Community Modeling and Analysis System

Introduction to the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) Model


Availability | About the Course | Meet the Trainers | Payment Info | Hotels | Prerequisites | Contact info


The table below lists the dates of the upcoming Introduction to SMOKE classes along with the enrollment status in each class. When enrollment is full (15 registered students) we will no longer accept applications for the class and the status column in the table will display that the class is full.

The class is subject to cancellation if there are not enough registered students. A minimum of 6 trainees must be registered to conduct a training.

The Introduction to SMOKE course can also be conducted off site, provided that appropriate facilities are available and there are an adequate number of interested students. Email to inquire about off-site trainings.

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About the course

Introduction to SMOKE is a 2.5-day course that uses lectures and hands-on computer exercises to teach students how to configure and run the SMOKE programs and to examine the input and output files from the software. The class introduces students to the basics of air pollutant emissions modeling and how to process emissions data through SMOKE. Students are guided through exercises to inspect the various input files for SMOKE, including emission inventory data, chemical speciation data, temporal profiles, and spatial surrogates. The hands-on exercises are structured around processing the different types of inventories with SMOKE: area/nonpoint, on-road mobile with MOVES, point, and biogenics. The hands-on exercises also include labs on merging multiple source categories together and using SMOKE to generate customized QA reports.

The syllabus is shown below to highlight the range of topics covered during the course. The course starts with a lecture on the basics of SMOKE, including an overview of emissions modeling, an introduction to the SMOKE programs, and a description of the course structure. The Hands-on laboratories have each student working on a computer pre-loaded with the course training materials. The labs focus on configuring and running the SMOKE programs and examining the input and output files to give students practical experience using SMOKE.

At the completion of this course, students will be able to download, configure, and run the SMOKE programs. They will possess the knowledge and practical experience needed to prepare input files for SMOKE and to produce emissions input files for the CMAQ and CAMx air quality models.

The CMAS Center offers an online version of the Introduction to SMOKE.

While the materials are the same as the classroom version of the course, students in the online class must work more independently. Virtual office hours are available with SMOKE trainers periodically throughout the online course, typically for an hour or two each afternoon. Check the training schedule to sign up for the next online course!

2.5-day SMOKE Course Agenda
Time Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
8:30   8:30 - 9:45
SMOKE programs and options
8:30 - 9:00
9:00 9:00 - 10:15
Hands-on point-source processing (continued)
9:45 9:45 - 10:30
SMOKE problem solving
10:15 10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 10:30 - 10:45 Break 10:30 - 12:30
Hands-on mobile-source processing
10:45 10:45 - 12:45
Hands-on area-source processing
12:30 12:30 - 1:30
12:45 12:45 - 1:45
1:00 1:00 - 1:45
Emissions processing basics
1:30 1:30 - 2:45
Hands-on merge processing
1:45 1:45 - 2:30
SMOKE basics
1:45 - 3:45
Hands-on biogenic processing
2:30 2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 2:45 - 3:30
SMOKE assigns file and scripts
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 3:00 - 4:45
Hands-on quality assurance
3:30 3:30 - 5:30
Hands-on SMOKE overview and UNIX
3:45 3:45 - 4:00 Break
4:00 4:00 - 5:30
Hands-on point-source processing
4:45 4:45 - 5:15
Questions and answers

Meet the Trainers

Liz Adams

Liz Adams, MS Research Associate, Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development

Ms. Adams has over 10 years of experience in model applications, model evaluation, and debugging support to developers of air quality modeling systems. Ms. Adams prepares model documentation, and performs web-based software management, software installation and testing across multiple platforms (Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows) to support public release of the Visualization Environment for Rich Data Interpretation (VERDI) tool. Ms. Adams has installed the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) training software, data and ancillary software tools to a compute server on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for an online SMOKE training course. Ms. Adams is experienced with using Python, QGIS, Panoply, IDV, VERDI, the Atmospheric Model Evaluation Tool (AMET), and Ncview to visualize and analyze NetCDF data from the CMAQ modeling system and comparing the results to data from the observational networks. She supports the CMAS Statistical and Graphical Analysis Tools training course by preparing, testing and porting input data and scripts for VERDI and AMET to the Virtual Computing Laboratory environment, preparing and delivering classroom lectures, and providing hands-on training support to students.

Payment Info

The 2.5-day course includes all training materials, the current SMOKE Training Manual, access to experienced SMOKE modelers, snacks, and beverages. Payment is accepted with check, credit card, or purchase order. Note that you are asked to make the payment or initiate the payment process (e.g. by providing the purchase order number) at the time of registration. We will send you a receipt by email to confirm the receipt of the registration and payment. If you find later that you are unable to attend to the class after registration, notify the CMAS Center as soon as possible. Please see our Payment Info page for our refund policy.


A basic knowledge of emissions and air quality modeling concepts will help students to get the most out of this course. The course covers emissions modeling terminology and basic general concepts about emissions data, but the focus is mostly on the operational details of SMOKE. A background in emissions or air quality will provide context for the need for using SMOKE.

Knowledge of the Linux command line language and the C-shell are also prerequisites for this course. Students with a working understanding of navigating Linux directory structures, viewing/editing text files, and executing commands from a Linux command prompt will benefit more from this class than students with no Linux experience.

Contact Information

For more information on the SMOKE training, please contact Brian Naess at 919-966-9925 or email