The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just ~15 official air quality monitoring sites around the immense area of Alaska to monitor air pollutants that can affect human health. Wildfire smoke, for example, produced about 60,000 tons of PM2.5 in 2018 (400,000 acres were burned –just a moderate fire season for Alaska!) If data from lower quality private and academic air sensors (called “Purple Air”) could also be used, we could add an additional 100 monitoring sites to better understand and forecast air quality. NASA ABoVE scientists Allison Baer and Tatiana Loboda from the University of Maryland compared EPA and Purple Air sensor data and came up with calibrations that correlate extremely well (coded T&RH—see example graphic below). You can view their Interactive Poster at the 6th ABoVE Science Team meeting—this week (Jun 1-4): https://astm6-agu.ipostersessions.com/default.aspx?s=09-98-87-A0-E6-1A-FA-E4-79-58-CF-F8-B6-54-4B-79
The 2011 Alaska Fire Science Workshop will be October 6-7 at the BLM – Alaska Fire Service office on Fort Wainwright, AK. This year’s workshop will cover topics ranging from new fire behavior modeling tools, to effects of changing fire regimes, to communicating fire science through art.
Register now for the ” Exploring the Mega-Fire Reality 2011: A Forest Ecology and Management Conference.” This event will be held November 14-17, 2011 at the Florida State University Conference Center.