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Improving Tribal and Citizen Science with Collocated Low-Cost Air Sensor Shelters

Accurate air quality measurements are the foundation of regulatory programs that reduce air pollution. Recent improvements in sensor technology allow volunteer citizens scientists to measure air pollution in their communities. However, a challenge is that the quality of data obtained from low-cost air sensors often is not equal to more expensive monitors used by government agencies. A cost-effective way to assess the performance of low-cost air sensors (and create data correction equations that make sensor data comparable to government monitors) is to test low-cost sensors near the more expensive technology at regulatory monitoring sites. This project sets up small testing enclosures that will be set up at regulatory air monitoring sites. It will fund construction of air sensor shelters, to be set up on or near tribal lands, that can be used by tribal, state and local air monitoring agencies. Tribal environmental agencies and citizen science organizations can use these air sensor testing shelters to conduct air sensor projects. Placement of collocated testing shelters at existing regulatory air monitoring sites allows for direct data comparisons between low- cost sensors and more expensive monitoring technology - a recommended method in EPA guidance for assessing air sensor measurement accuracy and uncertainty.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: This project is still in the planning stage. Expected partners include Catawba Indian Nation Tribal Land, Rock Hill, SC; Broward County, FL; Orlando, FL; Raleigh, NC; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville, KY; Cherokee Nation, OK; and multiple other locations to be determined.

Project Status: In Planning or Pending - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Data analysis, Measurement,

Start Date: Anticipated Summer 2021

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Climate and weather, Ecology and environment, Geology and earth science

Intended Outcomes: This project aims to increase the availability of locations for the public to compare their own lower-cost air quality sensor measurements with established, more expensive EPA methods for air quality measurement.