Kansas State University (K-State), located in Manhattan, Kansas, recently won a $750,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant that it will put towards helping communities in South Chicago, Illinois understand their air quality with low-cost air pollution sensors.
In partnership with organizations based in South Chicago, K-State will work to improve the area’s air quality through refining public engagement strategies — for example, gauging whether community members become more involved when provided statistics through tools like low-cost sensors. Researchers will work to create sustainable strategies for monitoring, analyzing and sharing information about air pollutant measurements. In addition to benefitting the local communities, the project will yield information about how low-cost sensors can be used in the field.
The project was one of six to receive funding in this latest round of Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, representing a total of more than $4.5 million in grants.
“Through these projects, scientists and communities will join together to develop and test new low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ways to measure air pollution,” EPA Science Advisor Thomas A. Burke, who also serves as deputy assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, said. “This research will provide tools communities can use to understand air pollution in their neighborhoods and improve public health.”