We collaborate with engineers, scientists, and community groups to design and deploy technologies with the potential to amplify environmental justice perspectives. Then we use social science methods to assess how well those technologies worked for communities. 

 

P R O J E C T

Meaning from Monitoring

  Airwatchbayarea.org  allows users to explore chemical concentrations measured at eight air monitoring stations near San Francisco Bay area refineries.

Airwatchbayarea.org allows users to explore chemical concentrations measured at eight air monitoring stations near San Francisco Bay area refineries.

OBSERVATION

Real-time air monitoring at oil refinery fencelines gives up-to-the-minute information, but doesn't enable adjacent communities to spot trends
or systemic issues. 

Intervention

Worked with community members to create AirWatchBayArea.org, an interactive website that displays monitoring data and accepts users’ reports about environmental conditions.

Press for Air Watch Bay Area

Analyzed RCAMP data for 2016-2017.  Created the "toxic soup index": the average number of pollutants detected simultaneously at any one monitor. Read the executive summary  or the full report.

 

findings

Archival data and user reports make Air Watch Bay Area a uniquely useful tool, but converting data to information and making data actionable remain challenges for websites that seek to empower communities with information. Read more.

Real-time air monitoring would do more to empower communities with more context, interpretive innovation, infrastructure, and proactive pollution prevention.  Read more. 

 

contributors to the project included:

Sufyan Abbasi
Constance Beutel                Kelsey Boone                    Janet Callaghan                Paul Dille                            Amy Gottsegen                  Jay Gunkelman                 Cheryl Holzmeyer          Yen-Chia Hsu                                        

Kathy Kerridge                    Denny Larson                      Jesse Marquez                    Gwen Ottinger                  Derek Parrott                    Janet Pygeorge                  Nancy Rieser                    Randy Sargent

 

Dawn Naufus provided technical support.

We are grateful to the National Science Foundation (Award #1352143), the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, and Intel Labs for their support.


P R O J E C T

Real-Time Health Monitoring

observation

Health concerns are paramount in communities adjacent to point source polluters. Fenceline monitoring programs measure air quality, but don’t collect data about residents’ health.

Goal

Equip fenceline community residents with off-the-shelf personal monitoring technology to generate real-time data relevant to their health, enabling them to explore possible correlations between air quality and health symptoms.

Questions

Does having personal health data change the way that residents make sense of air quality data?  

What data processing tools and other resources do they find most helpful for making sense of data?

collaborators

Project Lead: Cheryl Holzmeyer, Research and Outreach Associate
Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE)                                                                                        Niklas Lollo, PhD student, Energy and Resources Group,  UC-Berkeley

The project has received funding and technical support for Phase 1 from Intel Labs. Drexel student Matt Salvetti (B.A., Sociology, 2016) provided additional valuable support.

Results

Read the results of the study here.