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Student Biographies

Anastasia Borodai

Anastasia S. Borodai

Major: Chemistry, Minor in Psychology

Expected Graduation: Spring 2017

Hometown: Kkarkov, Ukraine

Poor air quality is an issue that affects everyone, whether you are a politician, a college student, or a small child. It is something we all contribute to, but no one takes upon themselves to change. With every person trying to do good by taking public transportation and not burning wood, there is another who believes that the nothing they do will help and that the situation is simply what it is. Toxic air is not something that will go away on its own. We as a society must assume responsibility and avidly make decisions whether they are personal or legislative to combat this issue or we risk the future of our health, the health of our children, and our children's children.

Tyler Cain

Tyler Cain

Double Major: Urban Ecology / Health, Society, and Policy

Expected Graduation: Spring 2016

Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Local air quality, unlike so many other things is life, is almost completely within our control. This is both refreshing and intimidating. While all of us may support the idea of clean air in theory, making it happen is a matter of personal sacrifice and collective paradigm shift. Fundamentally, clean air advocacy intends to protect the health and dignity of future generations. I never want another person’s child to be born into a mess if I can help it. That is, and always will be, my ultimate source of motivation.

Sivonna Conner-Becket

Sivonna Conner-Becket

Major: Pre-Nursing

Expected Graduation: Fall 2017

Hometown: Bishop, California

I was spoiled with clean air while growing up in the Sierra Nevada range. However, moving to Salt Lake City introduced me to the negative health impacts related to poor air quality and the severity of the situation on the Wasatch Front. Clean air is a vital component to our health and quality of life, and I don't see enough people treating it with high enough regards. The health of our community should be the utmost priority, we need to start treating it as such.

Courtney Dean

Courtney Dean

Double Major:  Economics / Political Science 

Expected Graduation:  Spring 2016

Hometown:  Lakewood, Colorado

Air is inescapable and impacts everyone in the Salt Lake Valley including myself. We also all hold the ability to improve our own air quality, this very personal aspect is what interested me in air quality issues. As an economics major, I was also intrigued by the effect of our inversions on our business community. 

Runzhi Dong

Sasha (Runzhi) Dong

Major: Finance

Expected Graduation: Spring 2016

Hometown:  Beijing, China

I like hiking, solving math puzzles and watching Hayao Miyazaki. My hometown has severe air quality issues than the Salt Lake has and I wonder what I can do for the air quality, which is one of the major reasons I joined the class. After listening to insights about air quality of stakeholders, we found that bad air can not only hurt people's health but also alter the economic development. It's an issue that matters to every sector in the society- the government, businesses, factories, schools, and families. Everyone is a stakeholder in front of air quality issues. We need to find a sustainable eco-friendly way for each sector so as to make us benefit from this society. 

Christianna Johnson

Christianna Johnson

Double Major:  Urban Ecology / Political Science

Expected Graduation:  Spring 2016

Hometown:  Pocatello, Idaho

Air quality is a complex issue that affects everyone, no matter your income or background. However, there are significant health disparities for different populations, such as kids and low-income individuals. By implementing better long term sustainability policies in cities focused on transportation, housing, and development, I believe there is hope to improve air quality now, and for future generations. Additionally, being empowered with knowledge about air quality can have a significant impact in changing people's behavior. 

Koun Lim

Kasha (Koun) Lim

Major:  Chemistry

Expected Graduation:  Spring 2016

Hometown:  Yongin, South Korea

we are always surrounded by air all the time. However, when we are exposed to poor air quality, it causes many different problems including health, politics and economics. I believe that everyone contributes the air quality. Therefore, everyone from any social class have a right to know the air quality and make an improvement. 

Isobel Lingenfelter

Isobel Lingenfelter

Major: Urban Ecology

Expected Graduation: Spring 2016

Hometown:  Tooele, Utah

I would like to offer this thought about air, which comes from one of my favorite authors, "The air is so close to us that we tend to leave it out of our thinking entirely — much as we do not often attend to the experience of breathing, an act so essential to our existence that we take it completely for granted. The air that surrounds us is invisible to our eyes; doubtless this has something to do with why we usually act and speak as though there were nothing there. We refer to the space between things, or the space between two people; we do not speak of the air between us, or the air between oneself or a nearby tree. We generally assume, unless we stop to think about it, that the space between us is roughly continuous with the space between planets." -David Abram

 Zachary Schofield  

Zachary C. Schofield

Double Major: Biology / Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Expected Graduation: Spring 2017

Hometown: Farmington, Utah

Utah really is a beautiful state. I moved here when I was 11, and over the next several years had many opportunities to explore the slot canyons to the south and the mountains to the north. It's a shame then that the population centers of the state become serious eye sores in the winter. And not only do the inversions look bad, but they're hurting the population. The rates of local cases of asthma, bronchitis and other pulmonary diseases don't need to be as high as they are. Utah has a great standard of living, and the best and fastest way to improve that standard of living is to control the level and types of pollution that we allow into the atmosphere.

Felix Vivanco

Felix Vivanco

Major:  Health Care Economics (Pre-Med)

Expected Graduation:  Spring 2016

Hometown:  Santiago, Chile

Air is a basic human need and its quality affects everyone. I believe that it’s a human right to have access good air quality and knowledge of what’s in the air. Every person also has a personal obligation to the environment they live in by keeping it healthy and safe. Together we can assure a better future to this generation and generations to come if we make improving air quality one of our top priority.


Instructor Biographies

Kevin Perry

Kevin Perry


  • B.S. in Meteorology - Iowa State University
  • Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences - University of Washington

Current Positions:

  • Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah

Awards:  University Early Career Teaching Award, University of Utah

Hometown:  Olathe, Kansas

Stephen Trimble

Stephen Trimble


  • B.A. in Psychology - Colorado College
  • M.S. in Ecology - University of Arizona

Current Position:

  • Adjunct Professor in the Honors College, University of Utah


  • The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation
  • The National Cowboy Museum’s Western Heritage “Wrangler” Award
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Colorado College

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Last Updated: 6/14/19