GASP). We'll have an update by GASP staff on the organization's doings over the past year in the realms of policy, advocacy, litigation, education, and science, making southwestern Pennsylvania a better place to breathe. Featured speaker Neil Donahue will lead a discussion about atmospheric particles, and you'll be able to check out the new Bike Air Monitor (BAM) equipment developed by GASP (with funding from Google), as well as Carnegie Mellon's Mobile Air Quality Lab. monthly Sustainability Salon (by way of disclosure, I'm also on the board of
BAM bicyclist, director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, and your friendly co-host) will guide a conversation about what all this means -- to human health, to climate, and to what we can (or cannot) do about it.
What is the air like in your neighborhood? One way to define Pittsburgh is through its variability. There are hills and valleys (with another hill past this valley and another valley past that hill), legions of distinctive neighborhoods, and, of course, sometimes unpredictable weather. We can add concentrations of air pollutants to the list, because the variability in land use, elevation (hilltop versus valley), and the distribution of pollutant sources lead to significant heterogeneity in pollutant concentrations in the city and region. One way to approach this variability is to conduct sampling in a variety of different locations in a relatively short amount of time. This is exactly what's being done by CAPS, using a specially-outfitted van as a mobile sampling unit. ranging from investigating emissions of Air Force refueling jets to monitoring Marcellus drilling sites (the image below shows a flaring well in the background). He will lead tours of the mobile lab, and talk about on some of its early findings about the variability of different air pollutants in Pittsburgh.