Question: What does the air quality index measure, and what values correspond to ‘good’ air quality? – T.L., Manila, Philippines
Answer: Good question! The Air Quality Index (AQI) is calculated based on the concentrations of different pollutants in the air, including atmospheric particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. According to the U.S. EPA, an AQI of 0-50 corresponds to “good” air quality. AQI of 51-100 is “moderate.” When AQI is 101-150, the conditions are “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. AQI of above 151 is considered unhealthy for everyone.
This fantastic blog was recently brought to our attention. It is an excellent resource for students and educators interested in oceanography and fluid dynamics. Mirjam Glessmer has a passion for simple experiments demonstrating important concepts in oceanography. Her blog features many videos and descriptions of these experiments which can be used for classroom demonstrations or at-home learning activities. She also posts on teaching philosophy. Check it out!
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Welcome to the next generation of the McNeill Group’s bilingual outreach website, newly renamed “AIRE.” AIRE is an acronym for “Atmospheric Information Resource for Educators and students,” and also means “air” in Spanish. The McNeill Group is working to revitalize this website in our ongoing efforts to bring easy-to-understand, scientifically accurate information about the atmosphere, air pollution, and climate to the public. Please feel free to contact us with suggestions, questions, or compliments on our site. And don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @AIRE_outreach!
– The McNeill Group AIRE team
Prof. McNeill attended an event titled “Leaders’ Forum on Women Leading the Way- Raising Ambition for Climate Action” on Monday Sep. 22. The event was hosted by UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice in conjunction with the UN Climate Summit 2014.
Prof. McNeill has visited the Chapin School, an all-girls private school in Manhattan, in 2010, 2011, and 2014 to speak about her research and careers in engineering.
Prof. McNeill held an “Ask me Anything” question and answer session on Reddit on March 10, 2014. Lots of great topics came up including work-life balance, staying inspired in engineering studies, “natural” surfactants, sippy cup science, and more. The discussion even made it to the “front page” of reddit for a few hours! In case you missed it, you can still see the discussion here: can i buy doxycycline in bali.
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Hi, my name is Samar Moussa . I am an atmospheric chemist.
|The Fun Stuff
Favorite Movie: The God Father II
Favorite TV Show: The Daily Show
Favorite Book: The Alchemist
Favorite Cuisine: Lebanese
If she wasn’t a chemist, she would be a…: A TV anchor
Least Known Trait: A cockroach lived for 24 hours in her ear!
The More Serious Stuff
How did you get interested in atmospheric science?
I got interested in atmospheric sciences during my master’s degree where I was involved in a field campaign to measure atmospheric pollutants.
What is the best part of doing research in a Chem-E/Atmospheric Science lab?
The best part of doing research in a Chem-E/Atmospheric Science lab is the interaction with all the scientists and knowing that your research can make a difference on a bigger scale…[This type of research] is interesting, and there is still a large amount of uncertainty in this area. Any findings will be very important and will better give insight to understanding causes for climate change.
What research are you currently working on?
The goal of my research is to understand trace gas- ice interactions that happen in the polar region. Understanding the chemistry behind what is happening in that region is very important and can give additional insights into ice core records.
What instruments/machines do you use for your research?
Ellipsometry and Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry (CIMS)
What is one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring chemical engineer or scientist?
My advice to aspiring chemical engineers or scientists is to be positive, passionate, and always trying to make a difference in what they are pursuing.
How do you plan to apply your degree in a future career?
My plan is to become a professor and train young scientists to make a difference in this world.