I am a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Earth and Environmental Science. I am planning on pursuing a masters in environmental studies. As a Philly native, I am extremely concerned about pollution and how it affects people that reside near it. This summer I am researching the air pollution levels in the green spaces of the city.
What is your summer research project?
Air pollution generally has detrimental effects on human health, especially in high density areas. My research focus was to monitor the levels of air pollution within the green spaces of the city of Philadelphia. I was able to utilize devices called AirBeam 2 which records measurements of particulate matter 1, 2.5 and 10. I collected data on a study of five parks in Philadelphia, along with the ambient levels. Certain parks had higher levels of PM 2.5, which can exacerbate respiratory and circulatory diseases.
What are the implications of your research?
Certain parks in Philadelphia had unusually high levels of particulate matter 2.5. This is attributed to their close proximity to high traffic areas such as the interstate, airport or industrial areas. Some implications of this research may be used to present new legislation to protect the air surrounding green spaces. Additionally, it can be used to educate the public about the pollution problems in certain parks.
What new skills have you gained through your research?
This summer, I was able to learn better research skills, in addition to new data analysis techniques. I was able to utilize RStudio and GIS to analyze the data I collected over the summer. In addition to technical skills, I was able to network with many different professionals, from academia, industry and government. This has been an extremely enriching experience for me