Citizen science is a great way for communities to “crowdsource” data on an environmental issue and use that data to advocate for positive change. With the INHALE Project, community air tracker volunteers are using handheld particulate air monitoring equipment to map out data and spark community dialogue on air quality issues.
While INHALE is the first project in Canada where air pollution data is being gathered, there are lots of other great citizen science projects happening in Canada and around the world. The following resources highlight some prominent projects and tools around citizen science:
GASP - Group Against Smog And Pollution (Pittsburgh, USA) - GASP is a non-profit organization that coordinated the Bicycle Air Monitoring Program (BAM) as a initiative to engage community members that cycle to participate in local air monitoring. Their research was aimed at identifying particulate matter hotspots in Pittsburgh.
Hamilton Air Monitoring Network - HAMN represents industries that are participating in air quality monitoring in the City of Hamilton as part of the Ministry of Environment's Source Emissions Monitoring program (SEM).
London Air (London, UK) - London Air is a university led initiative by King's College London. The Environmental Research Group of the university has helped establish the first regional air monitoring network in the area. Their website provides up-to-date information air pollution levels across the city.
AirCasting by HabitatMap.org (Brooklyn, USA) - AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. All of the information gathered can be shared through CrowdMap. AirCasting believes "citizens, armed with affordable and accessible instruments, can make unprecedented contributions to scientific understanding."
Google + Aclima (San Francisco Bay Area, USA) - Aclima, a tech start up, has partnered with Google Earth Outreach and the Environmental Protection Agency to equip Google Street View cars with its mobile air quality monitoring technology. Their hope is to "empower people to “see” urban air quality like never before, and turn Google Maps into platform for mapping environmental air quality against public health standards." The partnership launched with a month-long pilot program in Denver and is now being rolled out in San Francisco.