Amidst speculation the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a ‘green recovery’, Dr Wyche, Principal Lecturer in Atmospheric Science, says data from the university’s Advanced Air Quality research station proves the situation is a lot more complicated than that.
The School of Environment and Technology staff really go the extra mile for their colleagues and students. Over two stormy days several members of the school’s academic and technical team braved high winds and rain to learn the ins and outs of emergency first aid response in the wilderness. The setting was Wood Mills Nature Reserve near Henfield in West Sussex. The team battled the elements to get to grips with handling severed limbs, cardiac arrests, seizures, head injuries and even paper cuts. Academic life, in all its forms, can get messy.
Last weekend saw Brighton host this year’s Soapbox science in glorious sunshine at the Brighton seafront. Soapbox science is a novel public outreach platform where female scientists stand on their soapboxes and preach their science to the passing general public. This year saw Dr Laura Evenstar give a very hands-on demonstration on how the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, formed the Andean mountain chain in South America.
Members of the public were involved in building a miniature version of the Andes mountains out of sand. Adults and children alike got involved in looking at how plate tectonics work to produce the different theories on how the Andes uplifted. They then got to pretend to be clouds (cotton wool) traveling over the Andes and created their own rainfall events in the mini Atacama Desert to look at what sort of techniques scientists use to understand climate change in the geological record.
“It’s a great opportunity to show what women in STEM subjects are doing and to bring the joy of our science to people by playing in bags of sand at the beach!”
The University of Brighton has launched online air quality data so residents can see which times and days were more polluted than others.
The service could help those with respiratory diseases such as asthma avoid outdoor exposure when levels of pollutants are at their highest.
The data is in the form of graphs showing levels of potentially harmful gases over the last 24 hours, seven and 30 days. The graphs can be seen at: https://bit.ly/2QwNHxp
The readings come from the University’s £250,000 Air Environment Research (AER) monitoring station at Falmer, the first of its kind in the UK.
Dr Kevin Wyche, Senior Lecturer in Atmospheric Science and Air Quality Management within the University’s School of Environment and Technology, and co-founder and principal investigator of the AER, said knowing what pollutants are in the air is increasingly vital.
He said: “More than 50,000 people die prematurely each year in the UK from air pollution-related diseases, costing the NHS around 16 per cent of its total budget. Knowing when pollution is at its highest during the day and what days are worse than others could help some people avoid exposure.”
Launched following last week’s World Health Organisation’s conference in Brussels on air quality, it provides five graphs:
* Nitrogen Dioxide NO2 – the main source is burning fossil fuels as in cars and this can irritate lungs and make diseases such as asthma worse. This, in turn, can lead to great risk of infections
* Ozone O3 – concentrations are often highest on hot, still and sunny days, and are a major component of modern ‘smog’
* Sulphur Dioxide SO2 – can be damaging to the environment and acts as a respiratory irritant, causing coughing and shortness of breath
* Formaldehyde HCHO – can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
* Nitrous Acid HONO – can contribute to the formation of other pollutants
Dr Wyche, who is chairing a forthcoming Public Policy Exchange at an EC and ClientEarth event, said the WHO has reported that outdoor air pollution kills more people worldwide than road traffic accidents, smoking and diabetes combined.
Dr Kirsty Smallbone, Head of the School of Environment and Technology and is co-founder and co-investigator of Air Environment Research, said: “Brighton is exceeding air quality limits set by the government and it is crucial that we enhance our understanding of the relationships that exist between pollutants and health. It is also vital and incumbent upon us to share our knowledge and data with the public.”
The monitoring station is co-funded by the EU’s Interreg IVB NWE programme and the University of Brighton as part of the Joint Air Quality Initiative (JOAQUIN). Graphs and data archives are produced by Jason Bailey, Learning Technologies Adviser at the University.
Biodiversity – vital for life on earth – is being eroded at an alarming rate and both politicians and the private sector must act now to halt the erosion.
That was the message from the University of Brighton’s Professor Andrew Church, specialist in human-nature relations and the environment, who spoke at a London conference alongside Environment Secretary Michael Gove and TV broadcaster and writer Ben Fogle. Read More
Good luck to everyone receiving exam results this week!
If you’ve had a change of heart about what you want do next, or your exams have gone differently from what you expected, Clearing is an opportunity to assess your options and explore the possibilities.
You can also book on to our Clearing visit day at Moulsecoomb, where you’ll be studying, on Saturday 18 August and Wednesday 22 August. It’s a chance to look around and consider your next step. There’s a welcome talk and introduction, tour of the campus, advice about accommodation and student support and you will meet some of our academic staff in a Q&A.
Everyone who is looking to study with us in 2018 is welcome to attend. Course availability does change quickly in Clearing so if you’re not holding an offer get in touch first to confirm there is space on the course you are interested in before making travel arrangements.
Find out more and book your place here.
The sun shone and temperatures soared at this years Paddle Round the Pier. And we were there, hosting talks at the event’s University of Brighton lecture theatre.
Dr James Ebdon and Dr Diogo Gomes Da Silva (accompanied by their glamorous assistant Bob the Dog) talked ‘Bug, Beaches and Belly Aches’, presenting microbiology research on water quality, exploring how we monitor bathing water quality, why it’s important, what’s in the water and what it’s like elsewhere in the world.
Young people with an interest in science and engineering can learn how to turn their passion into a career at a science fair in Brighton tomorrow (11 July).
Big Bang @ Brighton will take place at the University of Brighton and organisers are promising “an exciting, colourful and noisy event” aimed at encouraging more students to pursue further studies and potential careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Organised by STEM Sussex, the University of Brighton’s STEM outreach department, the event is funded by the Sussex Learning Network’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), a four-year programme aimed at encouraging more young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, into higher education.
Big Bang @ Brighton will feature a range of hands-on activities, workshops and shows provided by many local companies, universities and colleges and other organisations, highlighting the STEM-related opportunities available to young people in the area. Read More
It looks like it’s going to be a glorious weekend for this year’s Paddle Round the Pier; the largest beach festival in Europe. And our university is proud to be one of the sponsors.
There’ll be a University of Brighton lecture theatre at the event, hosting a number of talks, including some familiar faces from our school. Come along and see Dr James Ebdon and Dr Diogo Gomes Da Silva at 11am on Saturday who’ll be talking “Bugs, Beaches and Belly Aches – a microbiologists eye-view on recreational water quality”, and Dr Kirsten Jenkins who will be discussing the potential for renewable energy transition in her talk “as strong as the sea: renewable energy potential on the South Coast”.
Come along and join in the fun from water, street and urban sports to live music and more. Paddle Round the Pier 2018 is happening this weekend, 7 and 8 July, on Hove Lawns. See you there!
Young students will be allowed to build water filters, investigate the structure of rocks, measure the quality of the air they breathe and even build their own glacier.
The hands-on experiences are being offered by University of Brighton scientists at the South of England Showground this week.