Thursday, February 9, 2017

EPA Citizen Science Public Forum

U.S. EPA Region II hosted the second Citizen Science Public Forum on Jan 09, 2017 in New York City. The event was well-attended by federal and state of cials, nonpro ts, and citizen scientists. Dr. Swarna Muthukrishnan, Staff Scientist, represented COA. Judith Enck, EPA Region II Administrator opened the session with her remarks about how citizen science is one of the primary ways of moving forward in identifying and solving environmental issues of concern. The main areas of focus for citizen science efforts are water and air pollution issues in
Region II and in the Caribbean. Region II provides technical support to citizen scientists and also analytical support through its Equipment Loan Program. Guest presentations showcased citizen science success stories in water quality monitoring involving high school students, and real time air quality mapping and monitoring initiatives. A round-table discussion of different groups brain-stormed on three important questions: (i) Key challenges faced by citizen scientists; (ii) How can citizen scientists focus efforts and maximize the impacts of our work?; and (iii) How can EPA be most effective in supporting citizen science-based initiatives? It was an informative meeting, which provided an opportunity to interact with peer-groups working on water quality issues in the NY/NJ area. The forum also helped gain an insight into various EPA resources that can be used to further COA’s citizen science program agenda. 

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