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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Air Quality Issues and Solutions in Central Ohio

Aug 13, 2019, 7:15am - 9:30am


 View photos from this EPN Breakfast program here


Air Quality Alert! An EPN Video Release & Conversation on Social Media-Based Environmental Communication 

Air quality connects to all aspects of our lives and our communities. The central Ohio region fluctuates annually in its ability to meet federal air quality standards as do the metro areas around Cleveland and Cincinnati (read more here1). At the same time, the public is bombarded with competing information about forms of pollution and solutions to improving air quality. Are social media platforms, such as YouTube, a way to inform and learn about fact-based approaches to complex environmental issues (read more here2).

For this unique EPN program, Dr. Brooke White (Senior Air Quality Specialist with MORPC) convenes an array of experts, including from the Breathing Association, Clean Fuels Ohio, and Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, to address the many sides of air quality (our air quality, health and lungs, trees, transportation and overall environment)...all told through an engaging video-based format posted on YouTube!

In the field of environmental conservation and public health how do we work within our resource constraints to organize and create effective educational content? In this program we will share the story behind the creation of this video series and how we worked (with no direct funding mechanism) to organize many different types of air quality experts and topics into digital video program (roughly 30 minutes).

Checkout this EPN Breakfast program on Tuesday, August 13 as we release our pilot EPN Air Quality Alert video and following the screening (roughly 30 minutes) we will interact directly with the air quality experts featured in the program as well as the staff and volunteers who contributed to the making of it –through film editing and arranging the technical resources to create it! Our panel of contributors will candidly identify our strengths and weaknesses, lessons learned and potential next steps in developing video-based air quality and other environmental educational content.

This EPN Breakfast will introduce audience attendees with both the content of the video (focused on air quality) and the development of communication collaborations that led to its creation.


Brooke White, MORPC






Dr. Brooke White, Senior Air Quality Specialist with MORPC  

Brooke White, PhD serves as the Senior Air Quality Specialist for a 15 county region with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Her portfolio includes educational marketing and outreach initiatives and technical services in energy and air quality. Previously, she was a fellow in the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Minnesota and B.S. in Physics from the University of Arizona.


Nurse with glasses

Alisha Hopkins, CNP and Director of the Lung Health Clinic with The Breathing Association

Alisha Hopkins, CNP is the Director of the Lung Health Clinic with The Breathing Association, which is a non-profit free clinic for low-socioeconomic constituents in Franklin County.  The Breathing Association’s mission is better breathing for better lives.  Alisha has given educational talks throughout Central Ohio regarding Asthma and its triggers.  Alisha has an extensive background in treating Lung Health issues related to COPD, Asthma, Allergies and Emphysema.  In addition she brings health care into the community on a mobile medical unit to those who are medically vulnerable and other wise unable to seek medical care.

Tim Cho, Clean Fuels Ohio








Tim Cho, Projects Manager with Clean Fuels Ohio  

Tim Cho is Projects Manager at Clean Fuels Ohio, a statewide non-profit organization and U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition. Clean Fuels Ohio's mission is to improve air quality and health, reduce environmental pollution, strengthen Ohio's economy, and enhance our nation's energy security. Joining the team in 2018, Tim supports this mission by coordinating various clean transportation projects that involves the consulting, education, and deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Tim also facilitates the Ohio Green Fleets Program which certifies and recognizes both public and private fleets that have taken steps to reduce their petroleum usage and vehicle emissions. Tim graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018 with a B.S. in Environment, Economy, Development, Sustainability (EEDS) and a minor in City and Regional Planning.

Alia Diestsch, Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources








Dr. Alia Dietsch, Assistant Professor in Parks, Protected Areas, Natural Resources Management with Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources  

Alia Dietsch, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. Dr. Dietsch’s research primarily focuses on using social science theories and methodologies to better understand the role of social context on shaping human thought and behavior. The majority of her work to-date has focused on conservation and natural resource management in close alignment with state and federal agencies in the interest of informing planning, management, and communication efforts. She holds a PhD and M.S. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University, and a B.S. in Forestry/Wildland Recreation, Minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Cassidy Jenney, Ohio State Athletics and Business Advancement









Cassidy Jenney, Sustainability Intern with The Ohio State University Department of Athletics and Business Advancement  

Cassidy Jenney is an Environment, Economic, Development and Sustainability alumni with a degree in Environment and Natural Resources. Previously employed through Smart Columbus, she currently works with The Ohio State University Department of Athletics and Business Advancement focusing on Sustainability. She has built on collaborative educational efforts with the Environmental Professionals Networking Event through the EPN YouTube Channel.


7:15 a.m.  Doors open at Ohio State 4-H Center; coffee served

7:40 a.m.  Breakfast buffet served 

8:10 a.m.  Jeff Sharp, PhD. Director, School of Environment and Natural Resources provides welcome remarks 

8:15 a.m.  Showing of the Air Quality Issues and Solutions in Central Ohio video program 

8:40 a.m.  Moderated panel discussion, led by Nicole Jackson, focused on both air quality content and collaboration with featured speakers

9:10 a.m.  Audience Q&A

9:25 a.m.  Dr. Jeff Sharp closing comments and program concludes 

Topic Areas: 

EPN Breakfast Series

The Environmental Professionals Network hosts a monthly breakfast series with compelling speakers on important innovative topics at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s campus - open to all!