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Public Lab Research note


Research area review on soil + events!

by bhamster | January 25, 2021 17:01 25 Jan 17:01 | #25533 | #25533

Image: Soil samples with lead, from the PlaxcoLab, CC BY


We're starting another research area review at Public Lab, this time on soil contamination.

Many community members and past Public Lab Fellows have already documented comprehensive resources and conversations on soil quality—let's work together to find where community science methods have progressed and build on those existing resources. Please read on for more details!


What's the purpose of the review?

We're aiming to make it easier for people with local concerns about soil contamination to investigate their environment and take action. We'll update the soil contamination wiki page and create new resources on Public Lab to help enable this.

What will we do in the review to reach this goal?

As in previous reviews, we'll gather and synthesize information from publiclab.org, other online resources, and conversations with people sharing their knowledge and experiences. We'll focus on:

  • Building out information on soil testing methods and tools, focusing on progress in DIY methods for detecting metals and organic contaminants and methods for evaluating / interpreting soil test results.
  • Expanding the context on Public Lab's main soil pages to tie together existing content and highlight ways to get involved with soil research and tool development.
  • Supporting any updates to community soil testing projects and tools on the Public Lab website.

While we'll focus attention on the above, contributions to any aspect of soil monitoring are welcome and appreciated!

When will we do the review?

Over the next couple months until the end of March 2021. In addition to the kick-off and wrap-up events mentioned above, we can also gather to talk and learn from each other during any Open Call from Feb. 9 - Mar. 30. Find details at the Open Call link and drop in!

Why did we choose soil contamination?

Several Public Lab community members are currently investigating soil contamination in their own neighborhoods or developing methods for soil testing. Hopefully the review supports people new to the topic and also those engaged in ongoing work.

What are some ways to help or follow along?

  • Subscribe to the tags soil and research-area-review and receive updates about new posts.
  • Do you have knowledge, experiences, or stories to share on soil testing, tool development, or advocacy? Please comment below to join our review!
  • Join us on a call! The kick-off meeting and weekly Open Calls are opportunities to share questions and ideas.

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