Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center

Science To Achieve Results

U.S. EPA STAR Grant: Engage, Educate and Empower California Communities on the Use and Applications of "Low-cost" Air Monitoring Sensors

South Coast AQMD has been awarded a U.S. EPA STAR Grant to Engage, Educate, and Empower California Communities on the Use and Applications of “Low-cost” Air Monitoring Sensors Link to external website..

In collaboration with Sonoma TechnologyLink to external website. and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Link to external website., this study will provide local California communities with the knowledge necessary to appropriately select, use, and maintain “low-cost” air pollution sensors and to correctly interpret sensor data. After the air pollution sensors have been tested, six communities throughout California will be selected to use the sensors; researchers will specifically target communities in Environmental Justice areas and near specific sources of air pollution. Regular public meetings and other outreach activities will be organized to educate the public on the capabilities of commercially available sensors and their potential applications and limitations. The end points of the research will help governmental organizations and other policy makers to better understand air quality issues at the community level and to make better policy decisions to protect the public from the impacts of air pollution.

Below we have included materials that have been developed, as part of the U.S. EPA STAR Grant at South Coast AQMD, in collaboration with around 400 project participants in 14 California communities.

An Educational Toolkit, featuring an Air Sensor Guidebook, training videos, and more is currently in development and will be made available here soon. This Toolkit has been shaped by our experience conducting the STAR Grant project and it will provide support and resources to individuals and groups interested in using low-cost sensor technology to conduct community air monitoring studies. Please continue to check back for access to these additional materials.

Background on the STAR Grant project
These presentations are generalized versions of the presentations used for each in-person community workshop and were used to communicate information and facilitate discussion. Slides were customized as needed for each community:

Sensor Installation and Use
These resources were developed to assist project participants with installing and using their sensors. The Installation Guide was continually revised based on feedback from community members. The Log Notes Form was intended to guide participants as they recorded their observations, observations that could help shed light on the data in the analysis and interpretation phase. Finally, the two surveys were intended to provide important contextual information regarding sensor installations and to help project leads improve sensor usability:

Workshop Surveys

These surveys were distributed during community workshops to gain a better understanding of participants' views on and experience using sensors. They can also be used to evaluate changes in participants' views over the course of a sensor deployment:

Data Analysis and Communicating Results

Project leads explored the use of different types of visualizations and approaches to sharing data. Printed infographics summarizing data analysis were well received by community members and project leads appreciated that they could easily share these summaries (an example is provided below). In addition to the development of the AirSensor package & DataViewer web application, other resources were developed to support engagement with data by members of the public, such as the Data Analysis Guide below:

Reports and Resources Created by Partners and Community Participants

In addition to the analysis completed by project leads, there were several examples of community members undertaking their own data analysis or developing resources to support engagement with the data. Several of the reports are available below. There is also a link to a website developed by one STAR Grant participant; this website includes links educational information, data visualizations, and a link to python code developed by the participant to support analysis of the sensor data:

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