Research Topic

Indoor Air Quality

In developed societies, humans spend the vast majority of their time indoors. Building materials emit a wide range of air pollutants and their precursors into the indoor environment, as do the animals and pests that share these buildings. Domestic activities,such as cooking and cleaning, contribute to household pollutants, as do a wide range of commercial and industrial emissions in the workplace. UC Davis students, staff and faculty collaborate to:

Global Climate Change

Anthropogenic emissions are causing enormous and long-lasting changes in the composition of the atmosphere, which in turn impacts the Earth’s climate. UC Davis students, staff, and faculty work on understanding the components and workings of our climate system and how it affects the world in which we live. Research in this area includes:

Agricultural Emissions

While agriculture provides the food we eat, it also affects the air we breathe. UC Davis student, staff and faculty researchers:

Visibility Degradation

From the haze that sometimes obscures vistas in our parks, to the smog that frequently shrouds our largest cities, the most noticeable sign of air pollution is poor visibility. UC Davis students, staff, and faculty, especially as part of the IMPROVE Program:

Urban and Regional Smog

Smog, a complex mixture of pollutant gases and particles, causes a myriad of health problems in addition to reducing visibility and damaging crops and ecosystems. Researchers at UC Davis measure the concentrations of the components of smog in California and around the world, including our role in the US EPA’s Chemical Speciation Network. Specifically, students, staff and faculty work together on:


Emissions from vehicles used for transportation are one of the greatest sources of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Researchers in the Air Quality Research Center (AQRC) and the Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) at UC Davis collaborate to:

Air Pollution and Health

Air pollution is one of the most dangerous environmental problems, causing many adverse health effects and responsible for 50,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The US National Ambient Air Quality Standards are based primarily on the atmospheric concentration of air pollutants, such as ozone and particulate matter, which cause adverse health effects. Researchers at UC Davis are working on numerous aspects of this problem, including:


Chemical Speciation Network

CSN is the Chemical Speciation Network for the EPA. It is a PM2.5 sampling network with sites located principally in urban areas. The AQRC manages the data produced from CSN. The data first goes through a data ingest process that is completed by AQRC data management staff who have advanced training in database programming and database management.  Then an AQRC data analyst will process the sampling and analytical data. The data analyst will use functions in our custom software package to calculate final results and post them to the CSN database.


Nothing can ruin a visitor’s experience of a national park more than a blanket of haze. Not only does air pollution spoil the views that people travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to see, it also disrupts the natural environments that national parks and monuments were designed to preserve, while causing and contributing to a host of health problems for humans and wildlife alike.