By: Quinn Hill, Staff Member
In March, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency delivered a presentation at an Air Monitoring Workshop describing what it termed “Next Generation Air Monitoring”. The goal was to spur development of new air monitoring technologies, primarily localized and low-cost alternatives to the more expensive method of traditional, stationary lab analysis. More specifically, the presentation emphasized the promise of active citizen involvement via “citizen science”.
“Citizen science” is essentially the process of a non-professional scientists engaging in academic and scientific research, and combining that research with that of other non-professional scientists to promote data analysis and technology development. In plain english: “citizen science” is a type of crowd-sourcing, where ordinary individuals collect and exchange data to further some type of scientific end.