Daniel Obrist

Professor Daniel Obrist is the Chair of the Department of Environmental, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Previously, he was a Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute in the Nevada University System in Reno, Nevada and a Graduate Faculty Member in Atmospheric Science, Hydrologic Science, and Environmental and Health Sciences. He is serving as a Scientific Advisor for State Agencies for large soil and watershed contamination and remediation cases. He is Editor of the journal Biogeosciences and was awarded the 2000 Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents “Rising Researcher Award.” His research combines atmospheric chemistry and surface-atmospheric exchange processes with terrestrial biogeochemistry to understand the fate of persistent pollutants in the biosphere.

research interests

Environmental Pollution, Biogeochemical Cycles, Surface-Atmosphere Exchanges, Atmospheric Chemistry

My research focuses on environmental chemistry and pollution, with a special emphasis on contaminants such as mercury, other trace metals, and persistent organic pollutants (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). I am also interested in greenhouse gas (CO2 and CH4) dynamics and how human perturbations and climate change affect their terrestrial sinks and sources. My research is based on experimental field research with investigations across the world, including at the Dead Sea in Israel, along the Arctic Ocean and in the Alaskan tundra, and in forests, grasslands, and deserts in temperate environments.

awards and honors

  • Congressional Briefing (2015) – Association of Ecosystem Research Centers (AERC)
  • Sabbatical Leave Award (2013)
  • Awardee (2010) – Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents Rising Researcher Award.
  • Awardee (2009) – Peter B. Wagner Medal of Excellence for DRI Scholars in the Early Stages of Career Development
  • Best Dissertation Award (2003) – Hydrologic Sciences Program, University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Three Outstanding Student Awards (2001) – Mackay School of Mines; University of Nevada, Reno; Desert Research Institute (DRI).
  • Colin Warden Memorial Award (2000)
  • Nevada Medal Research Fellowship 2000

Additional Info

UMass Lowell Faculty Page
Arctic Mercury Research Overview
Nature Journal Mercury Article


Dr. Daniel Obrist
Chair, Professor
Environmental, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
UMass Lowell
Olney Hall, 201
Lowell, MA 01854
(978) 934-3988