Pollution Sensing is a project area examining the use of digital environmental sensors to monitor and report on environmental pollution.
One of the primary ways in which citizen-sensing projects have sprung up is through the direct engagement with sites of contamination or pollution. Noise, air, soil and water pollution are local if distributed environmental disturbances that many urban dwellers experience on a regular basis. While some citizen-sensing projects use the itinerant qualities of individual exposure to air pollution as a site for unique and mobile monitoring experiments with which fixed sites of detection cannot compare, other projects suggest that by focusing on environmental disturbance new questions about the health of individual bodies in relation to environmental health emerge.
Whether displaying pollution levels or developing platforms to make pollution information more available as the basis for which to make sound development decisions, many citizen-sensing pollution projects attempt to make more immediate and actionable the details of environmental pollution.
In this project area, we are investigating the use of sensors in citizen-sensing projects to study and record pollution. Through fieldwork and practice-based research methods, we are conducting a series of walking-seminar events that provide opportunities for experimenting with sensors and for engaging with pollution as an environmental event and matter of concern.
From late October 2013 to early June 2015, the Citizen Sense research project collaborated with residents of northeastern Pennsylvania to develop a citizen-led air-quality monitoring project.
Working together with filmmaker Catherine Pancake, Citizen Sense has developed 5 videos documenting “Pollution Sensing” fieldwork, resident concerns, monitoring practices and events.
You can view and download over 5 million citizen-generated particulate matter (PM2.5) data points using the Citizen Sense Airsift PM2.5 Data Analysis Toolkit.
Sensors are everywhere. Small, flexible, economical, and computationally powerful, they operate ubiquitously in environments.
Unconventional natural gas extraction in the form of hydraulic fracturing began in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania in 2003.
Citizen Sense will be running a panel, Sensing Practices, at the American Association of Geographers 2016 in San Francisco.