Seminar: Prof. Sally Pusede

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | 3:30 PM


Observing nitrogen dioxide air pollution inequality using high spatial resolution remote sensing

Prof. Sally Pusede
University of Virginia

Urban air quality is highly variable within cities, leading to inequalities in air pollution burden with neighborhood demographics and differences in health and life expectancy as a result. To date, research to describe, explain, and address air pollution inequalities through decision-making has been limited by the lack of observations that resolve steep pollutant gradients (sub kilometer). I will discuss the use of novel high spatial resolution (250 m x 500 m) airborne remote sensing measurements to quantify census-tract-level inequality in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations across the city of Houston, Texas. I will demonstrate that the recently-launched satellite-based TROPOMI sensor (3.5 x 5 km at nadir), when combined with oversampling techniques, is able to resolve equivalent census-tract-level NO2 inequalities from space. Finally, I will present TROPOMI-based NO2 results for fifty major cities across the US, discussing patterns in inequality with diesel traffic emissions and atmospheric chemistry.

Dr. Sally Pusede is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California Berkeley in 2014 and was a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Her research group is primarily focused on two issues: the controls and consequences of air pollution variability within cities around the world and interactions between air pollution and biosphere. To do this work, Dr. Pusede and her students combine laboratory, field, aircraft, and satellite observations.

Part of our Spring 2021 Seminar series.
Recordings are shared on our YouTube channel