Professor Jim Zidek

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IAIS Building/LT2

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IDSAI SEMINAR: Getting to the 2015 US 0.070ppm standard for ozone: The statistician’s story.

FOR UNIVERSITY OF EXETER STAFF AND STUDENTS ONLY

An Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence seminar
Date15 May 2019
Time15:00 to 16:00
PlaceIAIS Building/LT2

Hear from Professor Jim Zidek, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Statistics, University of British Columbia, on the journey to new US ozone standards announced on Monday, October 26, 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Agency responsible for monitoring the Nation’s air quality standards under the Clean Air Act of 1970. Jim will talk about his experiences as a member of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) for Ozone and his perspectives on the process as well as the results it produced.

Professor Jim Zidek received his MSc and PhD from the University of Alberta and Stanford University, both in Statistics. He then joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he has remained and became the founding head of the Department of Statistics at UBC in 1984. His research includes structural engineering, initially the development of the first design code for long span highway and now the engineering properties of forest products. He is also well recognized for his work in environmetrics, notably on the design of environmental monitoring networks and spatio-temporal modelling of hazardous environmental processes.


Abstract

The presentation will take us along the road to new US ozone standard announced on Monday, October 26, 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency responsible for monitoring the Nation’s air quality standards under the Clean Air Act of 1970.  The talk will describe my experiences as a member of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) for Ozone and his perspectives on the process as well as the results it produced. Along the way, we will meet a large cast of players who helped shape that standard. And we will encounter a couple of tricky statistical problems along with approaches, developed by the speaker and his co-researchers, that could be used to address them.  The first has to do with the use of deterministic physical  - computational models for inferring certain unmeasurable but hugely important ozone level, the so-called “policy related background level”. The second is about inferring another unmeasurable quantity, the actual human exposure to ozone after accounting for human time-activity patterns that make personal exposures less than the ambient levels measured by fixed-site monitors.  Above all, the talk will be a narrative about the interaction between science and public policy - making in an environment that harbors a lot of stakeholders with varying but legitimate perspectives, a lot of uncertainty in spite of the great body of knowledge on ozone and above all, a lot of potential risk to human health and welfare.

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