Aclima

Until now. Beginning in 2015, a pair of Google Street View cars, equipped with high tech “mobile labs” developed by San Francisco–based startup Aclima, crisscrossed the streets of West Oakland taking second-by-second samples of the area’s air. They tested for nitrogen dioxide and a type of pollution known as black carbon (bad for your heart and lungs, not to mention the planet), as well as nitric oxide. The cars hit every stretch of pavement, from tiny cul-de-sacs to truck-choked Peralta Street, multiple times, taking millions of measurements.

There are three stationary air pollution monitors for all of Oakland, which reveal the city’s air quality as a whole. But the Street View cars can tell you what the air is like at, say, the corner of Market Street and Grand Avenue—basically anywhere you can drive a Street View car. They can even tell you how the air varies from one end of a single block to the other for a truly hi-res view of the problem.The result: one of the largest and most granular data sets of urban air pollution ever assembled in the world.

Quoting Google’s interview on Aclima: “We visited each block on between 20 and 50 different days over the course of a year,” says Joshua Apte, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In the process, they were able to identify patterns they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. “If pollution spikes for an instant, it may or may not be such a bad thing. But if pollution is consistently high, that’s something we really should care about.”

Imagine what difference awareness on air pollution can make when this information becomes more accessible!

Visit https://aclima.io/ for more information!

Studying STEM

With a passion for science dating back to as long as she could remember, Laalitya Acharya, 2017 Young Scientist Challenge Finalist and inventor of “TraffEnerate” has started a new project called “Studying STEM” in which she hopes to help anyone learn STEM.

In her first lesson on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), she gives us a great breakdown of the natural phenomena of gravitational force, frictional force, normal force and tension force using easy to understand explanations and illustrations for the vector of each force.

Education is crucial for us to create a deeper understanding of the world we live in. What are some specific subjects within STEM that you would like to learn more about? Follow @studyingstem on IG and subscribe to her channel “Studying STEM” on YouTube to build your knowledge on STEM. May the forces be with you!

Marine Debris Resources

 

Marine Debris office of Response and Restoration has great resources on learning about debris!

Here is a list of some frequently asked questions (and links to answers):

Visit their website for more educational resources!