Rapid Response Teams

What is a Rapid Response Team?

Rapid Response Teams are a HAQAST initiative that work to solve health and air quality issues that require urgent attention. These collaborations between HAQAST members and public stakeholders leverage NASA data and products to solve pressing issues on year long time scales or less.


Headshot of Tracey Hollow

New Toolbox to Support US States in Exceptional Event Screening for Wildland and Prescribed Fires

Team Lead: HAQAST investigator Tracey Holloway

Partners: US EPA, Western States Air Resources Council, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Allegheny County Health Department, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board

In recent years wildland fire smoke has increased in the United States, leading to health impacts and exceedances of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). he Clean Air Act allows approved smoke events to be omitted in determining NAAQS compliance – a process known as creating an Exceptional Event Demonstration (EED). Satellite data for EEDs represents the longest-standing application of Earth Observations to decision-needs in air quality management. To streamline EED efforts, the Western States Air Resources Council (WESTAR) is coordinating a project lead by staff at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to develop an online tool to help state, local, and tribal air agencies prepare documentation for proposed wildfire smoke exceptional events, called the EE Demo tool. This rapid response project will extend the capabilities of EE Demo by including satellite data using Google Earth Engine.

  1. Headshot of Christopher UejioCollaborating with the New Mexico Department of Health to Respond to Wildfires and Extreme Heat

Team Lead: HAQAST investigator Chris Uejio

Partners: New Mexico Department of Health, Epidemiology and Response Division, Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau, Environmental Public Health Tracking

Amidst the largest two wildfires in New Mexico’s history, this team is collaborating with the New Mexico Department of Heath to improve accessibility of air quality measures and understand adverse health effects of heat and PM2.5 exposure.


  1. Distribution and Pollution: Investigating the Influence of Warehouse-related Transportation Activities on NO2 and PM2.5 Using Satellites, Models, and Monitors

Team Leads: Susan Anenberg, Yang Liu, and Ted Russell

Additional HAQAST Investigators: Dan Goldberg, Gaige Kerr, Jen Kaiser, Talat Odman

Partners:  Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), International Council on Clean Transportation, Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO), South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)

With a rise in the construction and prevalence of warehouses near metropolitan areas, this team seeks to explore approaches for tracking air pollution from warehouse-related transportation activities. They are collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO), and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to complete an analysis, simulation, and sensor to satellite comparison.

  1. HAQAST Ambassador Stakeholder Engagement Rapid Response

Team Leads: Tracey Holloway and Jenny Bratburd

Partners: HAQAST Ambassadors

This team seeks to support the newly developed HAQAST Ambassadors program. A major focus is the creation of an online user forum to provide expert advice to users of all levels of expertise. This will serve as a resource for stakeholder questions, and a portal for increasing use of satellite data.

  1.  Incorporating Remote Sensing Derived Estimates of Wildland Fires into the American Thoracic Society “Health of the Air” Annual Report

Team Lead: Kevin Cromar and Daniel Tong

Partners: American Thoracic Society, several state air quality agencies

This team analyzes wildfire health impacts to be included in the American Thoracic Society (ATS) annual report and promotes county level communication related to air quality. The ATS report is widely used by air quality managers and policymakers to understand the health impacts of air pollution.

  1. Responding to the Need of Smoke Forecasts in Alaska: A Data Fusion Approach with Advanced Deep Learning Algorithms

Team Leads: Jingqiu Mao, Pawan Gupta, and Steve Moran

Partners: BreezoMeter

In response to air pollution from massive wildfires in Alaska in 2022, this team is mobilizing to integrate machine learning with low-cost ground sensors, satellite data and air quality models. This air quality data will be shared through different platforms including mobile apps to provide access to the general public.