Baudrand Fellowship Abstract Archive

Lisa HernandezLisa Hernandez '21

Air pollution and its lasting effects on the Earth, such as its contribution to climate change and respiratory problems for humans with long-term exposure, have been a concern and have been monitored for many years. Monitoring air quality allows the government to create standards for the concentration of air pollution components and propose limits on anthropogenic sources for human safety. NO2, a known compound contributing to air pollution, is emitted mainly by fossil fuel combustion and can be detrimental to human health if the concentration of NO2 becomes too high. This is why it is important that the amount of NO2 be analyzed and any trends may be observed. Currently, there are no available data for atmospheric trace gases in the city of Whittier, so obtaining these data can aid in studies of Los Angeles county’s air pollution. Over the summer, I have measured NO2 from the roof of Whittier College’s science building using Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS). These data represent the first vertically resolved NO2 measurements in Whittier. The comparison of these data along with Pico Rivera NO2 data, available on the California Air Resources Board website, shows any general differences between the air quality of the nearby city as well as showing any major differences through the form of trends. It was found that, despite the close proximity of Pico Rivera to Whittier, there are significantly different trends in NO2 content. The validity of possible causes behind this dissimilarity will continue to be explored. Also, using temperature data in Whittier, a probable correlation between NO2 and temperature was evaluated.