Summer 2022

Week 1: Sensor Installation

CARE students installed a total of nine sensors in Edgewater and Southeast Chicago. Students learned to download data of the installed sensors from the PurpleAir map, practiced reading and analyzing data in R (programming language for statistical computing and graphics), and practiced presenting their research plans in weekly summary talks.

Real-time PM2.5 concentration in Hegewisch measured by a PurpleAir sensor installed by CARE students on 17 May 2022.

Real-time PM2.5 concentration in Edgewater measured by a PurpleAir sensor installed by CARE students on 19 May 2022.

Weeks 2-3: Data Analysis and Visualization

CARE students revised their proposals after receiving feedback from Dr. Emily Fischer at Colorado State University and Dr. Ping Jing and Dr. Tania Schusler at Loyola University Chicago. Students learned to download PM2.5 data from the US EPA website, gathered necessary data according to their research plans and analyzed data using R and ggplot2 with guidance from Dr. Bo Zhang.

Here are the research topics that CARE students are working on:

  1. An analysis of demographics & PM2.5 concentrations and of PM10 in the Greater Chicago Area over time.

  2. Analysis of PM2.5 in communities with large percentages of non-English speakers in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.

  3. Analyzing the relationship between land development level and PM2.5 in Northeast and East Central Illinois.

  4. Diurnal variation of average PM2.5 concentration: weekdays vs. weekends.

  5. Evaluating the improvement of air quality in Chicago’s south side by analyzing U.S. EPA air quality data.

  6. Neighborhood walkability indices and potential relationships with PM2.5.

  7. Traffic contribution to PM2.5 concentration near major roads.

Week 4: Poster Preparation

CARE students continued analyzing data and prepared scientific posters. Students will present their research to the community in the Fall of 2022 and at the American Geophysical Union in December 2022. Four weeks of summer research experience ended with a session by Dr. Ping Jing and Dr. Tania Schusler, reflecting on the CARE journey of students that started in December 2021.