We need your help! GASP, with a grant from Google, is studying particulate matter hotspots in Pittsburgh, and invites you to join the effort. If you have a bicycle and would like to participate, this is an easy and fun way to aid GASP’s mission, all while exercising and learning more about the air you breathe each day. Once we have enough data, we can represent a sampling of Pittsburgh’s air, which can then be used to understand where the problem areas are, and to suggest solutions.
We rely on you, the public, to gather data on your daily commute or recreational rides. This requires a one to two week commitment utilizing our equipment on your bicycle, following a specific protocol. As an interested party, we require only that you have a bike and a desire to learn more about the air you pass through every day. Please fill out the following form to express your interest, and we will contact you to set up a training session. Until then, feel free to download and review the protocol page, and don’t forget to stretch those leg muscles!
To go more in-depth, the purpose of this program is to study the objective data gathered by citizens equipped with a laser particle counter and GPS system. The goal of this project is to convey its findings (large and small particulate counts over time and space) as an easily-interpretable map. Large particulates are known as PM10, and small particulates as PM2.5, with the former able to stay in the air for minutes to hours, while the latter can remain in the air for hours to weeks, and travel very long distances. Due to the constantly-changing nature of the air, the more data we collect over routes over time, the more accurate will be the representation of our city. This will promote understanding of any major problems, and suggest ways to enact change.