Houston, TX

Interdisciplinary Project by University of Houston to Map Out Houston Regional Air Pollution

Jason Martinez

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HOUSTON, TX - The University of Houston is doing an interdisciplinary project intending to discover how tracking and observing the air quality might positively impact the communities. They worked together with Air Alliance Houston and the Healthy Port Community Coalition for this project.

Under the guidance of Xiaojing Yuan, a technology professor, and Bruce Race, an architecture professor, the students start mapping Houston's regional air pollution and study all the gathered data. Their data include "wind roses," a way to illustrate how the wind usually scatters the pollutants as they blow from the ship and other transportations.

The data from "wind roses" lead the student to the question, "Why does the air quality in the poorer area in Houston is worse?"

This project involving some disciplinary courses helps students in environmental issues major to learn and improve themselves. Professor Yuan states that "This project is showing that academics can make real change."

Besides the student, air pollution is also an important concern that affects all people living in greater Houston and around the ports. After all, air Pollution in Houston is unavoidable, considering it has the second biggest port in the nation, the Port of Houston. Being such a busy hub, the huge carbon footprint will impact the area's air quality.

The source of pollution in Houston communities mostly are:

- Ships that deliver goods;

- Distillation tower emissions;

- Refinery flares; and

- Fire explosions from the warehouse or tank.

It has become a thing to worry about for the citizens considering PM 2.5, a small particle that could cause lung or even cardiovascular illness.

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