Course Description

ONLINE: We breathe without thinking, and we move through the tides and rivers of air without noticing. In this course, we gain an appreciation of air as a biota-rich medium, while learning how to live better within closed and open spaces in our temperate humid climate. The course starts with a science fiction story to explore science literacy and how science and society interact, using air-based examples. Next we look at airborne life and how it interacts with pollutants, before we delve into its strange history. This is followed by current research topics drawn from epidemiology, air quality, national security, pollen bursting, the rise of neo-allergens and thunderstorm asthma. We end by bringing this knowledge to bear on best practices for coexisting with airborne life. We will discuss practical considerations for indoor air quality and seasonal changes while dispelling urban myths. The course is taught from the perspective of airborne particles, not health care. | Lecture + Q&A, Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 25.

Class sessions are recorded.

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Section Title
The Air We Breathe
Online - Zoom
9:00AM to 10:15AM
Sep 15, 2022 to Oct 20, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Class sessions are recorded.

Please note: The instructor's aim is to create a learning community around this topic, and she encourages class members to contribute so that all enjoy the stone soup approach to learning. To assist, the instructor gives one optional homework question and an optional reading at the end of each class in preparation for the next. Doing so shares concepts and vocabulary to enhance in-class discussions. Each class starts with brief highlights of each OLLI member's findings about airborne particles.

Recommended reading:
Lucretius, "The Nature of Things" (9780140447965)
Gavin Pretor-Pinney, "The Cloudspotter's Guide" (9780340895894)
Vincent Schaefer and John Day, "A Field Guide to the Atmosphere" (9780395976319)
Sarah Dry, "Waters of the World" (9780226816845)

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