John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, has been appointed to the local air district board, replacing UC Merced professor Henry Jay Forman.
The appointment from Gov. Jerry Brown fills the seat designated for a health expert on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board.
The board makes decisions affecting air quality and health for nearly 4 million people in eight counties, ranging from Stockton to Bakersfield. The Valley has some of the nation's worst air quality.
Since 2005, Capitman has worked on regional and statewide research, much of it involving air pollution and cumulative environmental burdens on people.
In his 2012 "Place Matters" study, Capitman calculated mortality rates in each Valley ZIP code. He included such details as income, ethnicity, education and pollution exposure.