Mr. Ragland's research focuses on data tool development for collection, processing, reporting, and management of environmental contaminant data. His expertise includes measurement of legacy and emerging organic contaminants in environmental matrices such as sediment and biotic tissues (e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (e.g. DDT), and flame retardants) using gas or liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, as well as foundational metrology concepts such as detection limit calculation. Jared pairs these with active interests in statistical analysis of such data, machine learning for insights at scale, and laboratory information management systems.
Rapid and reliable processing of data sets to ensure accuracy and precision is one of the more difficult aspects in day-to-day metrology. Automation of such tasks dramatically reduces data entry errors and time-to-completion, at times by more than 90%. Reducing these aspects increases confidence in the final data product, decreases training time, and increases the efficacy of NIST scientists by getting them back to the important parts of their projects: planning, measurement collection, interpretation, and reporting. A variety of such data tools are in use or under development, including (but not limited to):
Such tools can provide a dramatic positive impact on the way NIST does quantification for environmental metrology, returning thousands of hours of staff time to the Chemical Sciences Division each year. Future tools will build on both the discrete needs of day-to-day operation and at the larger scale of laboratory information management systems.
Jared currently serves on several data related working groups, as the Chemical Sciences Division representative to the MML LIMS community of interest, and as coordinator for the Sample Tracking and Analytical Reporting (STAR) project. His main project currently is the creation of a flexible database structure for high resolution accurate mass spectrometry experiments, focusing at first on non-targeted analysis of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances for the NIST PFAS Program.
Service to the Material Measurement Laboratory (2021)