Citizen Science Community Resources and Public Lab co-hosted a virtual tool demo of CSCR's Soil Sampling Toolkit! The open source Toolkit helps community scientists find out and understand what chemicals are in their soil---in their vegetable gardens, in bare soil around areas where children play, and in their yards due to environmental toxins.
In the video below, Jackie James, co-founder of CSCR, and Mike Rosenberg, CSCR intern, shared the history of the Soil Sampling Toolkit, how to use it, and how it differs from off-the-shelf soil testing kits.
Mike set the stage by outlining why someone might want to get their soil tested and how different kinds of contaminants can make their way into soil and remain there, even if the original source is long gone.
Jackie showed us that the Toolkit contains all the equipment and instructions you need to collect soil samples from your site according to standard protocols by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Toolkit also walks you through sending the soil samples to a testing lab, which will produce results on the names and concentrations of contaminants in the samples. CSCR can then provide support on interpreting the results. In a future post, Mike will share some resources he researched and compiled around soil screening standards from different states in the US, which can help people understand what contaminant concentrations might mean.
Resources shared on the call:
- CSCR website: https://csresources.org/, including their Resources page that has a link to a video on sampling soil: https://csresources.org/resources
- CSCR store where you can purchase their Soil Sampling Toolkit: https://csresources.org/store
- Citizen Science Community Resources' history starts in Tonawanda, and you can read more in this blog: https://publiclab.org/notes/kgradow1/07-01-2020/remembering-tonawanda
- Public Lab pages related to soil: