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UW Seeks Volunteers in Sublette County for Air Quality Study


February 2, 2009 — University of Wyoming researchers are seeking volunteers in Sublette County to assist with an air quality monitoring study that will record ozone air levels.

A joint effort of the Environment and Natural Resources program and the Atmospheric Science Department, the six-month project will include three major components: Deploying a mobile air quality monitoring laboratory, placing passive ozone monitors throughout the Upper Green River Basin to map ozone distribution and the recording of human exposure to ozone.

Volunteers in the study will wear a clip-on, passive ozone sampler that will record how much ozone he or she comes into contact with during an eight-hour time period. All volunteers will be required to keep a simple log of their whereabouts during the day while wearing the monitoring device.

"Because our ozone research covers such a large area, we need to engage volunteers who live and work in Sublette County to assist us," says Robert Field, an air quality measurement specialist at UW and a principal investigator on the project. "With this collaborative effort, we feel confident we can meet our research goal to better understand the distribution of ozone levels."

Adds Derek Montague, an associate professor in the UW Atmospheric Science Department, "Anyone is welcome to take part and volunteer for this research project, regardless of age or occupation. This is a unique opportunity for local residents to be directly involved in an important scientific study."

To volunteer for the project, contact Field at (307) 766-2701 or e-mail rfield1@uwyo.edu.

In addition to the personal exposure aspect of the study, UW researchers will measure ozone with similar sampling devices at 50 strategic locations throughout Sublette County. The stationary samplers will measure ozone during the same eight hours that volunteers are scheduled to record ozone during their daily routines. The data will then be compiled to create an ozone contour map that spans population, developed and rural lands.

A UW mobile air quality monitoring laboratory will also be used at five different locations throughout the county, including Big Piney and Pinedale high schools.

"The purpose of the mobile lab is to complement the other data collection processes and to better understand air quality in populated areas, as well as both upwind and downwind of oil and gas development," Field says.

UW's project supports ongoing efforts by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Air Quality Division and the Sublette County Commission to monitor ozone to gain a better understanding of air quality in the area. The research is funded by the DEQ Air Quality Division and the UW School of Energy Resources.

Photo:
Matt Burkhart, a research scientist in the University of Wyoming Atmospheric Science Department, has played an instrumental role in technical support for a six-month air quality project in Sublette County. (UW Photo)

Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009

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