Richmond Youth Air Quality Initiative

Richmond Youth Council Zine (summary)

In partnership with local youth- justice center RYSE (Media, Arts and Communications Department, Dan Reilly), CERCH (Dr. Kim Harley, PI; Dr. Eric Coker and Mr. James Nolan, Study Managers) conducted air quality research in Richmond, California. Richmond is a community with high socio-economic vulnerabilities that is also greatly impacted by pollution from industrial facilities. The city contains several census tracts with among the highest asthma burdens in all of California.  Research was conducted using Ogawa passive air samplers, to monitor NO2 and SO2 and point in time monitoring for  noise pollution. CERCH has been collaborating with 5 youth researchers, leading them in developing environmental health literacy, professional skills, and college preparedness. Through trainings, youth researchers gained the skills to conduct research and interpret their findings.

Youth researchers engaged in developing a photovoice project that they converted into a “zine”, aimed at communicating community assets and challenges and sharing study results. They are currently collaborating with our researchers to write a scientific paper on their study findings. This program was funded by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).

 See this video on the Richmond Youth Council:

Ogawa Passive Air Sampler Deployed in Richmond, CA
(Photo Credit: Yahna Williamson)

Study at a Glance

  • Study Objectives: Enhance environmental health literacy of youth from impacted communities and develop youth researcher leaders concerned about environmental justice, characterize the potential for population-level disparities in human exposure to poor air quality, and foster community involvement.
  • Geographic Area: North Richmond and Atchison Village, California
  • Study Tools: Ogawa Passive Samplers, community mapping, noise pollution monitoring, PhotoVoice
  • Community Partners: RYSE Youth Center, 5 Youth Researchers
  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Kim Harley 
  • Study Manager: Mr. James Nolan
  • Data Analysis and Scientific Guidance: Dr. Eric Coker
  • Funder: Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)
  • Contact: James Nolan,