AIRE: Atmospheric Information Resource for Educators and students

De la saca de correos: “Mi hija tiene asma. ¿De qué manera la contaminación del aire afecta a su salud?”

Pregunta: Mi hija tiene asma. ¿De qué manera la contaminación del aire afecta a su salud? – M.N., New York, NY

Respuesta: Las personas asmáticas son muy sensibles a los efectos de la contaminación del aire. Al respirar el aire contaminado, esto puede desencadenar o empeorar los síntomas del asma.  El ĺndice de Calidad del Aire (AQI) es una medida que nos dice que tan ‘saludable’ es el estado actual del aire que respiramos. El AQI se calcula por los niveles de unas sustancias presentes en el aire, las cuales pueden afectar la salud humana, por ejemplo el ozono y la materia particulada. Un nivel AQI sobre 101 no es saludable para la gente asmática, mientras que para los adultos con un buen estado de salud y sin asma, un nivel de AQI sobre 151 no es saludable.

La Prof. McNeill también tiene asma y en los días con alto AQI, ella no se siente bien y usa más el inhalador. Cuando ella estudiaba en la universidad Caltech, cerca de Los Angeles, la calidad del aire fue muy mala, peor que hoy, y esto la motivó a estudiar la química atmosférica.

 

 

Prof. McNeill at the Chapin School

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 Q&A Session on reddit

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:  http://redd.it/201xvt.

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Spotlight on a Scientist ~ Dr. Samar Moussa

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
Hobbies: Reading
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.

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