Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
The Research Translation Core (RTC) provides dedicated interaction with critical stakeholders to assure that key strengths and results of the University of Arizona SRP are used and appreciated. Major advances in 2011 include the following:
New Research Translation Coordinator: Dr. Sarah Wilkinson was hired in February 2011. With a Ph.D. in cancer biology, Dr. Wilkinson brings an understanding of biomedical research and a demonstrated ability to communicate science.
Partnering with governmental agencies: The RTC maintains its solid links with the U.S. EPA and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Working with Mike Gill, U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) Superfund and Technology Liaison, the RTC has facilitated the quarterly "Live at Region 9" series of presentations conducted at Region 9 headquarters and through web-seminar sessions, to highlight the research being performed in Region 9 SRPs. The sessions have proven to be a great success, with more than 850 participants to date.
Conducting information and technology transfer: The RTC has facilitated information and technology transfer by continuing to be involved at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site. A field study (Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in the Southwestern United States: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions and Metal Speciation Dynamics) investigating optimal implementation methods for re-vegetation of mine tailings has entered Phase II. Additionally, towers and equipment have been installed to characterize and evaluate the impact of the re-vegetation study on dust emissions from the site (Characterization of Wind Blown Dust from Tailings and other Mining Operations in the Southwestern United States). A third study, funded jointly by SRP and U.S. EPA ORD, is a citizen-science project called Gardenroots. This project is investigating levels of metals in vegetables and is working with community members to educate and empower them. The RTC has also been facilitating SRP interactions with EPA and the local community to move a pilot exposure study forward.
Likewise, the RTC continues to work to communicate science developed by Mass-Transfer and Mass-Flux Dynamics of Chlorinated Solvents in Heterogeneous Systems on the transport, fate and remediation of chlorinated solvents and address issues of concern to communities neighboring chlorinated solvent-contaminated sites in Arizona. Partner sites include the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site, the Motorola 52nd St site, and the Phoenix Goodyear Airport Area site.
Communicating to broad audiences: An updated UA SRP website was launched in October. Since the beginning of the year, 29 "News and Highlights" briefs have been published on the UA SRP website and distributed to diverse stakeholders, including federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as US-Mexico border stakeholders. UA SRP events and personnel were featured in the NIEHS SRP e-Posted Notes monthly newsletters 10 times in 2011. Research performed by UA SRP researchers was featured in October as a Research Brief in the NIEHS monthly series highlighting individual SRP projects.