By Cory Nealon and Ellen Gray
Published May 21, 2020
UB atmospheric scientist Kang Sun has been awarded a $100,000 NASA grant to study air pollution in three regions of the world as it relates to COVID-19.
The focus of the effort will be southern California, Jianghan Plain (which includes Wuhan) in China and Po Valley in Italy ─ all areas where once-congested streets were made easily navigable by travel restrictions associated with the novel coronavirus.
Although satellites have observed a global decrease in some types of air pollution, including nitrogen dioxide, it remains to be seen how long the reduction in harmful emissions will last and what effects these changes will have on the chemistry of the atmosphere in the future.
An assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Sun is developing a process that will give scientists and stakeholders a way to efficiently monitor both.
"Using a new data-driven framework that combines satellite and meteorological data, we will take NASA satellite assets one step further to quantify the reduction in emissions and its impact on air quality chemistry," says Sun, who also has an appointment in the UB RENEW Institute.
For now, he plans to focus his research on three regions, each at different phases of the pandemic and that have adhered to different regulations and policies in an effort to control it. He adds that the framework he is developing can be quickly applied to other regions.
NASA’s Earth Science Division, which is supporting the science community as it investigates the many changes this unique situation has brought to light, awarded the grant. Through the agency’s Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science (RRNES) initiative, NASA is funding selected, rapid-turnaround projects that make innovative use of satellite data and other NASA resources to address the different environmental, economic and societal impacts of the pandemic.
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Ning Dai, assistant professor received an NSF CAREER award for her proposal titled: CAREER: Impacts of Marine Algal Blooms on Disinfection By-Product Formation in Seawater Desalination. For more information about her award and abstract, Click Here. To read more about the NSF CAREER Awards, Follow this link
Professor Michel Bruneau has been named Fellow at the Candian Academy of Engineering. Read More about Bruneau's Canadian Academy of Engineering Award here
Professor Michel Bruneau receives the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Read More about Professor Bruneau's SUNY Chancellor's Award at this link
Professor Andre Filiatrault receives the "Most Influential Paper Award" for an article he co-authored in the Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. Read More about professor Filiatrault's paper award here