Students Learn Science, Politics of Air Quality

A group of University of Utah honors students has had a crash course in the science and politics of air quality. 

The experience culminates Friday, March 6, with a presentation of signed letters from business leaders supporting air quality initiatives to a representative of the governor’s office.

Ten students have participated in a year-long honors Praxis Lab called “Air Quality, Health & Society,” under the direction of Kevin Perry, chair of the U’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and Stephen Trimble, a writer, photographer and conservationist.

During the year, the students learned about the science, ethics and politics behind air quality, and heard from numerous guest lecturers and stakeholders. They also engaged in projects, including drafting  a letter for business leaders to sign. The letter notes that air pollution isn’t just an environmental or health issue, but also negatively affects businesses. They also partnered with Breathe Utah to create short educational videos on air quality for use in public schools.

Friday, at the 20th Annual Wallace Stegner Center Symposium at the University of Utah, the class was scheduled to present the signed letters to a representative from the governor’s office.