Dr. Jochner is a visiting professor from Technische Universität München who is an expert in ecoclimatology. She is spending time in Austin to investigate the high amount of reported allergy symptoms due to high pollen levels. To help avoiding the exposure to aeroallergens, to adapt the individual behaviour and to start medication proportionately and timely requires detailed information of the pollen exposure. There is a clear need for regional and local studies to be conducted. Investigations along gradients where patches characterized by fire disturbances (land clearance) and unmanaged forests co-occur will significantly add to the knowledge about individual cedar pollen exposure in heterogeneous areas and will help to further improve clinical applications as well as mitigation strategies. Studying transects with major differences in mountain cedar occurrence in the greater Austin region will give information about the mixing and distribution of pollen in the air.
A deeper spatial and temporal understanding of the influence of ventilation will allow for a better adaptation of the individual behaviour (e.g., outdoor sport activities, etc.). Thus, this project will also study pollen concentration of mountain cedar at the campus of The University of Austin, Texas. The studies will be conducted in office rooms and/or the Thermal Labs in the School of Architecture and at the Ladybird Wildflower Center. The two Thermal labs at UT Austin are an outdoor testing facility for state-of-the-art research on innovative façade design. They make the consideration of both fully and partially air conditioned rooms possible.
Darrell K. Royal Stadium Testing
A possible location where vertical measurements can be carried out would be the Stadium of the UT. Vertical gradients help to predict how representative common pollen information (which are obtained at roof level) are for people walking on street level. Darrell K. Royal stadium provides an excellent outdoor vertical gradient with a total altitude difference of about 60 meters. The sensors shown in the images are Kestrel WeatherStation loggers (yellow) which measure Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Altitude, Temperature and Relative Humidity. The others are Burkard Pollen Sensors, small DC motor fans which pull 10 Liters of air per minute over microscopic slides which collect pollen as a result of this. Microscope slides will be prepared from this location and sent for pollen count 5% analysis at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.