Chris Rapp is a senior in atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah who developed a diagram explaining the relationships between meteorological variables, size of particles, and various pollutants that make up the inversion. The warm colored intersections on the diagram are positively correlated and the cool colors are negatively correlated with crosses representing no correlation, though this is rare.
The chart draws relationships between many different types of pollution causing factors and common particulates. Rapp created the chart by compiling data from the 2017 Utah Winter Fine Particulate Study, which had six major ground sites from northern Utah to Provo, allowing the analysis of size and chemical change in particles over time. The information makes it easier to assume what types of particles are present when only some are being measured specifically, furthering our understanding of air quality. PM2.5 is concerning as it is linked to poor respiratory and cardiovascular health. Rapp was the first individual to create a linear and visual relationship of this extent, with this data.
Rapp has always had a passion for the environment and climate change. Before he entered college, he knew he wanted to pursue research toward climate change. Rapp hopes to attend graduate school to further pursue his passion for atmospheric chemistry with climate implications.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2020 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.