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 Students present research, wow NASA at prestigious geophysical conference 




Jan. 22, 2007

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:


SRU students present research, wow NASA at prestigious geophysical conference

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Two Slippery Rock University seniors recently presented the findings on their air pollution research at the invitation-only American Geophysical Union's National Conference and were so impressive NASA scientists approached them about working together.

       David Fujii, an environmental geosciences major from Conneaut Lake, and Matthew Batina of Leetsdale, a geography major with an emphasis in applied geographic technology, studied causes of air pollution in the western part of the state. Their findings showed air pollution in western Pennsylvania comes not only from westerly winds but also gets recirculated from the eastern seaboard.

       Fujji and Batina submitted an abstract on their findings and were invited to present at the conference before 14,000 scientists from around the world.

      "Following the presentation, NASA scientists approached the students and told them they did a nice job and they wanted to work with them," said Julie Snow, SRU assistant professor geography, geology and the environment. "NASA invited the duo to collaborate with the agency on its AURA Earth Observing Mission studying air quality and climate."

      Former Vice President Al Gore, a global warming expert, gave the conference's keynote address.

       Fujii said the conference was a great tool in pursuing education at a higher level. "I'm fortunate enough to be in a program that offers students opportunities to experience their interests first hand with field trips and conferences," he said.

       Batina cited Gore's address as a highlight. Gore focused on the role of science and media in policymaking, referencing his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

      "Spending finals week in San Francisco listening to Al Gore was one the more rewarding opportunities I have had here at SRU," Batina said. "It opened my mind to many of the opportunities that are available for graduate study and careers."

      Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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