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Final Progress Reports: Michigan State University: Outreach Core

Superfund Research Program

Outreach Core

Project Leaders: Susan Masten, Thomas C. Voice
Grant Number: P42ES004911
Funding Period: 1995 - 2006

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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2004 

A. Specific Goals:

  1. To continue development, with citizen input, of a collection of educational materials that can be used by citizens in Superfund and Brownfield communities. These materials are designed to help citizens participate meaningfully in managing risks and understanding the cleanup process at the contaminated sites.
  2. To collect, modify as needed, and create additional fact sheets, presentations and background materials. These will be posted on the web site. User input will guide the development and creation of these materials.
  3. To provide for citizens an overview of the entire clean up process including site assessment, fate and transport of pollutants, toxicology, health effects, risk assessment, regulations, remediation and redevelopment.
  4. To provide annotated references to appropriate agencies, books, videos, periodicals and web sites to help citizens obtain more of the relevant information that they need.
  5. To make available successful strategies that citizens and communities have developed.
  6. To do extensive user testing to determine how effective the core’s approach is and to modify and improve its work.
  7. In addition to dissemination via the web, to deliver this information to those who work directly with communities: e.g., university-outreach specialists, extension agents, and EPA staff, who provide community assistance at Superfund and Brownfield sites.

B. Project Update:

  1. The content for each section of the “Steps to Cleanup” is being reviewed and strengthened.
  2. A rating system for the materials has been developed.  The fact sheets and presentations have been rated – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced as per the technical level of the document. 
  3. Potential additional resources, animations and visuals are being identified and will be published over time.
  4. The existing materials and new materials are being formatted and altered for consistency in readability, language and looks.
  5. This year, about 80 more fact sheets have been added to the previous list of 140 fact sheets.  These fact sheets have been converted to different file formats and have been published on the site.
  6. About 45 more presentations have been added to the previous list of 40 presentations.  They have been converted to different formats and made available on the site.
  7. About 200 additional web links have been added to the previous list of 250 web links available on the site.
  8. Presentation summaries for all the presentations have been developed for the ease of navigation and readability.
  9. The database developed for the fact sheets, presentations, glossary of terms and resources is being updated continuously with new documents.
  10. An e-com style basket has been development.  This basket allows the assistance providers, who come to the web site, to organize and save the list of documents.  This list can be used for their own future review or to hand the list to the citizens or any others who need it. 
  11. Possible new categories, for example GIS tools, for the site are being identified.
  12. Presentations on and its use have been done at national meetings as a part of marketing plan for the web site.  Presentations have been done at 132nd Annual APHA Meeting and National HSRC meeting this year.

C. Future Steps:

  1. New categories are being identified and educational materials for these categories will be obtained and published.
  2. More user-testing on the site and its features will be carried out to ensure that users are getting the most usable material from this site.  These users will be from ongoing outreach projects.
  3. The presentations will be upgraded with audio and a full set of notes.
  4. Continue to obtain educational documents from other sources on the Internet.
  5. Continue to update the database with new documents and resources produced over time.
  6. Continue to critique and review the content in each section of the “Steps to Cleanup”.  This item has the most priority over the next few months.
  7. More resources are being identified for publishing on the web site.
  8. Publicize the web site more; oral presentations and poster presentations at national meetings and public meetings will be done.

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