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“I really love the idea of being able to breathe in clean air,” Analeah Vaugn said. “I came today to hear what others have to say regarding our air and learn about what we can do to change the poor air quality now.”

Over 100 professionals, students and concern citizens attended the second annual “Science for Solutions” Utah Air Quality Conference on March 29 hosted by Weber State University’s College of Science

The main focus behind the one day event was to discuss air science, particularly the air quality in Utah and the Intermountain West. The presenters’ topics included atmospheric chemistry, health impacts and emissions.

The mission of the conference was to bring together researchers from different areas to share their ideas and current developments in the field.

Although each presenter was limited to 15 minutes to talk about their research and findings, they were interested in answering questions, ideas or concerns that attendees had during lunch and other breaks.

One of the students in attendance, Keilee Stratton, is a member of Weber State’s Environmental Ambassadors. When she heard about the conference, she ensured her attendance.

“I wanted to come to the conference because it is very relevant to the area around campus because air quality is a problem for us,” Stratton said. “I wanted to be able to learn more about our air quality and to see what others are working on to fix it.

Ashlie Kinross, a student from Utah State University, came to the event so she can learn more about the issues and current projects from people who are working every day to make the air quality better.

“Coming to this conference is a quick and educational experience,” Kinross said. “It has been interesting to see how people are working and trying to figure out what is in our air that is unique to Utah.”

A research project, currently in-progress, featured a sensor is called AirU and was developed at the University of Utah. The instrument, in short, can measure the levels of particle and carbon monoxide pollution.

The sensor is roughly the size of a smoke detector and measures particulate matter concentrations in the air, providing indicators of the current air quality. The project is currently only focusing on the Salt Lake Valley area with around 50 physical sensors in position.

Poor air quality is harmful not only to overall health but can have a negative impact on community members and the local environment.

To find out more about current sustainability and clean air efforts at WSU, visit https://www.weber.edu/sustainability.

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