|SU student Keandrys Dalton and Michael Orr with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) test an air monitor near the Southern University Ag Center on May 15.|
Baton Rouge, La. – The Southern University Ag Center's Air, Nutrient, Soils, Water, Ecosystem and Remote Sensing (SU-ANSWERS) Institute has begun placing air monitoring units around the campus of Southern University to monitor and conduct research on air pollution.
The air monitors are designed to monitor air quality in specific areas.
SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences alumnus (Ret.) Gen. Russell Honore` donated an air monitor and a drone to the Ag Center and the College in January of 2019. The Institute purchased eight additional monitors that will be linked into a statewide monitoring system.
“The monitors will be strategically located around the Southern University campus and in various other locations around the state,” said Andra Johnson, Ph.D., the Vice Chancellor for Research at the SU Ag Center. “This will provide our stakeholders with access to air quality data in their areas, as well as allow our researchers to conduct studies to determine the impact of air pollution and examine ways to mitigate these pollutants.”
Honore` said he donated the equipment to be used by Southern University students with the hopes that they will find ways of improving the technology.
“Students can take the air monitors that are already made and enhance them or create a new one. That’s called intellectual property,” said Honore`. “From that, the student; the professor or the department can get grants as well as share in the bounty of success,” he added.
The first monitor was installed near the Southern University Ag Center’s greenhouses on May 15 by Michael Orr with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and Keandrys Dalton, a SU Animal Science student. The additional monitors will be installed around the state in the coming months.
The monitoring system will be open to the public, which will allow citizens to access air quality readings in their communities.
The mission of the SU-ANSWERS Institute is to promote natural and biological resources conservation through research, education, and service to communities both in urban and rural settings. The mission is achieved by conducting cutting edge research focusing on natural and biological resources, providing hands-on research training and experiential learning to the next generation of leaders in natural resources, utilizing research results and analytical laboratories to provide technical services to the communities and promoting scientific collaboration and partnership building at state, regional, national, and international levels.
The SU-ANSWERS Institute is led by Johnson and the Institute’s Director Zhu Ning, Ph.D.