STI developed the Smoke Sense mobile application (app) in support of EPA’s Smoke Sense study, a citizen science study investigating health and productivity impacts from wildfire smoke. STI co-authored a peer-reviewed article published in the journal GeoHealth (Smoke Sense initiative leverages citizen science to address the growing wildfire-related public health problem) on the results of the study’s pilot season (August 2017 to January 2018).
The Smoke Sense app displays fire, smoke, and air quality data based on user location, and collects user observations on smoke, health symptoms, and changes in behavior. The app is publicly available for the Android and iOS platforms.
The app interacts with users through weekly notifications, quizzes, and a badge reward system. STI also developed the Smoke Sense application programming interface (API) and database to transmit and store data. The app updates air quality information hourly, fire data two to four times a day, and smoke data once or twice a day.
Data collected through the app is helping EPA researchers determine how smoke from fires impacts public health and productivity, and develop communication strategies to warn at-risk populations and communities about unsafe levels of smoke due to wildfires.