Michael H. Bergin

Michael Howard Bergin

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

My general research focus is on the influence of air pollution on both climate and human health. My specific interest is particulate matter (PM), and I have done a wide range of studies on the emission, formation, deposition and impacts of PM. I am particularly interested in how PM impacts climate by modifying the radiation balance of the atmosphere and I have done studies in both pristine regions of the world (Greenland and the Himalaya), as well as hazy regions (the Southeastern US, China, and India). More recently I have been studying the influence of PM on human health with emphasis on determining the relative contributions of sources (such as biomass burning and vehicular emissions) to acute health impacts. I am also involved in developing and deploying the next generation of air quality sensors to inform citizens on the quality of the air they are breathing so that they can make informed decisions to improve their air. My vision involves combining a multidisciplinary, multicultural approach to research and education that brings together researchers from around the world to collectively work together to make the air cleaner.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University, 1995

Research Interests

Aerosols are generated by a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. I am interested in the processes that emit, transform and deposit particulate matter. A current focus of my research is how particles in the atmosphere directly modify the surface radiation balance of the Earth. This is of importance to the climate of the Earth, as well as plant growth and visibility. We have conducted studies at a variety of polluted urban sites as well as pristine remote sites to understand the contrast between clean and dirty locations. Another interest is the past impacts of aerosols on climate through interpretation of paleorecords archived in ice cores. My work involves a combination of lab and field studies as well as the development of relatively simple mathematical models.

Courses Taught

  • CEE 292: Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 393: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ECE 391: Undergraduate Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Devi, JJ; Bergin, MH; Mckenzie, M; Schauer, JJ; Weber, RJ, Contribution of particulate brown carbon to light absorption in the rural and urban Southeast US, Atmospheric Environment, vol 136 (2016), pp. 95-104 [10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.04.011] [abs].
  • Polashenski, CM; Dibb, JE; Flanner, MG; Chen, JY; Courville, ZR; Lai, AM; Schauer, JJ; Shafer, MM; Bergin, M, Neither dust nor black carbon causing apparent albedo decline in Greenland's dry snow zone: Implications for MODIS C5 surface reflectance, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 42 no. 21 (2015), pp. 9319-9327 [10.1002/2015GL065912] [abs].
  • Galvis, B; Bergin, M; Boylan, J; Huang, Y; Bergin, M; Russell, AG, Air quality impacts and health-benefit valuation of a low-emission technology for rail yard locomotives in Atlanta Georgia., Science of the Total Environment, vol 533 (2015), pp. 156-164 [abs].
  • Shamjad, PM; Tripathi, SN; Pathak, R; Hallquist, M; Arola, A; Bergin, MH, Contribution of Brown Carbon to Direct Radiative Forcing over the Indo-Gangetic Plain., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 49 no. 17 (2015), pp. 10474-10481 [abs].
  • Olson, MR; Victoria Garcia, M; Robinson, MA; Van Rooy, P; Dietenberger, MA; Bergin, M; Schauer, JJ, Investigation of black and brown carbon multiple-wavelength-dependent light absorption from biomass and fossil fuel combustion source emissions, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol 120 no. 13 (2015), pp. 6682-6697 [10.1002/2014JD022970] [abs].