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CWU’s Air Quality Monitor Gives Real Time Updates on Smoky Conditions

Worried about the air quality? Central Washington University’s Department of Geological Sciences hosts an air quality and weather monitor on its website,

The monitor is a science geek’s dream—all you could ever want to know about atmospheric conditions, barometric pressure, particulate matter, and ozone concentrations—all in real time.

The monitor is located on the top of the Science II building on the CWU campus. It came about as a collaboration with the Departments of Geological Sciences and Chemistry, and a senior capstone project of the Department of Computer Science. The monitor has precision sensors that measure a number of different parameters, including the concentration of particulates in the air. A high concentration of fine particles, also referred to as PM2.5 (i.e., particulate matter with diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometer), as seen with the current dense wildfire smoke, can be dangerous upon inhalation.

“It’s really an amazing device,” said Anne Johansen, CWU chemistry professor, and advisor for the project. “The students were ingenious in developing a user-friendly web interface that could relay results in real time and also allow for viewing past data. With these sensitive instruments, we can evaluate minute changes in air quality.”

The air quality monitor link can also be found on CWU’s annual fire watch website,, which provides current updates on fires in central Washington.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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