Baylor's Aviation Sciences Part Of Texas Air Quality Study Media Day

Aug. 23, 2000

by LoAna Lopez

Participants in a national month-long study of air quality will host a media day at Ellington Field, the Houston-area study site, at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24. Ellingon Field is located eight miles southeast of William P. Hobby Airport.

The Texas Air Quality Study 2000 -- the largest air quality study ever done in Texas -- combines a national team of researchers, including Baylor University's aviation sciences department. The study, which began Aug. 14, will help participants understand the factors that control the formation and transport of air pollutants along the Gulf Coast of southeastern Texas. Researchers will use data collected during the study to help analyze the chemical makeup of fine particulates, where they come from and how they behave in the atmosphere.

Dr. Maxwell Shauck, chair of the aviation sciences department at Baylor, said he hopes the study will eventually lead to better laws for protecting the air. "This study is aimed at providing enough scientific information about the causes and levels of pollution so that political decisions can be made intellectually."

In addition to Baylor, key participants include NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, (TNRCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Texas and Rice University.

Measurements of gaseous, particulate and hazardous air pollutants will be made at approximately 20 ground stations, located throughout the eastern half of the state. Experts in meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and other areas of science will study the formation, composition and day-night cycles of ozone and particulate matter, as well as how these pollutants are affected by weather. Results of this study will be assembled into computer models for assessing the health effects of pollution and developing effective strategies to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

For more information or interviews, contact Shauck (pronounced 'shock') at (254) 722-9234 or visit the Texas Air Quality Study 2000 website at www.utexas.edu/research/ceer/texaqs/ .

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