Rice to host NASA air-quality meeting

Daniel Cohan

Daniel Cohan

Early results of aerial monitoring of Houston pollution will be discussed 

Rice University will hear of NASA’s continuing efforts to monitor the nation’s air quality when it hosts the sixth semiannual meeting of the agency’s Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (AQAST) Jan. 15-17.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. each day at Rice Memorial Center’s Farnsworth Pavilion and will include a poster session at 5 p.m. Jan. 15 at Keck Hall.

Rice University and University of Houston faculty are studying particulate matter in Houston’s atmosphere, matching readings from their mobile lab to health statistics in the city’s neighborhoods. From left: Rice’s Rob Griffin, Justin Denney and Rachel Kimbro and the University of Houston’s Barry Lefer. Photo by Tommy LaVergne

Part of the discussion will focus on early results from NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ mission, in which low- and high-flying aircraft analyzed air quality at different altitudes last September to improve the ability of satellites to monitor surface air quality. It incorporated data from an ongoing study by Rice and the University of Houston to evaluate how and where airborne particulate matter affects the health of Houstonians. Rob Griffin, a Rice professor of civil and environmental engineering, is leading the study.

Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice, is the local host of the meeting, which brings together AQAST members, air-quality managers and research and applications partners to share information about pressing issues. Cohan is one of 19 scientists selected by NASA to work together over a five-year period to catalyze greater use of remote sensing data from satellites and other platforms to inform air-quality management.

An agenda and information about registration and remote Web access for the conference are available at the AQAST website.


About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.