Engaging impacted communities in design of a low-cost community air monitoring network
Methods: A committee of diverse community representatives was recruited to guide the project and identify priority impacted cities/towns in Imperial County. Promotores (lay health workers from the community) recruited residents from these cities/towns to map candidate sites for monitor placement. An innovative online crowd-sourcing mapping tool- designed by and for residents- was adapted to enable data collection for the project using mobile phones.
Results: 45 participants received training about PM, monitor siting criteria, and data collection. They identified, collected data on, and prioritized candidate monitor sites throughout the county. Based on this information, the project team selected sites for 20 monitors, which were deployed across a range of communities and land uses within the county. Participant evaluations to date have indicated a strong sense of engagement in the design of the network and interest in using the network’s air quality data.
Discussion: By engaging and training “citizen scientists”, incorporating community knowledge, and utilizing community-based technology in the development of the air monitoring network, this project will generate community-relevant data and build local capacity to ensure use and sustainability of the network beyond the project timeline.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Demonstrate how community members can be engaged to design and deploy a low-cost community air monitoring network Describe a process for community selection of sites for placement of air monitors Identify key factors contributing to strong community engagement in and sustainability of the community air monitoring network
Keyword(s): Air Pollution & Respiratory Health, Community-Based Research (CBPR)
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led the community engagement, outreach, and education activities for multiple federally-funded environmental health projects. Among my interests have been the assessment of stakeholder needs to maximize the accessibility and relevance of scientific information; the engagement of community members in designing, implementing, and disseminating results from research projects; and the translation of scientific results for public health action.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.