Lakes Environmental Newsletter
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Monthly Newsletter - November 2020 Edition

Why You Shouldn’t Use Emails for Internal Communication

Despite all the advances in online communication channels, email continues to be the dominant tool of choice. But is it the safest option?

Email was built as a simple means to send messages and attachments to improve communication between individuals using different types of computers. In the beginning, email has been and remains insecure for many reasons — for example, the lack of two-way password encryption. Because emails are sent using open methods, it makes it one of the most vulnerable access points for hackers to infiltrate a network where costly damage and data theft can occur.

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The primary reason that email is not the best form of communication is that emails can be easily accessed by anyone with the ability to watch network traffic or access accounts. Also, email companies such as Gmail can access such information and sell it to the highest bidder — for instance, advertisers. Although there has been more clampdown in recent years, email remains a largely unregulated domain.

There is no denying that email is an efficient way of communication which is why it has remained popular to this day. However, being efficient is one thing while being secure is quite another.

At the end of the day, email is routinely the weak link in an organization’s security chain. Continue reading on the Tauria blog and learn exactly how emails are hacked, what phishing threats are, and how you can protect your organization from constantly growing cyberthreats.

Lakes Environmental December Holiday

Please find below the holiday schedule for Lakes Environmental’s offices:

December 24-25


December 28


December 29-31


January 1


Many of our staff continue to work remotely as we continue to do our part to curb the spread of COVID-19. During this time, our primary means of communication will be through e-mail.

For days when our offices are open, questions related to the purchase of software, maintenance, training, or met data, should be sent to For technical support, please email

Online CALPUFF Course – Jan 26-27, 2021 - Spece Filling Fast!

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Our team will present 2 days of online CALPUFF training from January 26 and 27, 2021 from 8:30am to 5:00pm (Central Time). The same great course, now from the convenience of your home or office!

Space is limited Register early!


CALPUFF (Jan 26-27, 2021)



Online AERMOD Course – Feb 16-17, 2021

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Our January online AERMOD course sold out fast! Don’t miss out on our next 2-day online AERMOD course taking place on February 16 and 17, 2021 from 8:30am to 5:00pm (Central Time).

Register and pay today before space is gone!

Note: Due to the immense popularity of our online courses and small class sizes, we recommend registering and making payment as soon as possible.


AERMOD (Feb 16-17, 2021)



Online AERMOD Course with CASANZ – Feb 23-26, 2021

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Together with the Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand (CASANZ), we will hold an online AERMOD air dispersion modeling course. Training will take place in four, 4-hour webinars from February 23 to 26, 2021 from 11:00am to 3:00pm (AEDT).

Registration is now available!

Note: The above course will be based specifically on regulations for the Australia/New Zealand region.


AERMOD (Feb 23-26, 2021)



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Graphical Options: Contour Cut Off

When conducting an air dispersion modeling analysis, the ability to present high-quality graphical depictions of the output is extremely important. Such images provide context to modeled results, and they provide a valuable tool to modelers in understanding and explaining the model’s calculations.

Lakes Software’s wide range of air quality modeling products – such as AERMOD View, CALPUFF View, and more – all feature easy-to-use graphical tools and options so users can customize each project’s output display to suit their needs. These options can be accessed via the Graphical Options button on the main toolbar or a button in the Annotation Toolbar.

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Graphical Options in AERMOD View

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Annotation Toolbar

Graphical Options cover a wide range of settings including:

  • Contour depiction for model output and terrain elevations;
  • Define the axis labels, scale, and display of the model domain;
  • Set colors of individual objects
  • Choose how object labels are placed and how they look;
  • And more!

When contours are plotted in Lakes’ commercial software products, the applications automatically set the levels based on the data distribution presented by the model. For example, concentration contours are set using the maximum modeled concentration as the highest level and the minimum non-zero concentration as the lowest level. This can result in contours which cover almost the entire display.

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Sample AERMOD Model Output with Default Contour Settings

Users may only want to display contours above a certain threshold. Alternatively, the modeler may wish to hide some low level contours so a large portion of the modeling domain is shown in the display.

The Use Cut Off option in Lakes’ Graphical Options is an easy way to achieve this.

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AERMOD View Graphical Options

With the Use Cut Off option enabled, all contours below the specified numeric value will be made completely transparent. This allows users to quickly hide low contour values without having to completely change the default contour levels.

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Sample AERMOD Model Output with 1 µg/m3 Cut Off Applied

In the example above, applying the Cut Off allows more of the satellite imagery in the modeling domain to be displayed thus providing context to the higher modeled concentrations. The Cut Off option can also be applied to other settings such as Terrain Contours where high elevations can be emphasized. In the example below, the Terrain Contours Cut Off was set to show only contours above the height of the tallest stack in the project (i.e., complex terrain).

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Terrain Contours with Cut Off Applied

Using the Cut Off option is one small way users can easily customize their plots to create meaningful depictions of their projects.



How The Human Right To A Healthy Environment Can Help Protect Us All

October 30, 2020 - From the COVID-19 pandemic to the raging wildfires in Australia and the U.S., scientific evidence shows an increase in planetary environmental emergencies that pose a risk to Canadian and global communities.

Read more →

NOAA, Federal Partners Announce Marine Litter Strategy

October 29, 2020- NOAA, EPA and other federal partners announced a new strategy this month to combat the global issue of trash in our ocean. The strategy focuses on four pillars: building capacity for better waste and litter management systems, incentivizing global recycling, promoting research and development, and removing debris.

Read more →

Additional Environmental News

Visit the Environmental News Network (ENN), the most dependable online environmental news source!



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This newsletter contains information gleaned from various sources on the web, with complete links
to the sources cited. Organizations cited are in no way affiliated with Lakes Environmental Software.

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