Darin Avila ’23


Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Project Title

Air Quality Modeling and Environmental Justice

Presentation Link

View Darin's Presentation

Certificate(s): Applied and Computational Mathematics

The Marshall Research Group fights for environmental justice using both mechanistic models and empirical data to model the effects of air pollution across the country. This internship through the Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) program allowed me to improve my skills working with geographical data, outlining functions for complex tasks, and optimizing algorithms that work with millions of data points. I helped create a suite of functions that could quickly communicate with the group’s air-pollution model to perform certain tasks, then I applied these functions to a project that would shed light on an issue in environmental justice. We decided to look at a sample of facilities defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as power plants and assigned each an environmental justice score based on how its emissions affect minority communities’ exposure to pollutants relative to the general population. After reworking our code for further efficiency, we were left with a body of data that allowed us to glean important environmental justice insights about the power plants in question.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Marshall Research Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington


Julian Marshall, John R. Kiely Endowed Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington