U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Funds UAlbany Atmospheric Research Designed to Improve Air Quality, Protect Health

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 7, 2012) -- Kenneth L. Demerjian, a research scientist at UAlbany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), is partnering with Professor H. Mao of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and scientists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a prototype air quality management tool to provide real-time information on the effects of man-made emissions on air pollution concentrations.

The research is being funded with a $499,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA awarded the grant to advance research on innovative processes to further improve air quality in the U.S. and help track the effectiveness of pollution control measures. Pollutants such as ozone and fine particles are linked to a variety of serious health effects, including aggravation of asthma and other lung diseases, heart attacks, increased hospital admissions and medication use, and premature death.

Demerjian’s research will assess the historic relationships between planned and actual changes in emissions and pollutant concentrations, with results analyzed to identify avenues for the development of an objective, dynamic air quality planning framework.
Industrial smokestacks billowing smoke
With the EPA grant, UAlbany atmospheric science researchers will advance innovative processes to help track the effectiveness of pollution control measures.

"This study provides a unique application of air quality forecast modeling and its potential for revealing the benefits of next day emissions interventions as a regulatory option in air quality management,” said Demerjian, the University's Ray Falconer Endowed Chair in atmospheric sciences and immediate past director of ASRC.

"Reducing air pollution is one of the most effective strategies to protect public health," said Judith Enck, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2. "The money we invest in research now will be more than made back in the form of fewer sick days taken and less money spent treating respiratory illness later on."

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center was established in 1961 to promote and encourage programs in basic and applied sciences as related to the atmospheric environment. The Center performs world-class research to study the physical and chemical nature of the atmosphere and to apply that knowledge to the interaction of chemical, physical, geological and biological processes impacting our environment. In the performance of these research activities the Center serves to enhance the scientific capacity and infrastructure of New York State, through technology transfer and collaboration with state, federal and industrial partners, to advance the quality of life and economic well-being of its citizens.

The combined work conducted by investigators in the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and the University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, with its emphasis on weather forecasting and the measurement and prediction of extreme weather events, constitutes the largest program of education and research in the atmospheric sciences in New York state. 

Read more about the University at Albany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. For more UAlbany News, visit the News Center.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.