Scientist Sunday: Meet Josh!

Scientist Sunday: Meet Josh!

Todays blog post is brought to you by Joshua Gifford.


Hello everyone, my name is Josh. I am a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) pursuing a master’s degree in environmental sciences. I work as a graduate assistant with the STEM Center on the Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers (ITEST) and the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA). My role within our team is to develop and maintain our noise and air pollution monitoring network. Monitoring these pollutants allows me to share some information about our area’s environmental health and environmental monitors with all of you!

I grew up in a small town in central Illinois. Growing up I spent all my time outdoors fishing and exploring. This experience made me extremely passionate about protecting our environments from harm. One of my past research topics focused on thermal pollution created by a nuclear power plant. This project fostered my passion for monitoring pollutants using technology. Now, I am focusing on noise and air pollution. Using stationary monitors, I am able to collect and analyze accurate data that shows the levels of pollution in the MetroEast area. My goal for the future is to make every environment as great as it can possibly be.

My main research focus is now everything about noise. Our team has developed this network of sound level meters, we use the Extech SDL600. This monitor can record sounds from 30-130 decibels and stores all decibel readings via an SD card. This decibel range gives us the capability to record all sounds that will be experienced in the MetroEast area. The data that we currently have can be used to address many different research topics. We can identify regional trends of noise levels, identify locations that have potential noise pollution issues, and easily compare different sites for differences in noise levels. Our team now has decibel readings from roughly June 2020 through June 2021. These data are extremely important to gather a better understanding of noise trends throughout the area.

Photo Credits

Photo of Josh provided by Howard Ash, SIUE Marketing and Communications.

Photo of monitor locations provided by Joshua Gifford.

Photo of noise data provided by Joshua Gifford.