Peltier receives a Fulbright Award to study air quality data in the UK

University of Massachusetts Environmental Health Sciences faculty Richard Peltier

Richard Peltier

August 24, 2017

Richard Peltier, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, has received a Fulbright Award to conduct research at the University of York. Peltier plans to investigate how to better visualize and analyze air quality data for the citizen scientist and to improve the small sensor approaches his lab has been working on.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission was founded by diplomatic treaty in 1948, to foster intercultural understanding between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through educational exchange. It is part of the scholarship program conceived by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

The Fulbright Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process, looking for academic excellence alongside a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright program and a plan to give back to the USA upon returning. There have been over 27,000 Fulbright exchanges between the US and the UK so far. Prominent alumni of the US-UK Fulbright program include poet Sylvia Plath; politician Charles Kennedy; journalist, author and Fulbright Commissioner Toby Young; and the economist and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman.

"As a Fulbright Scholar, I hope to build stronger international research connections for UMass Amherst and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences,” says Peltier. “I hope to expand important research capacity in order to solve bigger global public health problems."

Peltier is trained as an atmospheric chemist with specific interest in human exposure and health outcomes related to air pollution. He combines novel engineering approaches to improve our understanding of chemical components most closely related to a number of health endpoints. He has a specific interest in particulate matter. His lab applies advanced aerosol characterization methods towards understanding the mechanistic effects of these pollutants on human health, which are accomplished through a combination of novel designs and applications of instrumentation, controlled laboratory generation of aerosol, and field work throughout North America. His research is funded by the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several foundations.