Gathering for the launch of the Air Watch project
Western Sydney University researchers will analyse data collected as part of a new air quality monitoring project in the Blue Mountains.
Dr Maggie Davidson and Dr Michelle Ryan, both Lecturers in Environmental Health and Management from the School of Science and Health, will provide their expertise and assist volunteers. Dr Davidson is also a member of the Blue Mountains and Lithgow Project Air Watch Steering Committee that will guide the 12-month project now underway.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with volunteers to teach them how to observe and document air pollution events, to interpret data and to make changes to improve air quality in the Blue Mountains,” said Dr Davidson.
“The range of stakeholders engaged and the quality of research planned highlights the importance of community-based research. It’s projects like this that empower people to engage with the scientific community to bring about real change in their communities, particularly relating to environmental health.”
The project will be run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in conjunction with a Steering Committee that includes Western Sydney University and a range of Blue Mountains community groups and volunteers, the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), Blue Mountains City and Lithgow councils, Doctors for the Environment and the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.
Two types of devices have been deployed to assist volunteers with monitoring local air including a temporary Katoomba air quality monitoring station operated by the OEH and 12 KOALA air quality sensors positioned in Katoomba, Springwood, Wentworth Falls (Boddington Hill) and Lithgow.