919) 441-9202

Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development


Uma Shankar is an atmospheric scientist with over 26 years’ experience developing and applying multiscale atmospheric chemistry-transport models to assess the impacts of airborne particulate matter (PM) on human health, visibility, and the regional climate. Her sponsors have included the EPA, NSF, NASA, the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi. She has developed a number of PM process algorithms in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model, and applied CMAQ, coupled both one-way and two-way to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. She has led modeling studies to investigate the impacts of continental emissions over South Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe and North America on PM and ozone air quality, aerosol loadings and the atmospheric radiation budget under contemporary and future emission scenarios. Her current research under the BLM’s Joint Fire Science Program examines integrated modeling approaches to study the impacts of climate change on future wildfire activity, fuel loads and air quality over the Southeastern U.S. She has led a NASA Applied Sciences Program project to integrate satellite data in the Visibility Information Exchange Web System (VIEWS), and develop advanced analysis and visualization tools to facilitate their usage in air quality decision support. She assisted NASA in providing training on these tools and data in a joint training course with the EPA Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Center. In support of the CMAS Center, she also serves as Research Coordinator, provides help desk and software release support, and develops and provides advanced training on diagnostic air quality model evaluation. Her regulatory support work includes diagnostic evaluation of CMAQ and the development of modeling protocols and analysis tools for WRAP’s Reasonable Progress analyses toward meeting its visibility goals in the Western U.S. pursuant to the EPA Regional Haze Rule (RHR); control options analyses of Best Available Retrofit Technologies for RHR compliance, and preparation of a Technical Support Document of Federal Implementation Plans for a number of facilities in EPA Region 9, and determining future design values for ozone, PM and visibility metrics using the Modeled Attainment Test Software (MATS) for the State of Georgia, and for the Three State Air Quality Study that is being sponsored by the National Park Service.


Ph.D., Environmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in progress
M.N.E., Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1986
M.S., Physics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979
B.S., Physics and Mathematics, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 1975

Selected Publications

Binkowski, F. S., and U. Shankar, 1995: The Regional Particulate Matter Model 1. Model description and preliminary results, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 21,191 – 21,209.

Kelly, J. T., P. V. Bhave, C. G. Nolte, U. Shankar, and K. M. Foley, 2010: Simulating emission and chemical evolution of coarse sea-salt particles in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model, Geosci. Model Dev., 3, 257-273, doi:10.5194/gmd-3-257-2010.

Mathur, R., U. Shankar, A. F. Hanna, M. T. Odman, J. N. McHenry, C. J. Coats Jr., K. Alapaty, A. Xiu, S. Arunachalam, D. T. Olerud Jr., D. W. Byun, K. L. Schere, F. S. Binkowski, J. K. S. Ching, R. L. Dennis, T. E. Pierce, J. E. Pleim, S. J. Roselle, and J. O. Young, 2005: Multiscale Air Quality Simulation Platform (MAQSIP): Initial applications and performance for tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, J. Geophys. Res., 110, D13308, doi:10.1029/2004JD004918.

McKenzie, D., U. Shankar, R. E. Keane, E. N. Stavros, W. E. Heilman, D. G. Fox, and A. C. Riebau, 2014: Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes driven by climate change, Earth’s Future, 2, 35–59, doi:10.1002/2013EF000180.

Shankar, U., A. Xiu, D. Streets, J. M. Vukovich, M. S. Reddy, C. Venkataraman, R. Mathur, A. F. Hanna, F. S. Binkowski, and S. Arunachalam, 2005: Evaluation of a coupled meteorology-chemistry model against INDOEX. In Proceedings of the Asian Aerosol Conference-2005, Mumbai, India, December 13-16, 2005.