AirKeepersCitizen Science in Action
The AirKeepers Program harnesses Citizen Scientists to fight air inequality like never before. In 2016, Clean Air Carolina launched the program in Charlotte with the help of volunteers taking measurements at both fixed sites and mobile monitoring while walking, biking, or riding transport. With your support, we are live streaming real-time information about the air we share, right in your neighborhood and across the state. The data we’re collecting is free to the public and is being used by scientists and change-makers to make a difference in what we breathe.
Why are we monitoring the air?
Air pollution can be deadly. One of the world’s most serious public health issues is particle pollution–invisible, solid, and liquid matter floating in the air. These particles are small enough to pass through the lungs and directly into the bloodstream. There is no safe level of exposure to particle pollution.
Particle pollution can vary by location. In many cases, concentrations can be dramatically different just across town. Different levels of exposure over time have been shown to correlate with high degrees of disparity in mortality rates (NEJM).
The problem is statewide
The entire state of North Carolina has just 23 particle pollution monitors.
Let’s put that into perspective: If particle pollution can vary from one neighborhood to another, how are we gathering accurate pollution levels with only 23 monitors in the entire state?
Unfortunately, we are not. We are leaving too many communities in the dark on their levels of exposure. This is why AirKeepers are so important – it is critical that we not only gather scientific data but also empower communities with the information we learn from it.
CITIZEN SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
Check out our interactive Story Map to learn how community residents are using citizen science to take on air pollution challenges in Charlotte’s Historic West End!
We’re building the nation’s first statewide network of citizen scientists monitoring hyperlocal pollution. Take a real-time look at our network of monitors so far!
Citizen Science Advisory Board
Glenn E. Futrell Distinguished University Professor
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
North Carolina State University
Adjunct Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Deputy Director; Research Professor Center for
Environmental Modeling for Policy Development
Emissions, Air Quality modeling, Atmospheric Chemistry,
Aerosols, Health Risk Estimation, Aircraft Emissions,
Near-Road Emissions, Near-Port Emissions UNC Chapel Hill
AirKeepers Fills in the Gaps
Thanks to new low-cost sensors and the Internet of Things, Clean Air Carolina is pushing forward street-level, real-time particle pollution monitoring in North Carolina. You can play a part in building a network that addresses environmentally impacted communities all across the state.
Here’s how you can help:
DONATE TO THE AIRKEEPERS PROGRAM!
As an AirKeeper you will be contributing to the cutting edge of air pollution science.
HOST A MONITOR
If you are not selected for a sponsored monitor, you can donate a monitor to the location of your choice, with a $40/month recurring gift, or a $450 contribution to the AirKeepers Program.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER!
As an AirKeeper volunteer, you play an important role in our mission to ensure clean, healthy air for all North Carolinians. By working together, we bring air quality education to communities that can lead to advocacy work at the local and state level. AirKeeper volunteers assist at monitoring events, attend educational outreach sessions, help with the upkeep of our monitors, and represent the program at tabling events and conferences.
Contact us at [email protected] to sponsor a monitor at a school, home or business across the state.
AirKeeper Ron Ross of Charlotte
“Since 2016 we’ve been monitoring particle pollution in our neighborhoods with portable air sensors and learning about sources of pollution and how they contribute to many illnesses. After participating in a 4-week clean air advocacy training and an environmental justice tour, we are now launching a Clean Air Corridor project to address the legacy issues affect the Historic West End.”Ron Ross