Built Environment and Sustainability:
Transportation in Practice, Emissions, and Air Pollution

Professor Gao co-taught this session during CTECH's Built Environment and Sustainability Sessions as part of Cornell's CATALYST Program (read more)

While providing critical service for the mobility needs, transportation-related air pollution constitutes important risk factor for cardiopulmonary disease, increases children’s asthma rates and premature death, lung cancer death, and substantial loss of average life expectancy. In this lab session, students first learned systems thinking about the complexity of transportation, emissions, air pollution, and public health problems.

Afterwards they conducted real time measurement of respiratory exposures at different places/facilities (e.g., walking, on a bus, near a stop sign, on a parking lot, etc.) on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, NY. With the collected exposure data, the students came back to the lab to analyze the data and discuss the results. More specifically, this lab session consisted of the following sections: (1) Presentation and discussion led by Associate Professor Gao on transportation, emissions, and air quality, (2) Discussion and demonstration of pollutant dispersion led by Professor Todd Cowen, (3) Measurements of exposure to PM2.5 on campus, and (4) Downloading / Viewing the data.