Chadde Collaborates on Airborne Toxin Study

Wicked Problem
Illustration based upon Rittel and Weber 1973 1984.

$1.45 Million Study to Address the Northbound Flow of Airborne Toxins

Pollutants like these find their way north via a complex web of human and natural systems. Now, a team led by Michigan Technological University’s Judith Perlinger is working on a three-year project to better understand how those systems interact and find ways to address the problem.

The project also has an educational component. The team is teaching a web-based course this spring called Communicating Wicked Environmental Problems. “’Wicked’ has a special meaning,” Perlinger said. “It refers to very complex problems that have a high degree of scientific uncertainty, can be very contentious, and lack a set of solutions that will not be harmful or disadvantageous to someone in some relevant way.”

In addition to Perlinger, scientists collaborating on the project are Noel Urban of Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Shiliang Wu, who has dual appointments in Michigan Tech’s Departments of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences/Civil and Environmental Engineering; Emma Norman of Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences and Great Lakes Research Center; Hugh Gorman, Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences; Joan Chadde-Schumaker, Michigan Tech’s Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education; Noelle Eckley Selin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Engineering Systems Division and Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Daniel Obrist of the Desert Research Institute’s Division of Atmospheric Sciences; Henrik Selin of International Relations at Boston University; and Juanita Urban-Rich, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Department of Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Marcia Goodrich.