Researchers at the University at Albany will soon embark on a multi-year study testing the air quality of communities throughout the Capital Region.

The U.S. Environmental Agency provided funding to the university, supporting the creation of what will become an Air Quality Measurement Network. The team, which has already researched methane, will target underserved communities where data is scarce.

“Being able to study that, understanding what the differences are based on climate conditions, what the differences are based on societal conditions is very important so we can develop solutions that we can actually address those with,” says Michele Grimm, the dean of Engineering Applied Sciences.

The team, which includes researchers Md. Aynul Bari and Jie Zang, plan to create the network at schools in the Albany, Troy and Schenectady school districts. Researchers will also use the university’s mobile research van to collect samples elsewhere.

“It’s really exciting to us because sometimes we focus on the air measurements in New York City and other areas. Always, we’ve always hoped to focus on our regional,” says Zang.

The study will take place over a two-year span where measurements will be continuously collected.