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AQUARIUS (Air Quality in the Western US) Workshop 

September 25 - 26,  2019

Salt Lake City, Utah


Photo by Sebastian Hoch

In recent decades, overall particulate matter (PM) concentrations have  declined in the U.S. as a result of regulatory policies. However, in several basins in the western U.S., wintertime PM concentrations have not experienced similar levels of improvement. This suggests that current regulatory actions may not be effectively targeting the appropriate precursor emissions and that there is a gap in our understanding of how the unique boundary layer meteorology and complex chemical processes interact to produce these elevated PM conditions.  In addition, the PM precursor emissions are co-emitted with greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are of interest to urban policy makers and for which cities have active mitigation plans in place.  It is vital to understand how the atmospheric chemistry, boundary layer meteorology, and GHG gas mitigation plans will impact air quality in the future.

The AQUARIUS (Air Quality in the Western US) workshop on September 25-26, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT will focus on a future aircraft campaign in the winter of 2021/2022 to investigate wintertime PM in mountain basins of the western U.S.  This workshop is jointly funded by the NSF Atmospheric Chemistry Program and the NOAA Atmospheric Chemistry, Climate and Carbon Cycle Program. The goals of the workshop will be to:

  • Identify measurements and the robust critical core airborne capabilities needed to enhance the fundamental understanding of wintertime PM within persistent cold air pools (PCAPs) including the oxidation chemistry, aerosol thermodynamics and interactions between atmospheric chemistry and meteorology within wintertime PCAPs.
  • Identify measurements needed to constrain the emission ratios between PM precursors and GHGs across western basins with different levels of urbanization and agriculture.
  • Identify emission inventories in need of constraint to improve and evaluate chemical transport models of wintertime PCAPs.
  • Organize the community of researchers to develop a plan of action to coordinate efforts to address these needs.

The workshop proposal outlining the scientific rationale for the AQUARIUS project can be viewed here: AQUARIUS Workshop Proposal.pdf

After the workshop, the organizing committee will write a white paper outlining the scope and plan for the future aircraft and ground-based field campaign.

Registration Deadline: Friday, August 23, 2019


Most participants will be lodging at the University Guest House

University Guest House
110 Fort Douglas Blvd
Salt Lake City, UT 84113
(801) 587-1000
Group Web Reservations System can be accessed here
Group Name: Aquarius Workshop
Meeting: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - Friday, September 27, 2019
Group ID: 15752




Salt Lake City has light rail (TRAX) and bus service through UTA (801) 287-4636. Find route info and transit planner at

Comprehensive details for transit options to the hotel and venues coming soon.


9/25 - 9/26  Crocker Science Center  Room 206, COLLEGE OF SCIENCE    |  1430 Presidents' Cir, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Enter the stadium structure through Gate E. The stadium is easily accessible from downtown via TRAX light rail red line. (Participants may also park in the lot west of the stadium at no charge. See map.)

Driving directions:



Salt Lake is laid out on a simple grid system. If you think of it in terms of longitude and latitude, the zero-point in Salt Lake City is Temple Square. Virtually every address in the city has a set of two coordinates telling how far east or west and how far north or south it is from Temple Square (or the corner of Main and South Temple Streets to be exact). Although an address such as 682 East 400 South may look strange to you, just remember that it simply describes a location on the grid. Consequently, both “halves” of the address (“682 East” and “400 South”) are equally significant, the second half being the street name and the first half being a specific point on that street. Even streets with names (Harvard Avenue, for instance) also have a numbered “coordinate.” If you were looking for Harvard Avenue, it would be helpful for you to know that its coordinate is 1175 south. Read more here.

The draft agenda is currently under development. Preliminary conference topics include:

Session 1: Goals of Conference
Session 2: PM formation -  Gas phase precursors (VOC, Ammonia, Nitrogen compounds)
Session 3: PM chemical composition
Session 4: Integration of GHG measurements
Session 5: Meteorology-Chemistry Coupling
Session 6: International Perspectives: PM challenges from around the world

There will also be an optional field trip to the Wasatch Mountains on Friday, September 27, 2019.  More details coming soon.

The workshop will also include a poster session for anyone interested in presenting.

All workshop presentations will be accessible after the Workshop.

Expected Behavior

  • All participants are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other participants.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert AQUARIUS organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue and hotels.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • AQUARIUS organizers or University of Utah security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning.
  • Other consequences as set forth by professional societies such as the AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy, as applicable.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify an AQUARIUS organizer.
  • Notification should be done by contacting an AQUARIUS organizer on site or by emailing your concern to or
  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to call 911.


Last Updated: 7/13/19