Throughout the world, communities disproportionately suffering from threats related to air pollution also lack the resources and access to innovations critical to addressing these threats. The project investigates how community‐based methods (i.e., strategically placed cameras and crowdsourcing) can provide comprehensive, cost‐effective spatial estimates of particulate pollution as well as improve community awareness and facilitate action.
Project Vision and Strategy
This project represents a collaborative effort between engineers and social scientists at the University of California at Merced to develop and examine the feasibility of scalable innovations to reduce the health impact of air pollution in poor and isolated regions.
The team is in the process of developing a UC Merced Visibility Camera Website to collect image data as well as promote community awareness of the health challenges faced by the region which has suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the country. They also are fielding a series of focus groups and interviews in Merced County to understand the extent of awareness about air pollution and related health threats as well as to understand the kinds of sources people might find most useful to disseminate air quality reports on an ongoing basis, and to test messages for website and mobile application designs. A pilot survey has been designed and is in the field. These two efforts will inform how community-based methods can reduce the health impact of air pollution in similarly challenged regions particularly in the developing world.
- Professor Shawn Newsam, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Merced