[CANCELLED] NATURE Lab workshop: Air Quality Nature Lab! w/ Maria Michails

Date(s) - Tuesday 03/24/2020
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Register here!

Air pollution is one of the more pervasive and invisible environmental health hazards of cities and has been in the public consciousness for several decades. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 3.4 million people globally die prematurely as a result of outdoor air pollution each year. In the US a 2019 study, contradicting previous EPA reports, found that “more than 100,000 Americans each year die of heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses caused by air pollution spewed from factories, motor vehicles and even bucolic-seeming farmland.”

Air pollution is not just an urban problem. Contributing to poor air quality in rural regions are activities such as fossil fuel extraction, mining, and large-scale commercial farming operations, affecting small towns and farming communities. When government air monitoring doesn’t lead to regulatory enforcement of polluters, how can the public protect themselves? In this workshop we will learn about the different types of air pollutants that may be in the air at any given time in our immediate area, from particulates to gases.

Maria Michails will also demonstrate several do-it-yourself approaches and devices that can monitor one’s immediate air quality and monitoring spikes and patterns over time.


Maria Michails is a Canadian artist whose art installations and community-based projects are at the nexus of art, science and technology. She has exhibited throughout North America and Europe and has published essays and articles in journals and edited volumes. Her art projects have been featured in Scientific American, The Alt, the Albany Times Union, as well as books and catalogues. She is currently a PhD candidate and SSRHC doctoral fellow in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where she has developed a series of community-based air monitoring projects with community participants in Albany, NY and in the oil fields of southeastern Saskatchewan.