Volunteers Wanted – Work We Need Help With

Below is a constantly changing list of tasks that we need help with. If you see something that you can contribute your skills and time to, please go to the “Contact Us” page. There, you can tell us what you propose doing, what the deliverable will be, and when you can have it completed. We usually respond within 24 hours.

If you see things that need doing (such as pages needing correction), tell us about the need so we can update our list. If you want to suggest new articles or other content, please just let us know, and we will add that to the list as well.

As you produce content, please know that we like images. Experience tells us that threats to human health are comprehended and acted on if the warning is aimed at children and/or women (particularly of reproductive age), so such images are encouraged.

Our “To Do” list – Pick One!

  1. Create a page that introduces readers to the zip code maps published by CDC (the Center for Disease Control) about life expectancy. We want to show average life expectancy at birth.

  2. Create an article about the available tools that can be used to test for lead in drinking water. Lowes and Home Depot sell test strips (resembling a Ph test strip) for a few dollars, but then you must send them off to a lab and pay $50.00 or so to get the results.  We would like explanations of how this product works, warnings to customers about the $50.00 fee, alternative testing technologies, etc.

  3. Create an article about the citizen scientists in Northampton, MA that walked the local streets with methane detectors, discovering many leaks. Documentation should include technical details, political outcomes, and photos/videos. If you choose this project, contact us and we will forward you the name of an intermediary that can connect you with project leaders.

  4. Go to our “Books & Movies” tab. From our list of recommended books and films, we need people to create reviews for what they have read and/or watched. The review will be posted with our growing collection of books and movies that can educate pollution detectives.  The review must be fair – for example, if something is not accurate, you should identify where and why.

  5. Create articles with reviews of other environmental films that talk about pollution detecting/problems/solutions.

  6. Track down North Carolina success stories about local activists who uncovered pollution and acted upon it, successful or not. Make sure you know what tools they used, get contact information, etc.

  7. A potential science project: Locate historic daily water temperatures from the intakes of sewage treatment plants, fresh water plants, and power generation cooling intakes. Trend them and see if the data shows a demonstrated trend in rising average water temperatures, which may link to climate change. We have no idea if this is true, so this is a real science project with a hypothesis, review of records (which should be publicly available), and a report.  Should this hypothesis be borne out, it could be a model project for many parts of the country, because while temperatures of lakes and oceans have been analyzed, we are not aware of local surface water temperature analytics.

  8. A task for science teachers: There are many websites that contain information about how to test for pollution – many good examples can be found by googling “science fair projects pollution detection.” Only some of these are suitable for this website. We would love a science teacher to consider the offerings and recommend some – perhaps by age/education level. We could feature some of the science fair winners, with images/photos, to add a “human touch” to the webpage.  These science fair projects include air, water, food, birth defects (in fish, for example), etc.

  9. We need a way to have “Citizen Scientists” detect leaking methane gas from urban gas pipes.   MIT used a trailer with sensors.   Other groups used drones.   We have quite a file on this topic, so if you are interested in working on the issue reach out to us and you will not have to start from scratch.  Our goal is to add a tool  to our library of things we lend.  Methane is a very powerful but short-lived climate changing gas when it leaks, and plugging leaks  may be the single best chance we have of slowing climate change.   For more on this topic see our YouTube video:

  10.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY3Denbxah4Our project to inspect schools for indoor air quality has caught fire!  It has come to our attention that students and teachers would like a low cost tool to “make the invisible visible”.  We have in mind an ‘augmented reality’ app that would use a small sensor that would report levels of CO2 to a student hand-held computer, where it would be visually added to the camera view of the classroom.  This could be by presenting a visual overlay of an old model mercury thermometer like device that rose when high levels of CO2 are detected, or a dial like a car gas gauge that would show rising levels of CO2.   Accuracy is key, so anticipate having to acquire various kinds of sensors and testing them against each other (with prior approval we can probably pay for the ones you need to test).

  11. Testing for lead in school/nursery school drinking water.   We have the equipment – seeking folks to actually go into locations and do the test.  Very simple takes 2 minutes. You can read about the equipment here: http://andalyze.com

  12. Develop a “Go Fund Me” website to pay for consumable supplies used when testing educational institutions for lead in drinking water, and to acquire and test drones that will sense leaking methane gas.