The presence of contaminants in the environment and in particular the atmosphere, can have a wide variety of negative effects including decreasing ecosystem and public health, polluting lakes and rivers, limiting visibility, deteriorating buildings and monuments, and damaging forests and crops. The negative health effects of breathing atmospheric contaminants cannot be avoided by staying inside since ambient air is transported indoors along with its pollutants where indoor sources can add to the problems. Although we have substantially improved environmental quality over the past 35 years, there are still a number of problems that are attributed to air and water pollution. For example recent studies have found strong correlations between changes in particle concentrations and increased mortality. There has been a sharp rise in childhood asthma, and many areas of the country continue to fail to meet national water and ambient air quality standards. Worldwide much of the world's air and water quality fails to meet the quality specified by the World Health Organization's guidelines.
Clarkson University has significant resources in people and equipment that focus on the management of pollution and measuring contaminant concentrations in environmental media. CAARES is the center that brings together this world-class expertise focused on environmental sampling and analysis, receptor modeling, analytical chemistry, atmospheric deposition, and the application of experimental and computational fluid dynamics to pollution problems. In addition we are developing new modeling, measurement, and flow management tools that can provide critical information to state and federal regulatory authorities that will help to improve environmental quality. CAARES laboratory and office space, and equipment including an aerosol wind tunnel, a high-speed aeronautical wind tunnel, a Beowolf computer cluster, field sampling systems, and world class analytical equipment are available to programs at Clarkson.