Superfund Research Program
Community Engagement Core
Project Summary (2017-2021)
The purpose of the Boston University Superfund Research Program (BU SRP) Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to direct best practices in community engagement for exposure prevention and intervention. The CEC works with BU SRP Center project leaders, investigators, cores, and staff to fulfill this purpose, and to reduce and prevent exposure to hazardous substances experienced by communities impacted by the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site and throughout Massachusetts, New England, and the United States. The BU SRP efforts are local, regional, and national in scope.
The CEC works very closely with the Research Translation Core and with other BU SRP Center researchers to coordinate community engagement activities in support of all BU SRP projects. The CEC also works closely with the Training Core to ensure that all future scientists produced by the BU SRP Center are experienced at community engagement and knowledgeable regarding best practices for prevention.
Two BU SRP Center projects have human populations and best practice plans for community engagement in their research that have been developed with input of the CEC leader and partner organizations. Other BU SRP Center research is relevant to clinicians who work with children and women of child-bearing age and the broader communities interested in bone and metabolic health.
Specific activities include community-based exposure assessment in response to community questions in partnership with communities; data interpretation trainings; engaging English-, Spanish-, and Portuguese-speaking populations impacted by New Bedford Harbor in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mitigation strategies; educating and engaging stakeholders to reduce current exposures and prevent future exposures; working with the schools to incorporate SRP science and lab experiences into the curriculum; training SRP scientists in the BU SRP Center and across the country in community engagement best practices focused on developmental and behavioral health in collaboration with organizations across the U.S.