Eureka Finalist - Associate Professor Melissa Hart

Congratulations to CCRC'S Melissa Hart and the SWAQ team, nominated for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science

The SWAQ team from the Climate Change Research Centre (comprised of Associate Professor Melissa Hart, Dr Angela Maharaj and Dr Giovanni Di Virgilio) developed the first school-based comprehensive atmospheric monitoring network in Australia, known as Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ).

SWAQ has equipped schools across Sydney with research-grade meteorology and air quality sensors to help understand the impacts of rapid population growth and to monitor the effects of urbanisation on local weather and air quality. The data collected is also used in science and maths curriculum-aligned classroom activities.

“The SWAQ project provides a pilot for how citizen science could potentially enhance monitoring networks, increase STEM engagement, and give the public more agency in their daily decision making through access to localised weather and air quality data,” A/Prof. Hart said.

“It’s most recently been used to provide a more localised understanding of air pollution impacts on Sydney schools from the Black Summer bushfires.”