UNT ecosystem geographer selected for Environmental Protection Agency's clean air committee

Monday, June 28, 2021 - 08:46

DENTON (UNT), Texas — University of North Texas ecosystem geographer Alexandra Ponette-González will serve on the nation’s top advisory committee informing air quality standards.

Ponette-González is one of seven scientists recently selected for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

“I am honored to serve on this critically important federal committee, and to be part of the most diverse panel since the committee’s establishment,” said Ponette-González, an associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Department of Geography and the Environment. “I Iook forward to working with the other chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members in the coming years.”

CASAC is tasked with providing independent scientific advice on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which put limits on six pollutants — carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide — that are common in outdoor air.

Ponette-González’s research explores the impact of global environmental change on nutrient and pollutant emissions and deposition to ecosystems. She will bring her expertise in the ecosystem effects of air pollution to the committee’s deliberations.

Her ongoing research, which is funded through a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development grant, has shown that oak trees can capture significant quantities of airborne soot, a major climate forcing agent and air pollutant. This month, she co-authored a paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on the diverse community of tiny organisms and non-living materials in precipitation that could potentially play big roles in ecosystems. 

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