Utah's air quality is among the worst in the country. From wintertime inversions to summertime ozone haze, there are few breaks in bad-air days along the Wasatch Front and in many other hot spots in the state. Utah's bad air is one of the state’s most pressing issues, as air pollution is associated with health problems, negatively impacts quality of life and has the potential to affect economic development.

As the University for Utah, we can make a difference in cleaning the air we breathe.

On Thursday, October 3, faculty, staff, and students from disciplines spanning the institution are invited to come together as One U to engage in a daylong symposium designed to discuss what we know, work in progress, and how we can collaborate on air quality-related research, education, policy development, and outreach. The symposium is also open to community members.

Goals of the one-day symposium are:

  • Build connections between researchers across campus
  • Catalyze new research collaborations
  • Coordinate research activities
  • Communicate research findings



The Air We Breathe: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Air Quality

Thursday, October 3, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bill and Pat Child Family Community Hall, Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building



7:30 a.m.
Registration opens

8:15 - 9 a.m.
Welcome by Dr. Mike Good, senior vice president for health sciences and Dr. Dan Reed, senior vice president for academic affairs

9 - 10 a.m.
Breaching Silos: Engendering Interdisciplinary Academic, Research, and Societal Connections
Keynote speech by Dr. George D. Thurston

Professor Thurston is a leading scholar on the human health effects of air pollution and director of the Program in Exposure Assessment and Human Health Effects, Department of Environmental Medicine at New York University School of Medicine.

10 - 10:15 a.m.

10:15 - 11:15 a.m.
Environmental Change
Panelists: Steve Bannister, associate professor-lecturer, economics, and director of the MIAGE Program, Social & Behavioral Science; Tabitha Benney, assistant professor, political science; Logan Mitchell, research assistant professor, atmospheric sciences; Cheryl Pirozzi, assistant professor-clinical, pulmonary medicine

Moderator: Brenda Bowen, associate professor, geology and geophysics, and director of Global Change and Sustainability Center

11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Scientific Cooperation/Health and Environmental Data
Panelists: Keith Bartholomew, associate professor, city & metropolitan planning; John Lin, professor, atmospheric sciences; Rob Paine, professor, pulmonary medicine;  Christopher Reilly, professor associate director, pharmacology and toxicology

Moderator: Diane Pataki, professor, biological sciences, associate vice president for research


THURSDAY, October 3

12 - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch (provided) and Interactive Connecting Exercise
Please take a boxed lunch and return to Child Hall for the activity.

1:15 - 2 p.m.
Environmental Health Literacy
Panelists: Danielle Endres, professor, communication; Kerry Kelly, assistant professor, chemical engineering; Robin Marcus, professor, physical therapy/athletic training, chief health officer; Whitney Tassie, senior curator, curator of modern and contemporary art, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Moderator: Wendy Wisher, associate professor, sculpture intermedia

2 - 2:15 p.m.

2:15 - 3 p.m.
Environmental Health Inequities
Panelists: Daniel Mendoza, research assistant professor in atmospheric sciences and pulmonary fellow in the School of Medicine; Phillip Singer, assistant professor, political science; Scott Collingwood, research assistant professor, pediatrics

Moderator: Adrienne Cachelin, associate professor-lecturer, environmental & sustainability studies, director of sustainability education

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Closing remarks

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Reception/Project Exhibits


RSVPs for this event have closed.
Please contact Cassie.Slattery@utah.edu if you would like to attend.


201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Bill and Pat Child Family Community Hall,
Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building

1655 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112