Doña Ana County has some of the worst dust pollution in New Mexico. This is caused by many factors including low precipitation (rain, snow, hail, and sleet), large areas of bare ground, agricultural production, and high winds in some seasons. Increased dust pollution contributes to overall air pollution and can pose health risks, especially to those with heart and lung diseases.
Researchers in Las Cruces are studying the changes in dust emissions caused by sudden changes to the land like construction and wildfires, and slow changes like climate change. This research will increase our understanding of how people affect dust emissions. The data below come from a study started in 2012 to understand seasonal amounts of dust particles in the air in different areas of the city. Dust collectors were installed at schools in different areas of Las Cruces to determine if the season or school location affects the amount of dust collected.
Asombro Institute for Science Education staff and middle school students collected data from 2012 until the present. These are the methods used to collect data:
CODAP is a free educational software for data analysis, a product of The Concord Consortium (https://concord.org) and funded by NSF grants.