Title: Public Participation in Air Sampling and Water Quality Test Kit Development to Enable Citizen Science.
Authors: Haynes, Erin N; Hilbert, Timothy J; Roberts, Rusty; Quirolgico, John; Shepler, Rachael; Beckner, Gerry; Veevers, Jennifer; Burkle, Jeff; Jandarov, Roman
Published In Prog Community Health Partnersh, (2019)
Abstract: Public participation in environmental data collection is a rapidly growing approach providing opportunity for hands-on public engagement in environmental field studies. This methodology is important when addressing community-identified exposure concerns.Our goal was to establish an academic-community partnership between University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers and local officials and residents of Guernsey County, Ohio, to address their interest in assessing environmental quality near proposed and operating natural gas extraction (NGE) waste sites.A pilot research study was developed using community-based participatory research principles. A community resident was trained to collect air samples. Air was sampled at 10 locations for 63 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Water quality test kits were developed in partnership with local middle and high school teachers.Community partners were involved throughout the project. VOCs were detected at all locations. Nineteen unique VOCs were detected; one was above the recommended exposure level. Findings were reported back to local officials and community members. Water quality test kits were developed and then piloted in middle school and high school classrooms.Academic-community partnerships were instrumental in the identification of sampling locations, obtaining the participation of landowners, and conducting sampling. Measuring the impact of NGE activities on air quality is challenging owing to competing exposures, limited resources, and access to sites. Water quality test kits were found by Guernsey County teachers to be useful tools in the classroom.
PubMed ID: 31178449
MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/analysis*; Air Pollution/analysis*; Citizen Science/methods*; Citizen Science/statistics & numerical data; Community Participation/methods*; Community Participation/statistics & numerical data; Environmental Monitoring/methods*; Environmental Monitoring/statistics & numerical data; Humans; Ohio; Pilot Projects; Universities; Water Quality*