The Air Up There - Investigating Air Pollution and Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere
Dates: July 10-21, 2017
Have you ever wondered what ice fog is? Or why Fairbanks gets smoky in the summertime? Do you ever hear people talk about climate change? Or greenhouse gasses? Do you ever wonder how you can do research on the atmosphere when you can’t even see it most of the time? Have you ever wondered what is in the air that you are breathing all the time? How do you know it’s there? How do you know when it’s not?
In this module, we will take a deep breath and dive into the invisible fluid that constantly surrounds us. We’ll look at the effects of summer forest fires on local air quality, and then we’ll head high up into the mountains and search for some fresh air. We will talk about what our atmosphere looks like miles above our heads, and then we’ll look deep under water and see how the changing atmosphere is impacting our oceans. We’ll talk about the trend of increasing carbon dioxide and look at some real, visible effects of this in our local environment. We’ll work in the lab, the forest, the mountains and rivers and investigate the role that our air has on our planet.
Apply Here - Link only works during the application period, February 1 through April 15
Meet the Instructors
John Harley, PhD candidate, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks
I am a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I am an avid mountaineer, climber, adventurer and outdoor enthusiast. I love the environment, and want to do everything I can to keep it pristine for future generations. For the past few years I have been studying the effects of winter PM2.5 on the health of sled dogs in Fairbanks, and I have always been fascinated by the atmosphere and the air we breathe, especially at high elevations (where breathing is hard!). Throughout my career I have worked with students of all ages, and have been a camp counselor for several years at the YMCA. I have designed several modules for high school and undergraduate courses, and I am looking forward to continue to educate students this summer.
Mariela Brooks, PhD candidate, Department of Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
I am a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. I study how carbon dioxide moves between the atmosphere and the oceans. I also look at what happens to carbon dioxide once it goes into the ocean and how long it stays there. I grew up in Hawaii which is where I first developed my love for the ocean and nature in general, and I love being outside. This led to my passion for studying the environment as well as hobbies and activities like surfing, rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking and camping. I’ve taught various climate science focused demonstrations and activities with elementary, middle, and high school students through programs organized by the Birch Aquarium and Scripps Institution of Oceanography and plan to continue with a career in STEM outreach and education after completing my program.