STEM Participation through Community Air Quality Sensor Networks and Data Science

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2).

Socioeconomic inequities due to climate variation and environmental disparities are amplified in marginalized communities, especially through poor air quality. The air we breathe – a universal variable that connects us all – is a prime determinant of human health and mortality. Long-term exposure to poor air quality, especially particulate matter (PM), is linked to many comorbidities that have been associated with poor health prognoses (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung disease), which contribute to approximately 7 million deaths per year. This project will implement face-to-face/virtual community interventions to engage participants in utilizing high- and low-cost air quality sensor technologies together with data analytics to better understand how poor air quality contributes to adverse health impacts, especially COVID-19.

The project team will work with urban academic institutions and residences in New York City and New Jersey to train them on how to build and operate high- and low-cost air quality sensors for the collection of indoor air quality measurements of PM10, PM2.5, and PM1. The project team will work with community participants to train them how to construct data visualization products to quantify the contribution of air quality levels to adverse health impacts at the individual and county level. This initiative will also engage community participants, such that they are able to quantify the correlation among collected data using well-established statistical approaches. The project team will train participants to utilize open-source tools to examine the physics of where air parcels come from and forecast where they are going. Lastly, the initiative will implement soft- and hard-skills training and STEM professional development (PD) workshops – all aimed at optimizing recruitment, retention, and successful matriculation in STEM disciplines and careers.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/23


  • National Science Foundation: $179,950.00
  • National Science Foundation: $179,950.00


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