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Grand Teton National Park Installs New Air Quality Monitoring Station

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Date: September 22, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

Grand Teton National Park recently installed an air quality monitoring station at Teton Science Schools' Kelly Campus and operations at the new station began this week. This station will collect meteorological data and provide online information about visual air quality, as well as levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide, fine particles and a suite of pollutants tracked by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program to produce scientific evidence for assessing risks to park resources and Teton County residents and their health. Prior to September 2011, air quality data for Grand Teton and the greater Jackson Hole area came only from stations located at Yellowstone Lake and Pinedale, Wyoming. 

In 2009, Grand Teton National Park staff began to work with several partner organizations to establish an air quality monitoring station within the park and fund its construction. Key partners in this endeavor include Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), National Park Service Air Resources Division, Teton Science Schools, and Grand Teton National Park Foundation. Wyoming DEQ provided approximately $95,000 worth of monitoring equipment for this project; a link to data and images collected at the station is posted on their website at http://www.wyvisnet.com

Grand Teton National Park Foundation provided $10,000 from an anonymous donor to purchase a climate-controlled shelter to house the Wyoming DEQ equipment. The Foundation also worked with the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole to obtain a $16,500 grant for this project. Grand Teton National Park also contributed funding toward purchase of the shelter and contracted for utility providers to help park maintenance staff accomplish trenching/hook-up of telephone and power cables to the site. 

The NPS Air Resources Division provided expertise and staff labor to set up the equipment and train operators. They will also pay for annual utilities and maintenance costs, data validation and reporting: including uploads to AirNow and NPS websites. 

Teton Science Schools worked closely with Grand Teton staff to select a location on their Kelly campus that would serve as a permanent home for the air quality monitoring station. In addition, they agreed to provide graduate students and staff to primarily operate the site, with training and backup provided by NPS employees. The initial commitment is for five years of site operation. 

"Completion of this project is a testament to the value of public-private partnerships and agency cooperation," said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. "Thanks to the beneficial contribution by Wyoming DEQ and very generous donations, as well as collaboration between Teton Science Schools, the NPS Air Resources Division and Grand Teton staff, a new monitoring station will now provide valuable data on the quality of air and water resources in the Jackson Hole valley. We're grateful for everyone's help in making this project such a success."  

Did You Know?

Banded gneiss

Did you know that the granite and gneiss composing the core of the Teton Range are some of the oldest rocks in North America, but the mountains are among the youngest in the world?