Atmosphere Extras – Citizen science

Citizen science involves members of the general public collaborating with scientists on a project. It is a great way for people to learn about air pollution where they live and also for local scientific research, as it provides data from more sources then ground-based stations and gives a more regional perspective than satellite data.

iSpex-EU was a citizen science project that allowed the public to use their smartphones to measure air pollution. It ran from 1 September to 15 October 2015 and 5386 measurements were made.

Britain Breathing - A citizen science project that aims to engage the UK public to act as ‘citizen sensors’ to help scientists discover more about seasonal allergies such as hay fever or asthma, which may be caused by different pollen, pollution or the weather. It involves using a phone app to log allergy symptoms.

Friends of the Earth Clean Air Kit campaign is another UK based citizen science project. It involves the public installing a tube to measure NO2 in a location of their choice. They then mail this back after 2 weeks. The results will help to build a picture of air pollution across the UK, as well as to enable people to discover what air pollution is like in places that matter to them.

SenseBox - Is a German based citizen science toolkit which works as a low-cost weather station. It can be used to measure light intensity and ultraviolet light, temperature, air moisture, and air-pressure, and future extensions will provide air quality measurements. There are two versions of the kit, senseBox: home for use local research and senseBox:Edu for schools and junior scientists.

The European Space Agency set up a project called EducEO, to review existing citizen science projects to to enhance the scientific exploitation of Earth Observation (EO) data while simultaneously supporting education and public awareness raising of EO.

Breath Clean - Tower Hamlets, London is a ongoing local citizen science project that commenced in May 2018. It provides Tower Hamlets residents with the materials & training needed to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around the places that matter to them.

Air quality Citizen Science This is a NASA funded project which aims to collect spatially dense, quality PM2.5 data using low-cost sensors deployed by citizen scientists. The data will be compared to NASA satellites. They are currently recruiting citizen scientists based in Southern California, and will be expanding to other regions later on. You can sign up to take part here

Citizen-Enabled Aerosol Measurements for Satellites (CEAMS) This is another NASA funded Citizen Science project which is led by Colorado State University, and measures local air quality using using inexpensive, but high-quality instruments to take backyard measurements. You can take part if you are based in the USA.

Featured Educator:

  • Dr Martin Adams

Don’t forget you can download the video, transcript and take any quizzes available with the links on the right.


iSpex results

The preliminary results of the iSpex project showing all results collected between 1st September - 29th October 2015