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A Crash Course and Citizen Science Showcase: Pittsburgh’s Air Quality, Indoor Environments, and You

October 25, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

$10 – $35

***Online registration for this event is now closed. Contact Andrew Ellsworth (andrewe@gbapgh.org) if you are interested in signing up. ***

Despite great improvements in air quality since the days of streetlights being on at noon, the Pittsburgh region continues to have some of the worst air quality in the nation and faces several unique challenges. Come learn about the science and public health perspectives on air quality and what people are doing about it; explore how outdoor air quality affects indoor air quality; and get hands-on experience with citizen science tools available to help you be a part of the solution.




Air quality is actually a very complex field of study, cutting across physics, engineering, public health, epidemiology, and more. This in-depth but non-technical event will give participants a deeper understanding of air quality issues facing our region, including primary sources and connections to human health, as well as the intersection of outdoor and indoor air quality and the need to study them together. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with an array of physical and online tools that foster citizen science on air quality, and learn about programs and initiatives with which they can connect. Regional air quality experts will present a high-level view of the data, research and policy efforts underway. The event’s  location, The Heinz Endowments’ new 31st conference center, will provide the perfect backdrop for seeing and connecting with air quality in our region.


Participating Organizations

Heinz Endowments –  Through strategic grantmaking and the Breathe Project initiative, The Heinz Endowments has focused on the protection and enhancement of the region’s environmental systems and environmental public health relating to air quality. The Endowments supports work to reduce disparities, protect vulnerable populations and environments and promote equitable outcomes. The Endowments uses the best available science to understand the quality of the air we breathe, build public awareness and improve community health and wellness.


ROCIS, or Reducing Outdoor Contamination of Indoor Spaces, explores the relationship and effects of pollutants from outdoors on indoor air quality, challenging the paradigm that indoor air pollution comes from indoor sources and should be controlled as such. For the last two years, the ROCIS team has facilitated the Low-Cost Monitoring Project, which uses citizen science-grade IAQ measurement devices to empower cohorts of participants to understand the impact of both indoor and outdoor pollutant sources on their air quality, and has developed and tested interventions for preventing or reducing indoor air contamination.  Come check out the visualization tools which have been developed to demonstrate the impact of outside particle counts on indoor levels, and hear lessons learned about the operating cost and performance of different filtration strategies.


The CREATE Lab, or Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab, is a program of Carnegie Mellon University, and explores socially meaningful innovation and deployment of robotic technologies. CREATE Lab works to empower a technologically fluent generation through experiential learning opportunities in and outside of school, and empower everyday citizens and scientists with affordable environmental sensing and documentation instruments, and powerful visualization platforms for sense-making and sharing of gathered scientific data. CREATE Lab staff will present on and make available many of the tools they have developed for participants to see, feel and work with.


We look forward to hearing about the data, research and policy initiatives underway, and how concerned citizens can get involved.


Location Details

The Heinz Endowments Conference Center

31st Floor Conference Center

EQT Building, 625 Liberty Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15222


Due to building security, all attendees must be registered 48 hours before the event, and must show photo ID at the lobby to gain admission to the 31st Floor.





3:00 – 5:00p — Presentations & Discussion

5:00 – 5:30p — Engage with Citizen Science Tools

5:30 – 6:00p — Enjoy Food, Drinks & Networking


Learning Objectives

●  Understand the basic science of ambient air quality and why it is an important issue in Pittsburgh

●  Recognize the human health impacts of various air pollutants

●  Explore connections between outdoor and indoor air quality

●  Understand the variety of tools and resources that can empower individuals to improve regional air quality


Continuing Education Credits

This event is pending approval for 2.5 GBCI CEUs and 2.5 AIA HSW credits. Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits. Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events). Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


Register Now



October 25, 2017
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
$10 – $35
Event Category:


Andrew Ellsworth


Heinz Endowments Conference Center
625 Liberty Ave, 31st Floor
Pittsburgh, 15222 United States
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