Your friendly neighborhood spider-party: Community scientists use spider webs to monitor air pollution

Comic by Joy Reeves.
Comic by Joy Reeves.
Related Topics:
Biodiversity, Justice, Policy, Pollution, Public Health, Science Communication, Storyfest 2024

What if the future of air quality justice rested in the threads of a spider web?

In this original hand-drawn comic, climate cartoonist Joy Reeves explores a recent initiative in North Carolina to use spider webs to monitor air pollution. Spearheaded by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and a team of volunteer “funnel web finders,” the “Spidey Sens-r” project aims to measure heavy metal pollution on funnel weaver spider webs in Greenville and Goldsboro communities. The team hopes to use the metals collected on the webs to identify air pollution hotspots near polluting industries—especially in areas that lack government air quality monitors — in order to prioritize future testing in those areas and uphold environmental justice principles through community science. 

A comic panel describing the "Spidey Sens-r" project in which volunteers can collect spider webs to test for air pollutants.
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