For more than 100 years, scientists have studied chemical reactions in which elements combine with oxygen to form oxides. Traditionally, studies on oxides relied on ex situ characterization, which captures changes after a reaction has occurred. But today, instruments capable of monitoring dynamic processes as they happen in real time and under reaction conditions are providing new insights into oxidation at the atomic scale. Several of these in situ and operando instruments exist at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Since 2010, Guangwen Zhou—a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, interim director of the Materials Science and Engineering Program, associator director for the Institute for Materials Research, and principal investigator of the Surface and Interface Laboratory at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY)—has been performing in situ and operando microscopy and spectroscopy in the CFN Electron Microscopy, Proximal Probes, and Theory and Computation Facilities to understand the fundamental mechanisms of oxidation. Prior to joining Binghamton faculty in 2007, Zhou was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory, and research associate at Beijing Laboratory of Electron Microscopy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received a PhD in materials science from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in physics from Beijing University of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Xiangtan University. Over his career, Zhou has published more than 200 journal papers and received several awards, including the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.