New Mobile Monitoring Study

Matt adjusting one of two sensor intakes

Checking and setting up the mobile monitoring equipment is part of the daily routine. Most of the monitoring is being done in the late evening but some day time measuring will also be conducted.

A UBC researcher is undertaking a new mobile monitoring study of the Comox Valley this winter.

From January 25 to February 9, Matt Wagstaff will be driving approximately 90 kilometres every evening with equipment that measures fine particulates.

Two routes will be covered on alternating nights. One will cover Cumberland, Royston, and West and downtown Courtenay. The other route will cover East Courtenay, Comox and parts of CVRD as far north as Huband road.

This study will cover a lot more ground than another mobile monitoring study done in 2008-09 (see maps from that study on our website). It will provide a greater level of detail which will help highlight some of the ‘hot spots’ in the more populated areas of the Comox Valley and show how different areas compare to the measurements at main monitor at Courtenay Elementary School.


Matt with the levoglucosan collector at the Courtenay Elementary site.

Matt checks the levoglucosan collector at the Courtenay Elementary site daily.

UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2017):
This research is being conducted by Matt Wagstaff  as part of his Masters thesis (funded by Health Canada, the Ministry of Environment and the BC Lung Association).

Just before coming to the Comox Valley, Matt was monitoring for two weeks in the Whistler-Pemberton area.

Soon after doing his sampling in our valley, he will head up to Vanderhoof for his final two-week run.

Matt’s data collection involves very tight controls on both the calibration of his equipment and the comparison of readings to the stationary air quality monitor in Courtenay.

He is also collecting filter measurements that will be analysed for levoglucosan on behalf of Health Canada. Levoglucosan is a primary product of cellulose combustion and has been strongly correlated with particulate matter concentrations.

Matt hopes to have his thesis finished before year’s end, but there are also plans to release short reports on each community. This information will be released as early as possible.

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