Senior Geography Research: Analyzing Air Quality in Keene

Each year our geographyAirQuality seniors take part in the required Seminar II course in which they engage in exciting and relevant research. In the fall of 2013, five seniors collaborated with Dr. Nora Travis, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, to contribute to ongoing research on air quality issues in Keene. While Keene is an idyllic setting, the same beautiful glacial valley that provides excellent recreation opportunities can also contribute to air quality issues on cold winter nights. Air inversions can trap particulate matter from woodsmoke, causing respiratory issues for local residents. Dr. Travis works with federal, state and local partners to explore this issue and educate the public. Our seniors spent much of the fall of 2013 documenting and mapping the presence of wood stoves in Keene homes. Knowing the potential sources of wood smoke is important to correlate with other data that illustrate the concentration of particulate matter. Together, this information can lead to mitigation efforts that can ultimately lead to cleaner air. Read more about this project and many others on our Student Work page.

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