Future City, Inc.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Future City Inc. (FCI) will use a second portable air quality monitor in their Walking in Elizabeth (NJ) project. This project will use citizen science to address a community environmental health concern. Students will use the requested equipment together with another monitor, provided through a YLACES grant in 2018, to document ambient air quality in the area. At least some of the students are expected to document their results in an Environmentors poster and presentation. The student investigation will also be presented to at least 500 fellow students.
Following their successful project in 2015 and 2016, Future City Inc. (FCI) will improve their observing abilities with two additional underwater cameras, wading equipment, and an Apple mini. They hope to have a student presentation in connection with the EnvironMentors program.
Following their successful project in 2015, FCI is using a follow on grant from YLACES to add the ability to take subsurface observations and document them with imagery. The water monitoring will be continued and 10 student volunteers will participate.
During the summer of 2015, Future City Inc. will educate 10 student volunteers on water quality issues and measurement techniques and continue this with additional students in the coming school year. The focus is on the effects of combined sewer overflows on the estuarine and coastal shores within Arthur Kill near Elizabeth, New Jersey. The summer students will conduct an assessment through measurements of water quality, including fecal coliform, and document their observations with photographs. Among the questions to be addressed will be the tidal effects on readings. The summer research will form a baseline for the area, which will be monitored on a continuing basis. Presentation materials will be produced for sharing with local officials and stakeholders. There is also a community service aspect as students will remove debris from measurement sites.
Dear Dr. Dixon Butler,
On behalf of Future City Inc. (FCI) and our citizen scientists, we want to thank you very much for helping us with funding needed project equipment for the summer 2015 research. We plan to continue working this fall/spring to conduct citizen science research on the water quality of local CSO’s on our living river and estuarine shoreline. The students successfully conducted a summer research snapshot on how the CSO’s impact our living river and estuarine shorelines within our Arthur Kill in two locations and teams were all working at different sites which often was very logistically challenging.
The requested project materials and equipment permitted mobile pop-up lab sites for water testing research e.g. water quality, fecal coliform and researching if there was a difference between high/low tide and visual documentation.
Our summer research benefited our citizen scientists providing them important research where they can then utilized their skill in school while increasing their knowledge in science. In addition, our students built up their leadership and team building skills while working on their citizen science work. Mapping skills increased their interest. They learned how to apply the mapping skills in their research project as well as experience how to document their work visually in a map as well.
On October 9th, 2015, we had an opportunity to have our project poster at Elizabeth Estuary Day 2015 where almost 300 students and teachers learned about their summer efforts. Also on the same day, college students had opportunity to be at Rutgers University LSAMP Conference where they shared the summer research to fellow regional college students and professors.
We appreciate the equipment funding we received which helped us accomplish our goals throughout the summer program and future citizen science work. Your equipment funding will continue to support much needed long term coordinated citizen science efforts to positively impact upon water quality within our river, estuarine shorelines and waterways.
You made a difference!