While there are natural causes of air pollution through events like wildfires and dust accumulation, the leading cause of air pollution is human activity such as fossil fuel emissions, landfills, and infrastructure. As these problems grow and their health impact increases—especially among those most vulnerable, people across the globe are becoming more engaged and seeking to take action to reduce exposure to unhealthy air.
The development of tools such as low-cost air quality sensors allows us to monitor our environment at local scales in an affordable and accessible way. Earthwatch has developed programs with students, teachers, and other community members to monitor air quality in cities around the world, including Boston, Southern California, and New Delhi, India, and identify solutions to reduce exposure to unhealthy air for vulnerable populations.
Our work on air quality is in efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (11.6) to reduce the adverse impact of cities with special attention to air quality.
Earthwatch is working across multiple cities and countries with schools and community groups to monitor air pollution with low-cost sensors and develop action plans to mitigate the impact of poor air quality on the surrounding area.
Ozone and Air Temperature
With funding from NASA, Earthwatch has worked alongside community members, scientists, and local organizations to assess how local air temperature and ozone changes at the neighborhood and household level in Southern California to help inform how best to adapt to dangerous levels of pollution and severe heat.
Earthwatch provides access to data collected on open-source platforms and proactively shares these data with partners and program participants alongside analyses to help make sense of it.
Our programs encourage the development of specific action plans to support partners and participants in their efforts to improve air quality and reduce exposure to air pollution.
By working with historically underserved communities and underrepresented groups in STEM, we strive to ensure our programs are inclusive and address where air quality is most problematic.
Experience hands-on science in some of the most astounding locations in the world.
Meet a community of like-minded travelers and return home with stories filled with adventure.
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS
Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.