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DTP Atmosphere Day - 31st May 2017

June 27, 2017

The 2017 round of Spheres Days kicked off with the atmosphere day on 31st May, at the School of Earth and Environment in Leeds. This year’s theme was air quality in the UK organised by Dom Spracklen of SEE.

Richard Pope (SEE) gave the opening talk to introduce the problem of air quality, giving a background of what pollution is, where it comes from and why it is such an important issue.

Next up Sarah Moller (York, WACL) talked to us more specifically about the problem of pollution in the UK, giving a brief history of policies, legislation and schemes that have been introduced to try and tackle pollution.

After a quick coffee break Pete Edwards (York, WACL) looked at urban air quality and the various way in which we can monitor our air quality.

Hannah Walker (SEE) then introduced the day’s activity – monitoring the air quality across the university campus. The group was split into 8 teams, each given a Dylos particle counter and a GPS and after an excellent Opposite lunch, were sent out to map air pollution in and around the university.

Each team chose a slightly different method, some focusing on parks and green areas to capture background levels of pollution, while others such a Sam (above) were interested in the impact of traffic on our air quality.

The one thing that was universally agreed on was that the excursion should end with each team meeting at the pub to ‘calibrate’ the instruments.

With the monitoring done all that was left to do was pool the data back at the university and produce images of the spatial distribution of air quality on campus.

With a little hard work and some Microsoft Excel expertise we were finally able to produce a map of all our data.

Thanks again to all our speakers, organisers and students.