Pairing Earth Observations and Socioeconomic Data to Enable Student-led Hazard Monitoring for Environmental Justice in New York

Lead PI: Dr. Susana Beatriz Adamo, Carolynne Hultquist

Unit Affiliation: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)

September 2022 - February 2024
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project will explore the feasibility of combining citizen science in situ data collection with spaceborne Earth observation (EO) products to monitor local air-quality and temperature. Low-income minority populations in urban areas are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards in the United States. Exposure within schools to hazardous air quality and temperature is dependent on the level of functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Indeed, the distribution of HVAC systems is disproportionate and ventilation in schools often fails to meet established standards. Furthermore, heat exposure in the classroom causes a greater disruption to students of ethnic and racial minorities in the US. In this environmental justice study, we will examine the relationship between these two environmental hazards – hazardous air quality and temperature – and socioeconomic characteristics of school districts in New York State (NYS). Specifically, we will focus on New York City (NYC) schools serving low-income minority populations and located in environmental justice communities characterized by high levels of hazard exposure.