Superfund Research Program
Community Engagement Core
Final Progress Reports
In 2009, the Community Outreach Core continued its: 1) administration of short-term Fellowships for Mexican graduate students, 2) coordination of an acid-mine drainage workshop in Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico with the Universidad Autonoma de Guerrero, 3) preparation and translation of community information sheets, 4) completion of a bilingual Web site containing outreach materials and project information, and 5) continued implementation of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Sciences and Toxicology.
Of particular note are the following unique efforts this past year:
Training of community health advocates. The Community Outreach Core has continued its efforts training Mexican community-health advocates (promotoras). The promotoras provide outreach to Hispanic neighborhoods regarding local environmental-health topics. In 2009, the Community Outreach Core organized two promotora workshops. These trainings were part of a US EPA Pollution Prevention grant that was received in conjunction with the Sonora Environmental Research Institute's Community Assist of Southern Arizona program. The details of the workshops are the following:
- May 13, 2009, "Asthma and Allergies" training, presenter: Dr. Fernando Martinez (15 promotoras assisted)
- October 15, 2009, "Solvents: The Environment and Human Health" training, presenters: Dr. Reyes Sierra and Alejandro Lencinas (15 promotoras assisted)
In both cases, Spanish-language training in environmental science and environmental health were provided.
The Community Outreach Core recently received $28,398 from a US EPA Border 2012 grant ("Transferable Training Modules on Environmental Health for Promotoras") that will help expand promotoras training efforts into the Border. It also will make efforts more lasting since the creation of training modules are being prepared with this funding. Recent meetings also have occurred between the Arizona Area Health Education Center and its Border partners in Nogales and Yuma, Arizona in order to expand and strengthen efforts further.
Engaging U.S. and Mexico Federal Agencies and Industry. The Community Outreach Core has been taking strides to increase U.S. and Mexico federal-agency participation as well as industry within their activities. The binational research project titled "Sonora Remedial Project" will collaborate with mining company Grupo Mexico in order to implement a community composting environmental project. Grupo Mexico previously has participated in community and local-government meetings with the team. In addition, the Mexican Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources, along with the US EPA, will be participating in a joint panel discussion regarding acid mine drainage laws in the upcoming Specialized Workshop. Grupo Mexico also will be facilitating the participation of other mining companies and national mining commissions at this workshop.
Successful leveraging of funding from Mexican and U.S. Agencies has continued. New contributions from Mexico's Commission of Science and Technology have been received ($100k). Via Mexican collaborators, new funding from the Secretariat of Public Education's REDES grant ($10k) has been secured in order to expand networks between the University of Arizona and Mexican universities. Lastly, through the U.S.-Mexico Binational Center, the Community Outreach Core has received supplemental support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to promote further its global-health initiatives.