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Dartmouth College

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Nancy Serrell
Grant Number: P42ES007373
Funding Period: 2005-2020

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Project Summary (2005-2008)

The mission of the Superfund Basic Research Program is to produce scientific knowledge that has relevance for protecting the environment and public health. But for research outcomes to be applied in these settings, the findings and expertise of program scientists must be communicated to the right audiences at the right time: this is the role of the Translation Core. The scientific goal of this research program is to understand how toxic metals contribute to adverse effects on human health and the environment. The outcomes of the research have direct relevance to the environmental and public health issues of the region and the nation. Arsenic-contaminated drinking water is a global health issue, and exposure to arsenic through drinking water is a priority public health issue in New Hampshire, where naturally occurring arsenic can leach from bedrock into drinking water. Mercury contamination in fish is a national concern with particular relevance in New England, where fish with high mercury concentrations can be found even in the most pristine lakes. As the proactive communication arm of this program, the role of the Translation Core is to plan and implement strategies for communicating the relevance and significance of its research to regional and national stakeholders in the times and places best suited to these audiences. To this end, the goals of the Translation Core are to:

  1. collaborate with investigators to identify findings with scientific significance and/or relevance for public policy, public health, remediation, or environmental risk management;
  2. identify specific end users for the knowledge produced by program scientists and to develop tools to share and interpret scientific data with those users in a timely manner;
  3. extend the reach of the SBRP program by serving as a credible, reliable liaison to scientific expertise throughout the SBRP national network;
  4. provide expertise in science and risk communication, community involvement and media relations;
  5. develop and maintain resources that support effective translation (science writing, graphic illustration, web development)
  6. educate the program’s trainees to communicate effectively with other scientists and with the public.
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