The Health Impacts of Environmental Change project at Earth Lab is currently studying the health impacts of smoke from wildfires in the western United States. We employ machine learning to combine information from environmental data sets (air pollution monitoring data, satellite measures of aerosol optical depth, meteorological data, land cover data, etc.) to estimate fine particulate matter exposures at different points in space and time, some of which is caused by wildfires. We then statistically analyze relationships between these exposures and both respiratory and cardiovascular health outcomes such as asthma, pneumonia, and ischemic heart disease.  


Recent Publications:

Reid CE, Considine EM, Watson GL, Telesca D, Pfister GG, and Jerrett MLB. 2019. Associations between ozone and fine particulate matter with respiratory health during a wildfire event. Environment International. August 2019: 291-298. 

Analyzing the health impacts of fine particulate matter and ozone during the 2008 northern California wildfires.

Reid CE, Maestas MM. 2019. Wildfire smoke exposure under climate change: impact on respiratory health of affected communities. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine 25(2): 179–187. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000552. 

Literature review of respiratory health impacts of wildfire smoke exposure.


This work has been funded from a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management [grant number L14AC00173], Earth Lab through the University of Colorado, Boulder's Grand Challenge Initiative, and the National Institutes of Health.

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Project Team

Project Lead

Colleen Reid

Assistant Professor of Geography