Air quality monitoring network installed on WCU’s campus

Press release from Western Carolina University:

CULLOWHEE – WCU’s Sustainable Energy Initiative recently funded a campus-wide air quality monitoring project lead by Sara Duncan, assistant professor of environmental health, and student Graham Seigel, who graduated in May.

Under the project, titled “Whee Breathe: An open air quality monitoring platform at WCU,” low-cost Purple Air monitors were installed across campus. These monitors measure particulate matter regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and also monitor temperature and relative humidity.

The data for these monitors is reported to the PurpleAir map every minute and is completely open source. Importantly, the data is available to students, faculty, staff and the larger community for research, student learning and community engagement. Already, students use PurpleAir data for a course-based undergraduate research project in Duncan’s Air Quality course.

As part of the project, there are three outdoor sensors located at the Health and Human Sciences Building, the outdoor track and the Jordan-Phillips Field House, and two indoor sensors inside Courtyard Dining Hall and the Hinds University Center. Currently, there is one sensor outside the Apodaca Science Building operated by Damon Smith of the Department of Chemistry and Physics. These sensors can measure pollution from various sources across campus.

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