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UTEP 's Center for Environmental Resource Management and College of Engineering receive EPA grant to Address Air Quality on the US-Mexico Border

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UTEP 's Center for Environmental Resource Management and College of Engineering receive EPA grant to Address Air Quality on the US-Mexico Border

September 16, 2011

Anyone living in cities on the US-Mexico border knows that air quality can be a concern. Educating the public on health risks and methods for reducing exposure can help border residents improve their quality of life. At the same time, understanding sources of pollution assists citizens in being part of solutions to reduce air pollutants in their community.

Border cities also need professionals with the knowledge and expertise to work in fields that improve the quality of the border air shed. Professionals with special "air quality" related expertise are needed in fields including K-12 education, public health, public policy and decision making, testing, evaluation and engineering.

To meet these challenges The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are starting Buen Ambiente, Buena Salud: Educational Strategies for Addressing Air Quality on the Border. The five-year program is made possible with a $1.24 M grant from the EPA and $920 K from UTEP. The Center for Environmental Resource Management, under the direction of Dr. William Hargrove, Principal Investigator, will manage the project.

Through this program UTEP, working with school districts like the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), will develop relevant curriculum and outreach for K-12 teachers and students. Dr. Elaine Hampton, Associate Professor - Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education, will work with Mr. Mariano Sylva, Assistant Superintendent - EPISD, to develop replicable K-12 curriculum over the course of the project.

The program will also implement a multi-disciplinary internship program for 50 students to prepare the next generation of air quality professional from the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts and Science. Dr. Wen Whai Li, Professor - Civil Engineering and project Co Principal Investigator, will direct the training and internship part of the program. Dr. Li's twenty-five years of expertise in air pollution monitoring and modeling will provide participating interns with insight into the challenges and solutions for air quality. He will also provide advice to the development of K-12 curriculum to ensure relevance and smooth transition of knowledge in air quality from K-12 to higher education.

Various communication and media products developed from the project will be used to increase public awareness and understanding of the environmental health risks associated with air pollution.

For more information about Buen Ambiente, Buena Salud: Educational Strategies for Addressing Air Quality on the Border contact Dr. Wen-Whai Li at wli@utep.edu or 747-8755.


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The University of Texas at El Paso
College of Engineering
Engineering Building Room A148
500 W University Ave
El Paso, TX 79968

Email: engineer@utep.edu
Phone: (915) 747-6444
Fax: (915) 747-5437


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