A new paper by group members Dr. Nate May, Clara Dixon, and Dr. Dan Jaffe evaluates the effectiveness of low-cost air filter units during wildfire smoke events. The increased wildland fire activity in the western US in recent years produces high concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which negatively affects the health of millions of people. During wildfire smoke events, staying indoors is often recommended. However, how good is indoor air quality during smoke events? The authors looked at PM2.5 measurements from the PurpleAir sensor network, a publicly available network of low-cost air quality sensors located indoors and outdoors. They also analyzed the effectiveness of residential filter units in reducing indoor PM2.5. One low-cost DIY filtration method consists of attaching a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value-13 (MERV-13) fan filter to a standard box fan. This method was found to be highly effective at reducing indoor PM2.5 when recirculating air in a single room.
Read the full paper in Aerosol and Air Quality Research
See the video on how to make your own air purifier at home
We are pleased to announce that Nate May has joined our group as a post-doctoral scholar! In his new position, Nate will be utilizing his atmospheric aerosol research experience to study indoor air quality, including the impacts of wildfire smoke events, and to contribute to the ongoing field studies at the Mount Bachelor Observatory. Nate is looking forward to “the opportunity to do field work at the Mount Bachelor Observatory and contribute to research on the increasingly important issue of air quality, and more generally returning to atmospheric research after teaching for the past two years.”
Nate received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. His dissertation research focused on the production, transport, and chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols generated from wave breaking in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes.
Originally from Poulsbo, Washington, Nate is a Pacific NW native and enjoys supporting the Seattle Sounders. In his free time, he can also be found hiking, biking, kayaking, baking, cooking, and spending time with his partner, Gloria, and puppy, Juniper.
We look forward to welcoming Nate in person in the not-too-distant future and hope to sample some of his culinary treats. Welcome, Nate! We are so glad to have you as part of our research team.