Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Natural Resources (MNR)


Natural Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Peter D. Howe


Peter D. Howe


Christopher Lant


Nancy O. Mesner


In recent years, Utah has experienced poor air quality due to pollution-trapping winter inversions and summer ozone pollution. The resulting impacts of poor air quality include health issues, reduced visibility, economic impacts and ecological impacts. Utah’s topography and exploding urban population are factors which increase human exposure to these adverse impacts of air pollution. It is important for State and local governments to understand how people perceive air quality so that clean air campaigns target those who are most likely to foster pro-environmental behaviors. An analysis was conducted using data from a state-wide survey conducted in July 2017. The survey focused on the public perception of climate change and air pollution. This study focused specifically on how people perceived the worst air quality day in their local area within the last year. Responses were compared to measured air quality data at respondents’ nearest monitoring station. Data was mapped using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a regression analysis was also conducted to understand how socioeconomic factors played a role in air quality perception. The analysis found that residents of Salt Lake and Davis Counties reported experiencing the worst local air quality, followed closely by Weber and Utah Counties. Gender, political party, education and income were socioeconomic factors that influenced perceptions of poor air quality.

Included in

Geography Commons