Naruki Hiranuma (a.k.a., Seonggi Moon), Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Office: Killgore Research Center (Bldg. #35), Room 119
Phone: 806-651-3872


Professional Profile

Dr. Hiranuma joined WTAMU in 2016 as an assistant professor of environmental science after earning a M.S. degree from the same program and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Texas A&M University. In his career at WTAMU, he has been the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Research Program Award, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the 2020 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the organization’s most prestigious award that supports early-career faculty. From Japan, he now lives in Amarillo, where he is deeply involved in outreach collaborations with local organizations and agencies in the Texas Panhandle.


Teaching and Related Service

Dr. Hiranuma teaches many in-person and online environmental science courses to both traditional and non-traditional students. His educational activities target integrating research and teaching. Combining the topics of environmental science is an efficient and interesting tool to connect students with fundamental science by demonstrating how science provides information to interpret, digest and solve everyday life problems. He has developed and implemented a series of mobile online hands-on laboratory modules to achieve his goal. As for science community service, he serves as an editorial/topic board member of 3 journals (i.e., AtmosphereJournal of Environmental Science: Current ResearchJournal of Environmental Science and Allied Research).

Research and Creative Activity

Dr. Hiranuma’s research interests exist in atmospheric aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, precipitation and assessment of aerosol particles’ impact on public health. At WTAMU, he applies advanced aerosol particle measurement techniques to generate new knowledge regarding cloud microphysics and mitigating regional concerns of agricultural aerosol that contains fine, coarse and biological aerosol particles on air quality and weather in the Texas Panhandle.

Dr. Hiranuma heads the Atmospheric and Aerosol Measurement Laboratory (A2ML) for an integrated laboratory and field studies. The research capabilities of A2ML include (1) quantifying atmospheric ice-nucleating ability of aerosol particles using online/offline ice nucleation chambers, (2) cloud deconvolution by using counterflow virtual impactors, (3) characterization of physico-chemical properties of atmospheric particles and cloud residuals through a variety of single particle microscopy techniques, and (4) developing physical parameterizations of obtained experimental results and implementing in atmospheric cloud process, weather and climate models. A unique combination of given capabilities enables to comprehensively assess what aerosol particle properties (i.e., chemical, physical and/or biological) matter the most for cloud formation.

Recent Awards

2020    University Intellectual Contributions Award, West Texas A&M University Award

2020    NSF CAREER Award

Title and ID: CAREER: The role of ice-nucleating particles and their feedback on clouds in warming Arctic climate (1941317)

2018    DOE ECRP Award

Title and ID: Implications of aerosol physicochemical properties including ice nucleation from ARM mega sites towards understanding atmospheric cloud microphysical processes (DE-SC0018979)

Selected Publications (*WT student)

[1] *Vepuri, H. S. K., *Rodriguez, C. A., Georgakopoulos, D. G., Hume, D., Webb, J., Mayer, G. D., and Hiranuma, N.: Ice-nucleating particles in precipitation samples from the Texas Panhandle, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 4503–4520, 2021.

[2] Möhler, O., Adams, M., Lacher, L., Vogel, F., Nadolny, J., Ullrich, R., Boffo, C., Pfeuffer, T., Hobl, A., Weiß, M., *Vepuri, H. S. K., Hiranuma, N., and Murray, B. J.: The Portable Ice Nucleation Experiment (PINE): a new online instrument for laboratory studies and automated long-term field observations of ice-nucleating particles, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 1143–1166, 2021. 

[3] Steinke, I., Hiranuma, N., Funk, R., Höhler, K., Tüllmann, N., Umo, N. S., Weidler, P. G., Möhler, O., and Leisner, T.: Complex plant-derived organic aerosol as ice-nucleating particles – more than a sum of their parts?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 11387–11397, 2020.

[4] Hiranuma, N., Adachi, K., Bell, D. M., Belosi, F., Beydoun, H., Bhaduri, B., Bingemer, H., Budke, C., Clemen, H.-C., Conen, F., *Cory, K. M., Curtius, J., DeMott, P. J., Eppers, O., Grawe, S., Hartmann, S., Hoffmann, N., Höhler, K., Jantsch, E., Kiselev, A., Koop, T., Kulkarni, G., Mayer, A., Murakami, M., Murray, B. J., Nicosia, A., Petters, M. D., Piazza, M., Polen, M., Reicher, N., Rudich, Y., Saito, A., Santachiara, G., Schiebel, T., Schill, G. P., Schneider, J., Segev, L., Stopelli, E., Sullivan, R. C., Suski, K., Szakáll, M., Tajiri, T., Taylor, H., Tobo, Y., Ullrich, R., Weber, D., Wex, H., Whale, T. F., *Whiteside, C. L., Yamashita, K., Zelenyuk, A., and Möhler, O.: A comprehensive characterization of ice nucleation by three different types of cellulose particles immersed in water, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 4823–4849, 2019.

[5] Hiranuma, N., Möhler, O., Kulkarni, G., Schnaiter, M., Vogt, S., Vochezer, P., Järvinen, E., Wagner, R., Bell, D. M., Wilson, J., Zelenyuk, A., and Cziczo, D. J.: Development and characterization of an ice-selecting pumped counterflow virtual impactor (IS-PCVI) to study ice crystal residuals, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3817–3836, 2016.

[6] Hiranuma, N., Augustin-Bauditz, S., Bingemer, H., Budke, C., Curtius, J., Danielczok, A., Diehl, K., Dreischmeier, K., Ebert, M., Frank, F., Hoffmann, N., Kandler, K., Kiselev, A., Koop, T., Leisner, T., Möhler, O., Nillius, B., Peckhaus, A., Rose, D., Weinbruch, S., Wex, H., Boose, Y., DeMott, P. J., Hader, J. D., Hill, T. C. J., Kanji, Z. A., Kulkarni, G., Levin, E. J. T., McCluskey, C. S., Murakami, M., Murray, B. J., Niedermeier, D., Petters, M. D., O'Sullivan, D., Saito, A., Schill, G. P., Tajiri, T., Tolbert, M. A., Welti, A., Whale, T. F., Wright, T. P., and Yamashita, K.: A comprehensive laboratory study on the immersion freezing behavior of illite NX particles: a comparison of seventeen ice nucleation measurement techniques, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 2489–2518, 2015a.

[7] Hiranuma, N., Möhler, O., Yamashita, K., Tajiri, T., Saito, A., Hoffmann, N., Hoose, C., Jantsch, E., Koop, T., and Murakami. M.: Ice nucleation by cellulose and its potential contribution to ice formation in clouds, Nature Geoscience, 8, 273–277, 2015b.

[8] You, Y., Renbaum-Wolff, L., Carreras-Sospedra, M., Hanna, S. J., Hiranuma, N., Kamal, S., Smith, M. L., Zhang, X., Weber, R. J., Shilling, J. E., Dabdub, D., Martin, S. T., and Bertram, A. K.: Images reveal that atmospheric particles can undergo liquid-liquid phase separations, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 13188–13193, 2012.

Happy State Bank Academic & Research Building, Suite 262
WTAMU Box 60872, Canyon, TX  79016