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USU's Science Unwrapped Tackles Cache Valley’s 'Bad Air Days’ Sept. 6

Tuesday, Sep. 03, 2013

Science Unwrapped 'Toward Fewer Bad Air Days' logo

Back from summer break, Science Unwrapped resumes with the new 'Toward Fewer Bad Air Days' series, Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Eccles Science Learning Center auditorium. The gathering is free and all ages are welcome.

USU environmental engineer Randy Martin

Out of the tailpipes of cars and cows: USU environmental engineer Randy Martin, featured Science Unwrapped speaker Sept. 6, discusses Cache Valley's 'perfect storm’ that contributes to winter particulate matter pollution.

The characteristics that make Cache Valley, home of Utah State University, an enchanting place to live — encircling, majestic peaks; pastoral scenes of grazing cattle and snowy landscapes — are among the very factors that contribute to one of the area’s not-so-attractive qualities: smoggy winters.

Environmental engineer Randy Martin tackles this topic as featured speaker for USU’s Science Unwrapped presentation Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium (Room 130) of the Eccles Science Learning Center. Martin’s talk, “Cracking the Code: Deciphering Cache Valley’s PM2.5 Mystery,” is free and open to all ages.

Martin, associate research professor in USU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has long studied conditions in northern Utah that contribute to particulate matter pollution during winter months.

“We have the perfect storm,” Martin says. “Logan’s particulate matter (PM) 2.5 issues are associated with the valley’s bowl-shaped geography, temperature inversions, ammonia and vehicle emissions and cold temperatures.”

Hands-on learning activities and exhibits follow Martin’s talk.

Hosted by USU’s College of Science, Friday’s Science Unwrapped gathering kicks off the program’s fall 2013 “Toward Fewer Bad Air Days” series.

For more information, call 435-797-3517, visit the Science Unwrapped website or view the ‘Science Unwrapped at USU’ Facebook page.

Related link:

USU College of Science

Contact: Nancy Huntly, 435-797-2555,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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