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2019 Thirtieth Annual

David R. Keller Environmental Ethics Symposium

The Air We Breathe: Ethical Dimensions of Air Pollution

Though everyone needs air, human beings are often careless about what they emit into the air and about how it affects all living beings. This interdisciplinary symposium will explore a variety of ethical questions related to air quality, pollution, and climate change. Is pollution an urgent environmental problem? What policies will best address these issues? What can individuals do in response?

Participant Biographies


March 29th, 2019
Clarke Building 511

“The causes and effects of air pollution”

9 am

Weihong Wang, Associate Professor of Geography, Utah Valley University

Fern Caka, Professor of Chemistry, Utah Valley University

Kevin Shurtleff, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Utah Valley University

Session Video

“How to make sense of air pollution”

10 am

George Handley, Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Brigham Young University

Carl Moore, Chairman of Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support (PANDOS)

Bryan Debbink, Engineer

Session Video

“What UVU students are doing”

11 am

Jake Davis, Political Science major at Utah Valley University

Brett Hoch, Political Science major at Utah Valley University

Kyler Pigott, Political Science major at Utah Valley University 

Jamie Glaser, History major at Utah Valley University

Session Video

Keynote 

“Interdisciplinary and collaborative solutions to air pollution”

12 pm

Hal Crimmel, Professor of English, Weber State University

Session Video

“Ethical Dimensions of Air Pollution”

1 pm

Benjamin Hale, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Boulder 

Session Video

”Where do we go from here?”

2 pm

Shireen Ghorbani, Salt Lake County Council-Member 

Cherise Udell, Utah Moms For Clean Air

Sarah Bateman, Citizen activist, Orem City 

Session Video


Presenter Biographies


Weihong Wang, Associate Professor of Geography, Utah Valley University

Dr. Weihong Wang has conducted numerous scientific studies in the local Utah area, with projects ranging from the monitoring of trace metals in Utah Lake to investigating the impact of the Gold King Mine Spill of 2015. Dr. Wang’s research at Utah Valley University includes Carbon Dynamics in Wetland Ecosystems, Climate Change, and Sustainability, and her scholastic projects include “Assessing Geothermal Potential in Utah (USA) and its Impact on the Economy and Environment Using GIS Mapping.”

Fern Caka, Professor of Chemistry, Utah Valley University

Dr. Fern Caka received a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Brigham Young University where her research focus was studying aspects of air pollution, both indoor and ambient. Her most recent study was measuring indoor concentrations of PM2.5 in trekking lodges in the Mt. Everest region of the Himalayas. This study coincided with the megaquake in Nepal. It was a very moving experience. She is currently Chair of the Chemistry Department.

Kevin Shurtleff, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Utah Valley University

Dr. Shurtleff received a PhD in physical chemistry from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Marriott School. In that time, he has mentored over 70 students as they performed research on recycling used motor oil, renewable, wind, solar, and river compressed air electricity generation, microalgae harvesting, and solar updraft tower air cleaning. For the past two years, his research has focused on developing algae harvesting technologies to prevent harmful algal blooms (HABs) on Utah Lake and beyond. Before UVU, he spent 25 years in industry, taking technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace. He has been working in the energy field for the past 20 years. Dr. Shurtleff is a serial entrepreneur. He has started five companies based on technologies he developed: MicromistNOW – fast micromist products, Mountain West Energy – enhanced oil recovery, Trulite, Inc. – powdered source of hydrogen fuel, Synexus, Inc. – portable, integrated fuel cell system, and Peak Semiconductor – gallium arsenide crystal growth.

George Handley, Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Brigham Young University

After teaching for three years at Northern Arizona University, George Handley came to BYU in 1998. His training is in Comparative Literature, focusing on the literatures of the Americas. He has also co-edited Caribbean Literature and the Environment (Virginia), Stewardship and the Creation: LDS Perspectives on the Environment (BYU), and Postcolonial Ecologies (Oxford). His book Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River (U of U Press) is a work of creative non-fiction that includes nature writing, personal and environmental history, and reflections on ecotheology. He just published a co-authored book called Climate Skepticism: A Transnational Ecocritical Analysis and has a book forthcoming on The Hope of Nature: Our Care for God's Creation.

Carl Moore, chairman of Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support (PANDOS)

Carl Moore is the Chairperson of PANDOS as well as SLC Air Protectors, both Native led non-profits engaged in human rights and environmental rights. Carl's father is Hopi and his mother is English, Irish, German, Mexican and Chemehuevi (Chi-mi-way-vee). He is a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes in AZ. Carl majored in Political Science and minored in American Indian Studies at Utah Valley University.

Bryan Debbink, Engneer

Bryan is a 'retired engineer', turned at-home dad of two. He dedicates his free time to exploring Utah's wilderness and lobbying for non-partisan policies at the state and federal level to ensure its enjoyment for future generations. He is a member of South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society.

Hal Crimmel, Professor of English, Weber State University

Hal Crimmel is Brady Professor and chair of the English department at Weber State University. In his teaching and research, Crimmel blends the discipline of English with contemporary environmental concerns. He was a leading figure in the creation of the WSU Sustainability Practices and Research Center and co-founder of the WSU Environmental Issues Committee. His interdisciplinary perspectives are reflected in his edited collection Desert Water: The Future of Utah’s Water Resources (University of Utah Press, 2015), in his 2018 film The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement, and in his forthcoming edited collection Utah’s Air Quality Issues: Problems and Solutions (University of Utah Press, 2019).

Benjamin Hale, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Benjamin Hale is associate professor in the Philosophy Department and the Environmental Studies Program. He is currently the Vice-President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics and co-editor of the journal Ethics, Policy & Environment. From 2006-2008 he was Director of the Philosophy Department's Center for Values and Social Policy. He continues active engagement with the Center, and is particularly instrumental in co-coordinating the annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress with Alastair Norcross. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, which is associated with CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. His primary area of research interest is environmental ethics, though he maintains active interest in a wide range of concerns in applied ethics, normative ethics, and even metaethics. Much of his recent work centers on ethical and environmental concerns presented by emerging technologies.

Shireen Ghorbani, Salt Lake County Council

Shireen Ghorbani is a Salt Lake County Council-member who is committed to civic engagement. Shireen first became involved in politics in 2016 to fight for access to affordable healthcare. Shireen is passionate about cleaning up our air, protecting our environment and wild spaces, and working on policies that benefit working people. Professionally, Shireen works in Faciliteis Management at the University of Utah as a communications professional, she is the board chair of the Rape Recovery Center, she holds two Master's degrees in Communication and Policy, and previously served in the United State Peace Corps.

Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is the Founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air and the recipient of UVU's Excellence in Ethics Award. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley and attended Yale for her M.S. in Environmental Studies. Prior to graduate school and motherhood, she was a swashbuckling Amazon Jungle Guide in Ecuador with a 12-inch machete.

Sarah Bateman

Sarah is the founder of the City of Orem’s Natural Resources Stewardship Committee. In her role with the City, she serves on Utah Valley University’s Sustainability Committee, the Utah Valley Clean Air Task Force, and the Orem Bicycle Coalition. Other related affiliations include Utah Recycling Alliance as board president, the EAT Coalition of Utah County as director of Feast Utah and as founder of Free SWAP—Sharing We All Prosper.

Third region (Section 1)