Fundamentals of Air Dispersion Modeling

This intensive 2-day course is designed for entry level engineers, dispersion modelers, and meteorologists or others wanting to deepen their understanding of air dispersion modeling principles. Concise lectures supplemented by multi-media example problem sets, a short hands-on introduction to computer-based modeling software, and group discussions are used to maximize comprehension. Students learn how models incorporate the effects of transport and dispersion, atmospheric turbulence, stack characterization, building downwash, and terrain impacts with emphasis on U.S. EPA models such as AERMOD, AERSCREEN, and a brief introduction to CALPUFF, CAMx, and CMAQ. Participants learn about:

  • Modeling theory, U.S. EPA models, and model selection
  • Role and sources of meteorology
  • Model use and interpretation within regulatory and non-regulatory contexts of application


Course topics
  • Regulatory requirements for modeling
  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Stability categories
  • Dispersion parameters
  • Plume rise equations
  • Building downwash
  • Flares
  • Line and area sources
  • Modeling continuous emissions
  • Modeling accidental releases
  • Modeling study design
  • U.S. EPA modeling guidelines
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Oct 15 - 16, 2019 -- San Francisco, CA
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Feb 25 - 26, 2020 -- St. Louis, MO
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Apr 14 - 15, 2020 -- Boston, MA
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
What others are saying about this course
  • I thought the course instruction was really quite good. I feel like I came away knowing a lot more than when I started.
  • Presentation slides were effective. Drawings were also effective. I really appreciated the examples/work problems, it forced me to think critically through the problems and enhanced my understanding of the material.
  • Willingness of the instructor to take and answer questions.
  • The instructor(s) were engaging, helpful, knowledgeable and energetic. They kept the class engaged the entire time through questions and micro breaks. They also added in relative content based on the students/participants in the room, which was also helpful. The material itself was extremely interesting and I actually did not want to leave. It was one of the best and most informative environmental courses I have taken.
  • They are very knowledgeable and are skilled instructors.

Partner courses

Save 25% when you register for two or more partner courses held on consecutive dates.

AERMOD Modeling Computer Lab

Trinity Consultants offers this 2 day course to provide hands-on instruction on the use of AERMOD, the U.S. EPA's preferred computer model recommended for estimation of ambient impacts of air pollutants emitted from industrial sources. This course reviews the scientific theory behind these dispersion models with an emphasis on formulating and conducting an air quality analysis from start to finish utilizing the refined model options of AERMOD, its meteorological processor AERMET, and terrain processor AERMAP. During the course, students will use BREEZE modeling software to analyze case studies and gain practical experience in processing meteorological and geophysical data and source inputs to the models, running and analyzing model output, and post-processing results to visualize and document predicted impacts. Course completion will enable attendees to:

  • Understand the basics of the AERMOD model, input data, and model options
  • Carry out a typical AERMOD modeling analysis
  • Produce and correctly interpret tables, plots, and other output from AERMOD

Oct 17 - 18, 2019 -- San Francisco, CA
Feb 27 - 28, 2020 -- St. Louis, MO
Apr 16 - 17, 2020 -- Boston, MA
Related courses

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Practical Air Dispersion Modeling Workshop

This 3-day course is designed for environmental professionals with little dispersion modeling experience who wish to use the AERMOD model or to better understand AERMOD results prepared by others. It is similar to the two-day AERMOD Modeling Computer Lab course, with additional focus on developing a strong understanding of model fundamentals. Course topics include Gaussian model behavior, source characterization, building and terrain data, and results interpretation. The course includes hands-on modeling exercises using BREEZE modeling software and interactive lecture sessions. Course completion will enable attendees to:

  • Develop a strong understanding of the AERMOD model, its input data, and model options
  • Carry out a typical AERMOD modeling analysis
  • Produce and correctly interpret tables, plots, and other output from AERMOD

3 sessions are available starting on Jun 05 - 07, 2019 in Houston, TX ».