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Project HAPPIEST

Project HAPPIEST: Health, Air Pollution and Population Initiative in Education and Science Training

Air pollution negatively affects the majority of the US population. It causes respiratory illnesses, neurological and mental health problems, and reproductive ailments. Air pollution is particularly acute in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, where the University of Utah is located. The area’s topography produces temperature inversions in the winter, leading to stagnant conditions and poor air quality with well-documented human health effects. Since the impacts of pollution are worse in racial/ethnic minority and low-income communities, it is imperative to engage researchers from these communities in addressing the complex problems of air quality and environmental inequity. However, scientists from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds are underrepresented among faculty at US universities. Various strategies have been implemented in higher education to diversify the US research workforce, and faculty-mentored research experiences for undergraduate students have been shown to be particularly successful. Given this evidence, this program trains students from underrepresented backgrounds in air pollution-related health research through a faculty-mentored summer research program called Health, Air Pollution and Population Initiative in Education and Science Training (HAPPIEST).

Click HERE to learn more about Project HAPPIEST! Questions can be directed to Yasi Shaker.

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Last Updated: 4/13/21