EPA Community Air Monitoring Training: A Glimpse into EPA’s Air Sensor Toolbox

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency conducted an outstanding training session on community air monitoring earlier this week, on Thursday, July 9.

Ron Williams demonstrating low cost air sensors

In just one day, Ron Williams and his amazing EPA Office of Research and Development emerging technologies team hosted demonstrations of small, low cost air monitoring sensors, six excellent presentations, seven rotating breakout sessions, presentations of story boards by student participants, and more.

Student storyboards
Thirty students from around the country attended.  Many Moving Forward Network member organizations were represented, including the Diesel Health Project, represented by this author and Leticia DeCaigny.  Other MFN organizations which sent folks to this invitation-only training class included Air Alliance Houston, Clean Air Council, Comite Civico del Valle, Steps Coalition, and Global Community Monitor, 

Leticia DeCaigny also represented the Kansas City KS Argentine/Turner Good Neighbor Committee

For those not able to attend, the presentations (listed below) were shared through a webinar, and will be available online in a week or so.  I will share links to them on this blog as soon as they are posted.

  1. Air Quality Basics, Air Pollution Monitoring, Sensor Technology, Performance Goals: Ron Williams (EPA Office of Research and Development)
  2. How to Start a Citizen Science Program: Liz Barry (Public Lab)
  3. Citizen Science Study Design: Rachelle Duvall (EPA ORD)
  4. Data Measurement, Management, Quality, Uncertainty: Bob Judge (EPA Region 1)
  5. Quality Assurance: Ron Williams (EPA Office of Research and Development)
  6. Short Term Measurements and Air Quality Messaging/ Regulatory Requirements for Data: Kristen Benedict (EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards)

Another great feature of the meeting was a “round-robin” of breakout sessions, structure so groups moved from one session to the other.  We learned a lot!

  1. RETIGO demonstration: Gayle Hagler (EPA Office of Research and Development)
  2. Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool (C-FERST)Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool (T-FERST) demonstration: Tim Barzyk(EPA Office of Research and Development)
  3. Citizen Science Air Monitoring Success Story: Tonawanda, New York: Erin Heaney (Clean Air Coalition of WNY)
  4. General advice on how to plan a study: Liz Barry (Public Lab)
  5. Hands-on sensor demonstration Ron Williams (EPA Office of Research and Development)
  6. Facilitated discussion on individual experiences, inquiries, lessons learned: Marie O’Shea (EPA Region 2)
  7. Citizen science study design-Case studies from 13 years in citizen science: Caren Cooper (Biodiversity Research Lab, NC Museum of Natural Sciences)

I could not imagine learning more from a one day training session, not only from the amazing EPA scientists and others who shared their knowledge, but from my fellow students.  It was a wonderful event.

Kudos to Ron Williams and Amanda Kaufman of the EPA Office of Research and Development, and the rest of the talented team that make this event so successful.

For a few more photos from the session, please visit the Diesel Health Project blog post, Three local organizations at EPA Community Air Monitoring Training.