James Eckhardt Powell

  General Information


A portrait of James Eckhardt Powell.

Ph.D. Student, Department of Physics
Portland State University

SRTC, Room 409B
(503) 725-8515 (office)
(503) 725-8550 (fax)

Please click here for my public key, or find me at the MIT PGP key server.

E-mail: powellj at pdx.edu

B.S., Physics, Portland State University 2010.

Teaching Assistant. PSU, 2012-2014;

Author of numerous free software packages, including binterp, sfs-logging, and paraq.

  Research Interests


JAMES POWELL studies the carbon cycle particularly in the context of urban environment and anthropogenic CO2. This research is producing a new model of urban CO2 emissions that will serve as a tool for city planners.



PH 201/211/221 students, please read these formal lab report guidelines.



I just got back from Beijing. The gallery (password protected) is here: gallery.

I'm working right now for Dr. Jim Pankow. Log (password protected).

My research (password protected) is in atmospheric physics. An abstract follows.

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that the “human influence on climate is clear” and the largest cause of the measured warming is increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).

As we prepare now for the impacts, which are likely to be significant, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have adopted a Climate Action Plan with a stated goal of reducing emissions to 80 % below 1990 levels by 2050. Emissions inventories are an important tool, often built by governments, used to manage emissions. A survey of the literature shows a wide array of efforts focused on improving CO2 inventories: top-down, bottom-up, hybrid, incorporating auto traffic models, meteorological models, and sensors in towers, on mountaintops and in airplanes.

Here we show work in progress on a model of CO2 emissions for the Portland, OR metropolitan region. The backbone is traffic counter recordings made by the Portland Bureau of Transportation at 9,352 sites over 21 years (1986-2006), augmented with PORTAL freeway data.

We constructed a regression model to fill in traffic network gaps using GIS data such as road class and population density. EPA MOVES will then be used to estimate transportation CO2 emissions. Our transportation emissions will serve as input into WRF meteorological modeling to simulate atmospheric CO2 at sites where frequent CO2 measurements are made.

This model once calibrated and verified will give policymakers a new tool for assessing urban CO2 budgets and climate mitigation plans.

Please see this poster which further describes the research.,

  Personal Interests


James enjoys bicycling, guitar, and spending time with his family.

James also likes free stuff, including OpenStax College provides free, peer-reviewed textbooks. Wow! Especially check out College Physics.