Bhubaneswar: In a significant collaboration aimed at addressing climate change, Bronx Community College of City University of New York (CUNY) recently implemented an automatic solar-powered weather and air quality monitoring station on the campus of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed to be University. The station’s primary focus is to monitor weather conditions and air quality within a five-mile radius of SOA’s Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC), situated on the campus of the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), the faculty of engineering and technology at SOA.
Funded by the US Consulate at Hyderabad, the project is led by Prof. Neal Phillip, Chairperson of Bronx Community College’s Department of Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Sciences, along with Prof. Paramita Sen from the same department. The initiative also involves the Indian Initiative for Research and Education Collaboration of CUNY CREST Institute, officially launched on September 9, 2022.
The solar-powered weather station, an integral part of the green initiative, was inaugurated by Prof. Manas Kumar Mallick, Director of ITER, in the presence of Dr. Sarat Chandra Sahu, Director of CEC, Prof. Phillip, Prof. Sen, and Mr. Salil Kader, Advisor to the US Consul General at Hyderabad.
Dr. Sahu highlighted that the weather and air quality monitoring station would bring climate and air quality issues to the forefront of sustainability discussions within the university and local community. The continuously generated data will be utilized by the faculty for climate research and will be incorporated into the curriculum. Additionally, the Indian Meteorological Department will be encouraged to leverage the weather and air quality data for societal benefits.
Prof. Phillip emphasized the importance of collaboration in addressing the critical factors of climate change and air quality. The inauguration ceremony also saw the presence of Prof. Renu Sharma, Additional Dean (Student Affairs) at ITER, Prof. Mira Das, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Prof. Aditya Kishore Das of SOA’s Centre for Bio-fuel and Bio-processing Research Centre, and other esteemed faculty members from the Civil Engineering Department.