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Final Progress Reports: University of Iowa: Research Translation Core

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Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Scott N. Spak
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006-2020
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2019  2014  2009 

In 2019, the Research Translation Core (RTC) focused on sharing and analyzing data with current end users and the development and implementation of three web applications to transfer Iowa SRP Center (ISRP) research methods and data to researchers, regulators, government, the general public, and other stakeholder communities.

The RTC evaluated and refined a nationally applicable parcel-level polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) stocks and emissions model. The RTC refined the input datasets and automated ingest for buildings and soil profiles, ported the system to ArcGIS Pro, applied it to two metropolitan areas, and analyzed inter-urban variability in area source PCB emissions estimates. The RTC worked with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to refine in-service transformer estimates using reports from public utilities in the Lake Superior basin and ISRP and American Community Survey datasets. This study informs both plan implementation and the app’s ability to estimate and reduce uncertainty for PCBs in in-service transformers. The RTC completed development and initial testing of congener-specific PCB treatment in the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality model.

The RTC developed an interactive multi-layered geospatial visualization tool for toxic compound mass and concentration observations in sediment, water, and air. The team implemented a first pilot instance of this Google Maps-based application for researchers and stakeholders, PCB-MCSWAFA, sharing all published ISRP observations in East Chicago, Indiana. Trainee Moala Bannavti won the Technical Poster Competition at the 2019 National GEM Consortium Conference for her poster on this project.

The RTC team expanded and concluded pilot testing interview and survey instruments for evaluating the impact of RTC and Community Engagement Core activities on site remediation and continued to grow, evaluate, and strengthen a social media program for translating ISRP research and PCB news to a wide range of national and global audiences.

Core Director Spak co-organized a semester-long Research Translation Workshop Series and presented the inaugural seminar.

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