Major changes are planned for the urban environment of Syracuse, NY. Interstate-81 will be demolished and replaced with a community grid. Local residents have raised concerns about how this will affect air quality during and after construction. To assess the impact, two air quality monitoring projects will be conducted over the summer, spanning the next several years.

Working closely with local advocacy and non-profit groups, researchers will collaborate with the Syracuse community to address health concerns and the impact of changing air quality. Information and resources will be shared so that people can make informed health decisions for themselves, their families and communities.

In the first project, researchers will set up high-quality air monitoring stations in community-selected locations. It will include outreach to local schools to educate students on air quality and health.

The second project deploys a low-cost air quality sensor network throughout Syracuse and its suburbs to complement the high-quality monitors in the first project. These sensors have been used globally and in many US cities to understand local-scale air quality changes.

Both projects prioritize making air quality data publicly available, and this forum will present an outline on how this will be achieved.

This R&T Forum was moderated by Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang. Read Jianshun Zhang’s full bio here.


Jaime Mirowsky, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Environmental Health, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)

She received her BS in Chemistry from James Madison University, and worked as an environmental chemist at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute before obtaining her MS and PhD in Environmental Health Science from New York University. Over the past 10 years Dr. Mirowsky has been studying how urban air pollution influences human health outcomes. She has conducted both field and laboratory studies, studies involving human participants and cell models, and even conducted one of the first published manuscripts assessing how the lockdowns during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced air quality in New York City. Her current work has shifted focus to deploying field monitors and low-cost air quality sensors in locations that typically would not be represented by current EPA monitoring stations but are at a heightened risk of having elevated pollutant levels.

Timothy Morin, Assistant Professor, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)

Dr. Timothy Morin earned his Ph.D. in the Environmental Science Graduate Program housed within the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science at the Ohio State University. His undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Between his undergraduate education and graduate school he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guyana for two years in a small riverine wetland community where he discovered his passion for wetlands. He now studies the carbon cycle in wetlands, particularly methane emissions using a variety of cutting edge field methodologies and state-of-the-art ecosystem modeling techniques.