College of Engineering Faculty Contribute to Inaugural Report from USU’s new Institute for Land, Water, and Air

12/21/2021

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News Release — December 21, 2021 — Randy Martin, an associate research professor of environmental engineering, is one of many Utah State University faculty members who contributed to the recently completed 2021 Report to the Governor on Utah’s Land, Water, and Air.

Randy Martin, an associate research professor of environmental engineering, is one of the USU faculty members who contributed to the inaugural 2021 Report to the Governor on Utah’s Land, Water, and Air. (Credit: Matt Jensen/USU)

Randy Martin, an associate research professor of environmental engineering, is one of the USU faculty members who contributed to the inaugural 2021 Report to the Governor on Utah’s Land, Water, and Air. (Credit: Matt Jensen/USU)

Released on Dec. 14, this is the inaugural report for the newly formed Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water, and Air. The purpose of the report is to provide the governor and other key policymakers in Utah with information to support strategies for sustainable growth and wellbeing in the state.

Martin was the lead author of the report’s chapter on air, which identifies fine particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and climate trends as three key issues impacting Utah’s air quality. To determine which issues would be highlighted, Martin consulted researchers from USU and other institutions across the state.

“Air pollution affects everybody in this state,” Martin said. “Many people are involved in the research around the state; we don’t do this in a vacuum.”

The chapter on air includes successes and continued issues. For example, efforts to reduce PM2.5 in the state are working, while summer ground-level ozone levels are rising.

“What you want people to understand is what the problem is and what we know about it and then what we can do to fix it,” Martin said.

Randy Martin was the lead author of the report’s chapter on air, which identifies fine particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and climate trends as three key issues impacting Utah’s air quality. (Credit: USU)

Randy Martin was the lead author of the report’s chapter on air, which identifies fine particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and climate trends as three key issues impacting Utah’s air quality. (Credit: USU)

Martin is curious to see what the future of the Institute of Land, Water, and Air will be and hopes he and other researchers will be able to continue to advance the state of knowledge in these subject areas.

“You don’t want to have this as a one-and-done report because all of those subject areas are not a one-and-done,” Martin said. “They’re continually changing.”

As to what specific areas future reports explore, Martin wants policymakers and other stakeholders to participate in the conversations that shape the research.

“What I would really like to see is those stakeholders that are reading this report ask us questions,” Martin said. “Not just ‘what do you think about this,’ but ‘what are the unknowns’?”

Other College of Engineering faculty who contributed to the report include David Rosenberg, David Tarboton, and Alfonso Torres-Rua.

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Writer: Matilyn Mortensen, matilyn.mortensen@usu.edu, 435-797-7512

Contact: Randy Martin, randy.martin@usu.edu, 435-797-1585