Matthews Township, NC. Home of beautiful weather, the Charlotte Independence, and now a custom built air quality sensor station. Over the summer one of Clean Air Carolina’s AirKeepers, and Matthews resident, Gordon Miller, participated in special work with us assisting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop new guides and tools for citizen scientists on their website. It’s called the Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists, and it was developed to help get people involved in understanding the air around them by first understanding their devices, and the information they collect.
Now that the initial work with the EPA has concluded, the monitor station needed to find a home. Where better, than in Gordon’s neck of the woods? On November 6, Clean Air Carolina’s Citizen Science Program Manager Calvin Cupini and Policy Manager Terry Lansdell joined Gordon at the Matthews Township Public Works building. Both Gordon and Terry serve on the Mecklenburg County Air Quality Commission. The team installed the affectionately named “Chicken Coop,” a special weather resistant protective enclosure for a few smart autonomous air sensors. The station already has a particle sensor running live on our website, and in the summertime, it will be fitted with an ozone sensor, when levels of ground-level ozone are higher.
Moving forward, Clean Air Carolina is deploying monitors in every single county in the state. This will provide real-time visualization of recent particle pollution events from Murphy to Manteo. Special research is being designed to harness this network of air sensors to better understand the connections between the air we breathe where we live, work, and play, and how it affects our health.