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Kaitlin Urso

The Power List 2020 – Analytical Gurus


Kaitlin Urso

Environmental Consultant, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, USA

Starting out in cannabis science: I studied mechanical engineering because I loved math and science but later found that my passions didn’t align with my degree. Now, I apply the technical problem-solving skills I developed from my degree to protecting Colorado’s environment – a job I love!

Most exciting project: Helping the marijuana industry quantify and reduce their air quality impacts. I am researching the rate that cannabis cultivations are emitting highly reactive volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which react with oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions in the presence of sunlight to form harmful ground-level ozone. I also oversee an innovative pilot project to capture waste carbon dioxide emissions from local breweries, purify it, and recycle it during cannabis cultivation to stimulate plant growth.

Nominator comment: “To date, very limited research has been done on the air quality impacts of growing large quantities of cannabis in major metropolitan areas. Kaitlin Urso is leading a study to quantify the VOCs emitted by cannabis cultivation and establish an emission factor for the industry.”


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Highlighting the Top 20 scientists in two categories: cannabis analysis and cannabis research.

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