Air & Water Quality Concerns Along the Wasatch Front
Utah’s projected population will nearly double in the next generation, creating more demand for water, energy and other resources, especially along the Wasatch Front where much of Utah’s population resides. At the same time, Utah’s water resources face an uncertain future in light of climate change.
Utah State University biology professor Michelle Baker will address this phenomenon to those gathered at the quarterly Sunrise Session presentation.
“Airborne particulates — both natural and of human origin — negatively impact air quality in urban areas along the Wasatch Front,” said Baker. “Evidence is growing that these particulates can exacerbate nutrient loading, as well as alter when snow melts and how long droughts last in mountain ecosystems.”
Utah is the second driest state in the nation behind Nevada, Baker said.
Baker is part of the iUTAH project, an interdisciplinary consortium of social and environmental scientists and engineers from USU, the University of Utah and Brigham Young University.
About Dr. Baker
Dr. Michelle Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lafayette College and a Ph.D. in biology with a hydrogeology minor from the University of New Mexico. She is an ecosystem ecologist, whose research program focuses on processes that control nutrient transport and retention in streams and rivers, including the effects of land use on these processes.