Episode 5 with Dr. Mark Chandler and Mary Walls

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has laid the groundwork for an environmental experiment of sorts. What happens when transportation around the world grinds to a halt, when air and automobile travel is dramatically reduced within a matter of weeks? How do these changes impact the quality of the air we breathe, and, if maintained, how might that affect our overall health and wellbeing? What lessons can we learn from this unique time period that will help us to better manage air pollution once traditional travel resumes? In the 5th episode of our Science Matters webinar series, we were joined by Earthwatch's Director of Research Initiatives, Dr. Mark Chandler, and environmental educator Mary Walls who explored how community-based air quality monitoring can help improve our understanding of air pollution and identify actions to reduce exposure to unhealthy air.



Dr. Mark Chandler, PhD. Director of Research Initiatives, Earthwatch



Mark Chandler, Ph.D.
Director of Research Initiatives, Earthwatch

Mark is a prominent conservation biologist with over 25 years of experience conducting field research globally, and is responsible for oversight of research program development for Earthwatch’s Sustainable Cities Initiative. He received his doctorate from McGill University studying the evolution of host–parasite communities in tropical frog communities. Mark’s interests are the development of community science programs that enhance human health and livelihoods as well as the environment.

Mary Borobia Walls Director and Founder, Action Driven Inquiry



Mary Borobia Walls
Director and Founder, Action Driven Inquiry

Mary has been an educator for more than sixteen years and has taught on both the east and west coasts and is also Co-Chair for the EEC (Environmental Education Collaborative) Board. She is an avid promoter of inquiry based learning, PBL, IB, NGSS, STEM, STEAM, Environmental Literacy, maker mindsets, collaborative processes, creative & inclusive school culture, and action-driven inquiry. She has coached and conducted trainings & workshops all over California for schools, school districts, expanded learning programs, and non-formal programs. She is currently working with schools and districts in California's Inland Empire. Join her on Twitter @marybwalls

Air Quality Programs

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Air Pollution 

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.

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Ozone and Air Temperature
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.

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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.