On The Radio – University of Iowa professor appointed to USDA task force


University of Iowa associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering Charles Stanier has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. (Brynne Schweigel/CGRER)
University of Iowa associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering Charles Stanier has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. (Brynne Schweigel/CGRER)
Nick Fetty | February 22, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment looks at University of Iowa associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering Charles Stanier, his research, and his recent appointment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Air Quality Task Force.

Transcript: University of Iowa professor appointed to USDA task force

A University of Iowa professor has been appointed to a federal task force on agricultural air quality.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Last month, Prof. Charles Stanier – an associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering – was appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. The task force promotes science-based solutions to resolve air quality challenges.

Many aspects of Prof. Stanier’s research and outreach focus on Midwestern air quality. His work can be characterized as having a distinct regional focus, with projects based in central Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa City, the Quad Cities, Dubuque, and Lake Michigan. His methods involve developing and improving computer simulations of air quality to examine the contributions of urban, natural, and agricultural pollution sources to regional air pollutants. His work on greenhouse gases, particularly reactive nitrogen species, also intersects with the work of the Task Force.

STANIER: “I’m really excited to join the task force both to contribute based on what we’ve learned in our research and to be exposed to all of the different research topics that are coming through the task force. The work of the task force is focused on greenhouse gases, on air quality for agricultural workers, on farms and production facilities, and then the impact that those facilities have on the wider community and regional air.”

Dr. Stanier is one of two Iowa delegates on the task force, with the other being Chris Peterson who serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Farmers Union.

For more information about Dr. Stanier and the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

Interview with Dr. Charles Stanier


Photo by Brynne Schweigel

Dr. Charles Stanier is an assistant professor at the University of Iowa and a member of the Center For Global & Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). Much of his research focuses on air quality and atmospheric aerosols. Recently, I talked with Dr. Stanier over the phone and he detailed five of his current research projects.

The first project discussed dealt with researching the air pollution in the upper Midwest and determining ways to limit the pollution in order to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations:

“One project that we’re working on is with Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium [LADCO] on wintertime air quality in the upper Midwest. We’ve been working at it for about a year and a half now, and we probably have about 6-9 months to go . . . In 2007 the EPA lowered the short-term air quality limits from 65 to 35. That was such a big change because many of the locations in the upper Midwest were sitting right around 35. So, before the change they were well below the limits, but after the change they were right at the standard. What can cause a violation of this standard is that there are a few days each year during the winter of moderately polluted conditions.

“[LADCO] had a three phase project where phase one was to take the measurements, phase two was to summarize the measurements . . .  and the last phase is to see how well air quality models reproduce the episodes and to say what kind of control strategies can be used to reduce NOx [Nitrogen oxide] from mobile sources like cars or stationary sources like electric generating stations. Also, [we are looking for] ammonia controls, which would have to be put on ammonia sources such as manure, sewage treatment plants and automobiles. So, we’re basically figuring out things not to do because they won’t help bring these places into compliance with the clean air act.” Continue reading