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.
Claire Williams has designed and taught courses for classroom and adult learning for 27 years. As professor emerita from Texas A&M University, she now teaches atmospheric biology at American University in environmental sciences. As a John Simon Guggenheim fellow and Fulbright scholar, she authors books and peer-reviewed articles. Her current research topics are modern desert dust storms, pollen dispersal and rainwater biota. Williams taught a course at OLLI at NC State University in 2021-22.