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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 18, 2006

International Mondays Lecture Explores Mexico City's Air Quality Sept. 25

University of Iowa doctoral students Marcelo Mena and Alicia Kalafut will discuss "Measuring and Modeling the Impact of Mexico City in Regional Air Quality Description," at the International Mondays lecture from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 25 in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. The talk will explore state of the art air pollution forecasting -- including some initial results -- and some stories about what it was like for a Chilean and an Iowan to live in Mexico for a month. The lecture is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

During March 2006, a team of scientists from about 60 institutions and 30 countries launched an unprecedented effort to measure air pollution in Mexico City. Their objective was to analyze how pollution is emitted and transformed in the atmosphere and how it impacts surrounding areas. The UI played a central role in forecasting the location of air pollution plumes from Mexico City through numerical models.

Mena is a doctoral student in civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering. He has conducted air pollution forecasting for various NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) aircraft measurement campaigns. He is also an active member of Engineers for a Sustainable World, which collaborates with the UI's goals in energy efficiency.

Kalafut is a doctoral student in chemical engineering in the UI College of Engineering. She has worked in measurement of aerosols in campaigns in Illinois and Mexico, both operating and customizing equipment for those purposes.

UI International Programs, the Stanley-UI Support Foundation and the Iowa City Public Library sponsor this International Mondays lecture.

For more information on this lecture, the International Mondays lecture series or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Buffy Quintero, International Programs outreach coordinator, at 319-335-0345 or

International Programs enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700.

International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345,; Writer: Erin Vaughn.