There’s no place like home – but how well do you know yours? Because each home is unique, studies of environmental quality of homes requires people to become citizen scientists. Caren Cooper will introduce three citizen science kits for healthy homes that can be borrowed through her lab: Sound Around Town for measuring the outdoor acoustic environment and possible noise pollution; AirCasting for measuring outdoor air quality; and Crowd the Tap for reporting observations of tap water quality, plumbing and service line materials in order to estimate the risk of lead in tap water. Cooper is helping citizen scientists challenge old notions about who can conduct research, where knowledge can be acquired, and even how solutions to some of our biggest societal problems might emerge.
About Our Speaker
Caren Cooper is Assistant Head of the Biodiversity Research Lab and Associate Professor in Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State, where she is part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Leadership in Public Science. Her research focuses on environmental quality and citizen science as a way to both understand and collectively manage natural resources. She is a guest blogger at Scientific American, PLOS, and Discover. Her recent book, “Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery,” is now available in paperback at the Museum gift shop.