The University of Colorado Boulder and Western Slope Conservation Center are working with local high schools to monitor air quality in the North Fork Valley.
Monitoring pods have been installed at Paonia High School, Hotchkiss High School, Delicious Orchards and Desert Weyr.
CU engineers led by Ashley Collier will return once a month to check the statistics collected on air quality.
CU professor Mike Hannigan taught Paonia students in Ben Grave's advanced placement environmental science class about the work scientists are doing in northern Ghana. The problem there and in two-thirds of the world is that daily meals are cooked over open-flame fires fueled by wood, animal dung and waste. Smoke with pollutants fills the small living quarters, creating health problems. In fact, pollution from smoke emissions is the fourth biggest killer in the world.
Hannigan explained that the challenge for the scientists is not to just provide new cooking stoves to the women in northern Ghana, but to find stoves they will also want to use. A solution that doesn't fit the people isn't a solution at all.
Graves pointed out that the CU scientists targeted a problem and then developed a model of inquiry in search of a solution. Local students will use the same kind of approach to study the air quality in the North Fork Valley.
The students already have a list of items they want to analyze. What happens to the air quality when farmers and ranchers do their seasonal ditch burnings? How does methane from the coal mines affect the air quality? In the winter, what happens to air quality when people use their wood stoves compared with those who use natural gas or coal to heat their homes? What is the effect of car emissions when using gasoline versus diesel?
CU engineers will analyze the statistics being recorded 24/7 in the North Fork Valley, mapping how pollutants might flow in and out of the valley.
Valley students will determine problems in this area and come up with solutions.blog comments powered by Disqus