The University of Washington (UW) will use a $750,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), awarded through the EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, to develop low-cost air pollution sensor technology.
Through the project, titled “Putting Next Generation Sensors and Scientists in Practice to Reduce Wood Smoke in a Highly Impacted, Multicultural Rural Setting,” UW hopes to provide communities with tools to better understand their air quality. In partnership with Heritage University in Toppenish, UW will employ inexpensive, advanced sensors to help local Yakama Nation and Latino families to monitor and reduce their exposure to wood smoke. Heritage University’s student base is largely made up of Yakama and immigrant Latino students, meaning that the project will both serve and involve the local community.
The project will also allow high schoolers to take part in the EnvironMentors program, wherein they are paired with upper level undergraduate UW student to better understand the project’s findings, which they can then explain to family and community members.
UW’s funding is part of the latest round of STAR grants, which also saw funding go to: Carnegie Mellon University, Kansas State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Research Triangle Institute, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and University of California, Los Angeles.