Topic Areas:

Manuscript Keywords:

air monitoring; air quality; citizen science; community air monitoring network; community engagement; community-based participatory research; community-engaged research; low cost; monitors; sensors; community resilience

Community Keywords:

Why is this useful?

Example of successful community engagement model in building community air monitoring network


Wong M, Wilkie A, Garzón-Galvis C, King G, Olmedo L, Bejarano E, Lugo H, Meltzer D, Madrigal D, Claustro M, English P. Community-Engaged Air Monitoring to Build Resilience Near the US-Mexico Border. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 9;17(3):1092. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17031092. PMID: 32050428; PMCID: PMC7037815.


Initiated in response to community concerns about high levels of air pollution and asthma, the Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Project was conducted as a collaboration between a community-based organization, a non-governmental environmental health program, and academic researchers. This community-engaged research project aimed to produce real-time, community-level air quality information through the establishment of a community air monitoring network (CAMN) of 40 low-cost particulate matter (PM) monitors in Imperial County, California. Methods used to involve the community partner organization and residents in the development, operation, and use of the CAMN included the following: (1) establishing equitable partnerships among the project collaborators; (2) forming a community steering committee to guide project activities; (3) engaging residents in data collection to determine monitor sites; (4) providing hands-on training to assemble and operate the air monitors; (5) conducting focus groups to guide display and dissemination of monitoring data; and (6) conducting trainings on community action planning. This robust community engagement in the project resulted in increased awareness, knowledge, capacity, infrastructure, and influence for the community partner organization and among community participants. Even after the conclusion of the original research grant funding for this project, the CAMN continues to be operated and sustained by the community partner, serving as a community resource used by residents, schools, researchers, and others to better understand and address air pollution and its impacts on community health, while strengthening the ability of the community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from harmful air pollution.


Michelle Wong 1,*,Alexa Wilkie 1,Catalina Garzón-Galvis 1,Galatea King 1,Luis Olmedo 2,Esther Bejarano 2,Humberto Lugo 2,Dan Meltzer 1OrcID,Daniel Madrigal 1,Mariana Claustro 2 andPaul English 3OrcID

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