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Question:How can we more effectively combine community science and more conventional lab-based analysis that might be required to meet data standards?

fongvania is asking a question about general: Follow this topic

by fongvania | June 17, 2021 05:46 | #26837


Some challenges/considerations that come to mind:

  • Repeatability of measurements in environments that you don't have full control over
  • Community members with limited scientific background
  • When do we need standards vs when are best practices sufficient?
  • Obtaining sufficient sample size


7 Comments

Hi @fongvania, what an important and enormous question you've opened here! Could you put a finer point on it? Otherwise, we could write a book for an answer. <3

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Thanks for outlining these additional considerations @fongvania!

For context, this question came from a community member during a public event for the last research area review on soil contamination. And a great example of blending community-led science and conventional lab analysis comes from Citizen Science Community Resources' Soil Sampling Toolkit (created by @jjcreedon). Here's a video where Jackie and Mike of CSCR explain the Toolkit's history and how it works.

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On your note on phthalates- a question. Were you talking about bis 2ethyl,hexyl phthalate (DEHP) or bis n-octylphthalate (DnOP)? A lot of medical companies have switched to TOTM, which still contains trace levels of DEHP. How trace depends on the grade of DEHP they bought. As for the analysis,is it going to be based on indicator type sticks? Or will indicator drops be used, instead? Please excuse the questions. Been down this road with latex testing for latex allergens. There were a lot of tests that didn't hold up to medical quality. Any help is appreciated.

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A mess up on my part. "How trace depends on the grade of DEHP they bought" should read "How trace depends on the grade of TOTM they bought.". My bad

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While inexpensive tests will always be the need ( as in test strips) the group should transition to more sophisticated tests, as possible. This would include tests using the spectrometer and other instruments. Please note though, a spectrometer is the base component of a number of other instruments. Some of them have already been touched on by public lab ( aa, ae, etc). Whether these would be acceptable to a regulatory agency is possible, but doubtfull. But they would be good training tools and allow testing for much less than a commercial lab. We cant escape the commercial lab testing. We can just minimize it.

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Yes, I might add that our soil sampling toolkit and instructions were developed to meet EPA procedures and protocols.

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This is an interesting model from the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) for collecting bathymetry data. They have established standards, protocols, and a 'Trusted Node' network to help mariners collect crowdsourced data. The 'nodes' may help by supplying the data collection equipment, giving technical support while collecting the data, post-processing the data, and delivering to the IHO. It builds the network out from the data steward out to the contributors. https://iho.int/uploads/user/pubs/bathy/B_12_Ed2.0.3_2020.pdf

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