NASA Health and Air Quality Team brings research ‘down to Earth’

May 30, 2018

When we think about the health impacts of air pollution, it’s important to know which pollutants are in the air we breathe. Fortunately, the U.S. has a large network of air monitoring instruments designed to measure this “nose-level” pollution, from ozone to particulates. In fact, the U.S. has made excellent progress toward clean air in the past four decades thanks to these instruments. Using historic data only goes so far, since many land areas do not have monitors and there aren’t any over lakes, oceans or beyond the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

That’s why Tracey Holloway, Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, looks beyond the skies by using NASA satellites to see the global picture of air quality issues from space.

Holloway leads the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST, “hay-kast”), a program dedicated to solving real-world public health and air quality problems using NASA data. The team conducts cutting-edge research with the goal of demonstrating the utility of these NASA satellite data for health and air quality organizations. Holloway has led the team since 2016, building on her previous role as deputy director of NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (AQAST, “ay-kast”).

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