Introduction to Air Quality

Aerial view of a large city with tall building poking into thin clouds

Tuesday/Thursday, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
3 credits


Tracey Holloway
Professor of Environmental Studies

Course Description

Air pollution is a complex environmental challenge, because it links chemistry and meteorology to engineering, law, policy, and public health. This class presents key ideas in air quality, with the goal of providing students from a range of backgrounds with a solid foundation in air quality to support a range of educational and career goals.

This class will focus on reactive pollutants in the outdoor environment, especially gas and particle phase chemicals that react with human tissue to cause sickness and death. We will discuss the environmental impacts of these pollutants and regulatory approaches for their control in the U.S. and around the world. Indoor air quality will be included for completeness. Non-reactive pollutants, especially carbon dioxide, will be discussed throughout the class to compare and contrast with reactive air pollutants.

Students will complete a research-based project to develop skills relevant to air quality analysis.

Fulfills Environmental Studies


Counts Toward

Sustainability Certificate

UW Designations


Physical Science