Putting Next Generation Sensors and Scientists in Practice to Reduce Wood Smoke in a Highly Impacted, Multicultural Rural Setting (NextGenSS)

EPA Grant Number: R836185
Title: Putting Next Generation Sensors and Scientists in Practice to Reduce Wood Smoke in a Highly Impacted, Multicultural Rural Setting (NextGenSS)
Investigators: Karr, Catharine J. , Larson, Timothy V. , Simpson, Christopher , Seto, Edmund , Austin, Elena , Riley, Erin , Black, Jessica , Yost, Michael
Current Investigators: Karr, Catharine J. , Larson, Timothy V. , Yost, Michael , Simpson, Christopher , Black, Jessica , Austin, Elena , Riley, Erin , Seto, Edmund
Institution: University of Washington , Heritage University
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: August 1, 2016 through July 31, 2019 (Extended to July 31, 2020)
Project Amount: $749,999
RFA: Air Pollution Monitoring for Communities (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air , Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects , Particulate Matter


We propose to:

  1. Deploy next generation low cost air particle sensors in student directed studies pertaining to heavy wood smoke impacts in their rural community,
  2. Evaluate sensor effectiveness in these collaborative studies, and
  3. Identify effective platforms for data dissemination and communication by students to the broader community through multigenerational and multi-cultural outreach. 


University of Washington (UW) air pollution researchers will partner with Heritage University faculty whose students represent the community’s population of predominately Yakama Nation and Latino immigrant families. The project enhances the EnvironMentors program which pairs upper level undergraduates with high school students. Training and guidance will equip students to formulate and test hypotheses on their community’s wood smoke exposure using Alphasense PM sensors. Projects will address three key spheres:
  1. Spatiotemporal variability,
  2. Associations with cardiopulmonary health, and
  3. Impact of interventions.

Students will disseminate the findings to their families, elders, and other community members. Evaluation will include student experience using sensors and field reliability and validation testing by comparison to local fixed site and validated field measurement data.

Expected Results:

Expected outputs include:

  1. A curriculum adaptable for use in other settings incorporating use of low cost sensors and
  2. High-quality data on wood smoke exposure, impacts, and interventions in a rural area.

Expected outcomes include: a new multi-cultural partnership to address shared high priority environmental health concerns, reduced wood smoke emissions leading to improved respiratory health for susceptible individuals, and information relevant for policy prioritization and decision making on air quality improvement. 

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 11 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ambient air, sensitive populations, children, human health, particulates, epidemiology, NW, northwest, EPA Region 10, agriculture, human health, Hispanic, Native American, farm worker;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2017 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report
  • 2019 Progress Report