Virtual Workshop on Health Applications for Satellite-Derived Air Quality: Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls

April 20, 2022 to May 18, 2022

As datasets of air quality derived from satellite remote sensing have become more widespread, the range of their applications in health including epidemiology and burden assessment has grown. Additionally, new satellite instruments are being launched to monitor air quality at higher spatial and temporal resolution and for wider ranges of pollutants than have been previously available. The goals of this workshop are to identify opportunities for health application research using new and expected satellite remote sensing data and to identify potential pitfalls to avoid. The workshop ran over four webinar sessions open to the general public.

Co-chairs: Jeff Brook and Heather Holmes, HEI Research Committee

Planning Committee: Allison Patton, Pallavi Pant, Martha Ondras, and Eleanne Van Vliet


Session recordings and slides are available below.


Session 1 - Setting the stage for trusted, high-quality satellite remote sensing data of air quality in health applications

Apr. 20, 2022 - 10:00am

This session sets the stage for satellite remote sensing technologies used to describe ground-level air quality, how they work, and their limitations.

Chairs: Jeff Brook, University of Toronto, Canada and HEI Research Committee, and Tracey Holloway, University of Wisconsin—Madison and lead of NASA HAQAST


Watch the session recording

10:00 AM Opening remarks

10:10 AM Satellite remote sensing of air quality for air quality and health

10:35 AM Application of satellite-derived air quality estimates for epidemiology studies in data-rich areas

11:00 AM Capacity Development opportunities to improve the utilization of satellite remote sensing for health applications and communications

11:25 AM Q&A

12:00 PM Adjourn

Session 2 - Global applications of satellite-derived air quality data

Apr. 29, 2022 - 9:00am

This session discusses the interpretation of air quality data that have been derived from satellite remote sensing, the quality of those data, and research and interpretation needs for advancing epidemiological studies and burden assessment. Examples of research applications will be shared from around the world.

Chairs: Eloise Marais, University College London, UK and HEI Global Health Oversight Committee, and Kalpana Balakrishnan, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, India and HEI Global Health Oversight Committee

Watch the session recording


9:00 AM Opening remarks

9:10 AM Representativeness and usefulness of satellite and ground-based data for monitoring of air quality

9:35 AM Satellite data for air quality exposure assessment and epidemiology

10:00 AM Examples of satellite data applications to air quality and health research from around the world

10:25 AM Q&A

11:00 AM Adjourn

Session 3 - Pushing the methodological limits on satellite use in health applications

May. 5, 2022 - 1:00pm

This session focuses on the quantification of uncertainty, new technologies, and realistic expectations of existing and upcoming satellites for use in health applications.

Chairs: Heather Holmes, University of Utah and HEI Research Committee, and Yang Liu, Emory University

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1:10 PM Quantifying and communicating uncertainty in air quality estimates

1:35 PM Interpretation and improvement of air quality data from Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS)

2:00 PM Observing nitrogen dioxide air pollution inequality in U.S. cities from space

2:25 PM Q&A

3:00 PM Adjourn

Session 4 - Roundtable discussion on the future of satellite remote sensing of air quality in health applications

May. 18, 2022 - 10:00am

The final session of the workshop will be a roundtable discussion on summarizing and synthesizing the main research needs to make the best use of opportunities to use air quality data from satellites in trusted, high-quality health research.

Chairs: Heather Holmes, University of Utah and HEI Research Committee, and Jeff Brook, University of Toronto, Canada and HEI Research Committee

Watch the session recording


10:00 AM Opening remarks and recap of earlier sessions

10:15 AM Roundtable discussion

  • Eloise Marais
    , University College London, UK and HEI Global Health Oversight Committee
  • Colette Heald

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Tracey Holloway

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • Laura Judd
    , National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Yang Liu

    Emory University

11:20 AM Closing statements and next steps from HEI

11:30 AM Adjourn

Online Webinar
Boston, MA 02110
United States

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