The air quality area of specialization includes both outdoor and indoor air quality. Outdoor air quality ranges in scale from localized, such as ozone in the Denver metro area, to global climate change, and the ozone hole in the upper atmosphere. Air quality is a concern both from a human health perspective and broader effects to the entire planet. In the United States the Clean Air Act regulates air quality. Indoor air quality is also of critical importance, particularly given that Americans spend the bulk of their time indoors. Indoor air pollutants may include radon (which seeps into the building from surrounding soil); bioaerosols (including airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores, etc.); volatile organic compounds that off-gas from paint, carpet, plastics of computers, etc.
Air quality monitoring by collecting air samples from outdoor or indoor environments
Working with toxicologists, biologists, etc. to conduct human health impact evaluations
Working with regulatory agencies to develop new standards to ensure public health and overall environmental quality
Ensure that industries, regions, and cars are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations designing air pollution control devices for power plants, industries, cars
Using modeling software to predict the fate and transport of contaminants in the air, including transformation reactions in sunlight, etc.
Designing indoor air treatment devices that can be placed in HVAC ducts such as UV lights and HEPA filters
Designing devices to sample and analyze air, for example real time monitors needed in the case of bioterrorism attacks.
Students select at least Two courses from this list (or a second from list A, no double counting). Faculty can petition to add additional courses.
*I Offered intermittently
ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC SCIENCES (ATOC) MINOR
This area of specialization is highly compatible with a minor in ATOC.