The NOISE Project is a community-led, National Science Foundation-funded research project that is conducted by representatives from communities that have been historically excluded from science. The project is focused on understanding noise pollution and ways to address the issue, particularly through policy change. The research is co-created and co-led by groups of community researchers called Independent Community-Based Organizations (ICBOs). Through their research project, they also focus on developing methods and research metrics that are more appropriate and relevant to their communities and that empower voices typically left out of traditional scientific research, with a focus on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and equitable co-creation in the community science project itself.
The ICBOs pinpointed noise pollution as the focus of their research because of the relevance and impact it has on their communities’ health and well-being. Noise interferes with both human and bird life, and the impacts of noise pollution disproportionately affect minoritized communities. The NOISE Project intends to generate data that can potentially be used to change policy in neighborhoods where noise may be interfering with human health. ICBOs bring site-specific knowledge to the project, making the research relevant to the needs and priorities of their communities. The ICBOs have ownership of every aspect of the research and can tailor the dissemination of research results to their communities, creating deliverables and activities that share scientific knowledge while centering the realities of community members. This allows both institutional and community researchers to benefit from a reciprocal knowledge exchange; communities benefit from the expertise of scientific researchers, and the institution benefits from the diverse perspectives and experiential knowledge of community.