Public Participation in Air Sampling and Water Quality Test Kit Development to Enable Citizen Science

Erin N. Haynes, Timothy J. Hilbert, Rusty Roberts, John Quirolgico, Rachael Shepler, Gerry Beckner, Jennifer Veevers, Jeff Burkle, Roman Jandarov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Public participation in environmental data collectionis a rapidly growing approach providing opportunityfor hands-on public engagement in environmental fieldstudies. This methodology is important when addressingcommunity-identified exposure concerns. Objectives: Our goal was to establish an academic–communitypartnership between University of Cincinnati(UC) researchersand local officials and residents of GuernseyCounty, Ohio, to address their interest in assessing environmentalquality near proposed and operating natural gasextraction (NGE) waste sites. Methods: A pilot research study was developed using community-based participatory research principles. A community resident was trained to collect air samples. Air was sampled at 10 locations for 63 volatile organic compounds(VOCs). Waterquality test kits were developed in partnership with local middle and high school teachers. Results: Community partners were involved throughout the project. VOCs were detected at all locations. Nineteen unique VOCs were detected; one was above the recommended exposure level. Findings were reported back to local officials and community members. Water quality test kits were developed and then piloted in middle school and high school classrooms. Conclusions: Academic–community partnerships wereinstrumental in the identification of sampling locations,obtaining the participation of landowners, and conductingsampling. Measuring the impact of NGE activities on airquality is challenging owing to competing exposures, limitedresources, and access to sites. Water quality test kits werefound by Guernsey County teachers to be useful tools in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Air quality monitoring
  • citizen science
  • community-based participatory research
  • community-engaged research
  • hydraulic fracturing
  • school-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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