Accessibility statement

Sarah West
Centre Director and Senior Research Associate



Sarah was appointed as SEI York Centre Director in March 2020, which is a 50% role. The rest of her time she uses citizen science approaches to conduct research across a range of topics, as she has been designing, running, evaluating and researching citizen science projects since 2008. Initially, this work was on the OPAL project which aimed to engage people from all backgrounds in science and nature through environmental surveys. Whilst working on this project Sarah completed her PhD in the Department of Environment and Geography on the Evaluation of Environmental Education.

Since then, Sarah has been expanding the topics and locations in which citizen science approaches are used, including through work with Parenting Science Gang, a parent-led citizen science project, and developing methods to monitor air pollution in informal settlements in Nairobi. She currently works on several air quality projects in the UK, SAMHE which has co-designed a Web App for around 2000 schools to see air quality data from their classrooms, and INGENIOUS which is working to understand air quality in homes in Bradford.



BA (Hons) Geography – University of Oxford (St Peter’s College)

MSc Biodiversity and Conservation – University of Leeds

PGCAP (Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice – University of York

PhD Evaluation of Environmental Education – University of York


2006 – 2008 (all part-time) Volunteer Environmental Education officer TCV York, membership recruiter Soil Association, Administration assistant York Hospitals NHS Trust, Administration assistant (temp pool) University of York.

Departmental roles

  • Centre Director, SEI York



Current projects

Youth LIVES - Youth LIVed Experienc in Evidence Synthesis. Bringing young people into research around youth mental health

SAMHE - Leading schools engagement on this Schools' Air quality Monitoring for Health and Education project

INGENIOUS - Supporting having policy impact (and other impact) from this project monitoring air quality in and around homes in Bradford.

DECIDE - Supporting development of models to improve decision-making about biodiversity recording

Selected past projects

Tupumue - exploring lung disease and air pollution in Kenyan children using participatory approaches

Open Air Laboratories (OPAL)network – a long-running environmental citizen science project in the UK

Moors for the Future Community Science project – monitoring the effects of climate change on species and habitats in the Peak District National Park (UK)

Air Quality Drivers in Nairobi- designing methods to monitor personal exposure to particulate matter pollution in informal settlements in Nairobi (Kenya)

AIR Network-  using methods derived from arts and humanities to explore the issue of air pollution in informal settlements in Nairobi (Kenya)

Parenting Science Gang– internal evaluator for this parent-led citizen science project (mainly UK participants)

Citizen Science and the Sustainable Development Goals– exploring the role of citizen science approaches in relation to the SDGs 

Research group(s)

Citizen science and other participatory approaches

Available PhD research projects

Sarah is keen to supervise students who are interested in using citizen science approaches in their work, or who would like to research the citizen science approach. See our post-graduate pages for further information.


Selected publications

See my profile in the York Research Database for a list of my publications and other outputs

Contact details

Sarah West

Tel: 07965 661181