Bard College Center for Environmental Sciences and Humanities Receives $44,892 EPA Grant to Improve Air Quality and Public Health Across Underserved Neighborhoods in New York StateANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Center for Environmental Sciences and Humanities (CESH) at Bard College has received a $44,892 sub-award through the Research Foundation for SUNY Albany as part of a federal grant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant will support a project with the overarching goal of improving air quality and public health across underserved neighborhoods in New York State by establishing a community driven network platform to enhance understanding of sustainable outdoor and indoor air quality. The Principal Investigator for this grant is Dr. Aynul Bari at SUNY Albany.
Through the Community Sciences Lab within CESH, Bard will provide technical and analytical support for the project over two years for study sites in the Hudson Valley, including sites in Kingston, Red Hook, Annandale-on-Hudson, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie. Specifically, CESH will provide and install weather stations, with air quality and meteorology sensors, at Newburgh and Poughkeepsie sites; and support Dr. Bari’s group in monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality in 40 homes in the Hudson Valley over the next three years—testing for a broad range of air pollutants, including black carbon, volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and ozone. Bard student involvement will include supporting monitoring efforts (indoor and out) and using the air quality data to assess air quality challenges in the Hudson Valley in classes.
“We are incredibly thankful to Dr. Aynul Bari and the Research Foundation for SUNY Albany for including us in this EPA grant,” said M. Elias Dueker, associate professor of Environmental and Urban Studies at Bard. “We look forward to using these funds to expand our indoor and outdoor air quality work with groups like the Kingston Air Quality Initiative and the Hudson Valley Air Quality Coalition. The right to breathe clean air inside and outside our homes is not something we can take for granted as we wrestle with important climate-based challenges, including increased wildfire smoke plumes from other parts of the country, flood-induced molding of our aging housing stock, and increased wood burning in our valley communities.”
The Community Sciences Lab (CSL) was created to support the work conducted by CESH. Built on the success of the Bard Water Lab and its partnership with the Saw Kill Watershed Community (SKWC), CSL expands CESH’s reach by allowing us to refocus our work on projects that address the interconnectedness of land, air, water, and communities. CSL projects include: Saw Kill Monitoring Program, Roe Jan Monitoring Program, Kingston Air Quality Initiative, Bard Campus Station, Hudsonia Eel Project, and Amphibian Migration.
CESH puts Bard’s dedication to the environment, science, and social change into practice to support the fair management of our shared natural resources. We solve problems using tools that span academic disciplines. We conduct quantitative research in the natural and social sciences, craft communication, participate in policy making, and bridge academic inquiry with community needs. In doing our work, we strive to shift the understanding of “environment” to include humans and the urban ecosystem. And we recognize that real solutions to environmental issues must acknowledge the barriers that race, class, and gender inequities present to the cultural shifts required to make real change. The contemporary environmental movement has not successfully addressed the key environmental issues that humanity is faced with. Continuing to maintain the environmental status quo will not allow us to adapt in the ways we must to negotiate climate change while also addressing long-term issues including hunger, poverty, and income disparity. The data and insights collected through CESH related projects are applied directly back to communities, with the end goal of addressing and solving environmental problems in real time. cesh.bard.edu
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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