Well, today is Stuart's last day at Trust Lands. In a few weeks, he will be off to grad school. He has been a huge help to me, answering all my questions and training me in both outdoor and indoor air quality. I learned how to use all the equipment for testing and monitoring air quality, and pretty soon I will be getting some more hands-on training for testing indoor air.
Next week I will be in Nevada for intensive training on the BAM 1020. The BAM (Beta-Attenuation Monitor) is used to monitor particulate matter present in the air, and based upon the information collected, an Air Quality Index (AQI) is calculated. Particulate matter is a combination of many small particles and is considered air pollution. If levels of these fine particles become elevated, people will experience health problems, especially those who are sensitive because of respiratory problems. Don't worry though. Grand Portage usually has good, clean air, so you can feel good about being outside. If you are traveling and want to check the air quality where you are headed, you can look at the EPA's AIRNow web page and look at pollution levels all over the country. Here is the AQI for today from the AIRNow web site.
If you visit the hazecam web page regularly, you have probably noticed that the AQI is gone. Stuart and I sent the BAM in to get some updates, so for the next few weeks, we will not be monitoring the particulate matter in the air. Once the BAM comes back, you can monitor Grand Portage's AQI, which is updated every hour with information from the BAM.