Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s popular Geology Lecture Series continues for the 2021-22 academic year with the talk “The Health Effects of Air Pollution, Why Do We Care?” by Dr. Tong Zhu, Peking University, at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 8, via Livestream from the college’s website (https://livestream.com/swocc/geology2021-22). Dr Zhu joins us as a speaker in the inaugural year of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) College of Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series. 

A Q & A session with the speaker will follow the lecture. Advance questions may be sent to Ron Metzger at: rmetzger@socc.edu.

Dr. Tong Zhu is the Dean and Cheung Kong Chair Professor at College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and the director of Environmental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China. Dr. Zhu earned his BS and MS degrees from Peking University and doctorate from Wuppertal University, Germany. Dr. Zhu’s major research areas are atmospheric chemistry and environmental health. He has been Primary Investigator on more than 20 National Natural Science Foundation of China and Ministry of Science and Technology of China projects. He was elected as an AGU fellow in 2019 and has been serving as a consular of the State Council, People’s Republic of China since 2020, and a member of AGU board of directors since 2019. Dr. Zhu has broad research interests and has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, covering Megacity and Regional Air Pollution, Fundamental Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Biogeochemistry, Health Effects of Environmental Pollution in many of the leading scientific journals. Several of his publications received wide media attention in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Chemical & Engineering News, Guardian, Reuters, BBC News, ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News. 

The focus of Dr. Zhu’s talk involves the fact that annually, 4.2 million deaths around the globe are attributed to the exposure to ambient air pollution. Good air quality is thus essential for human health and the environment, and critical to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-being. Additionally, the improvement of global air quality can also help achieve other SDGs, such as SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 13: Climate Action. Due to the complex variables and processes involved, formulating air pollution control policies is a complicated challenge. The fundamental understanding of the formation of air pollution, as well as tools to understand air quality, including online monitoring networks and numerical model simulations, are essential in improving global air quality. 

All lectures in the series are free and are archived for later viewing. Future talks for Spring 2022 (available via Livestream, stay tuned for updates on whether we will also be before a live audience) include a conference Honoring the Life and Legacy of Chief Don Ivy that focuses on Relationships Between Elakha (Sea Otter) and a Sense of Place on Oregon’s South Coast. Speakers currently scheduled include Dr. Roberta Hall (OSU), Bob Bailey (Elakha Alliance), Dr. Loren Davis (OSU), and Dr. William Robbins (OSU). The conference will be looking at the history of Elakha, Native American history and a “sense of place” revolving around Oregon’s south coast. The final speaker in the series this year will be Dr. Ron Metzger, Professor of Earth Sciences at Southwestern, on Saturday, May 21 at 7:00 pm with “The Final Lecture? Oribatid Mites, Conodonts, and Musings from Nearly Four Decades in the College Classroom.” 

Lecture Series Sponsors include DB Western, the Southwestern Foundation, The Mill Casino & Resort, and the American Geophysical Union. For additional information or to submit questions prior to the talk contact Ron Metzger at rmetzger@socc.edu or 541-888-7216.


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