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Your Environment. Your Health.

Progress Reports: University of New Mexico: Community Engagement Core

Superfund Research Program

Community Engagement Core

Project Leader: David Begay
Co-Investigators: Christopher L. Shuey (Southwest Research and Information Center), Nancy Maryboy (Indigenous Education Institute), Paul Robinson (Southwest Research and Information Center)
Grant Number: P42ES025589
Funding Period: 2017-2022
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Progress Reports

Year:   2019  2018  2017 

The University of New Mexico Metal Exposure and Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest (UNM METALS) Superfund Research Program Community Engagement Core (CEC) collaborates with three Native communities affected by uranium mine wastes: Pueblo of Laguna; the Navajo Red Water Pond Road Community Association, New Mexico (NM); and the Blue Gap-Tachee Chapter in northeastern Arizona. CEC staff work most closely with Project leaders, staff, and trainees of the Immobilization of U, As, and Co-occurring Metals in Mine Wastes, Toxic Metals in Airborne Particulate Matter Originating from Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Sites, and Modulation of Uranium and Arsenic Immune Dysregulation by Zinc Projects; and the Research Translation, Training, and Administrative Cores to implement the aims of the CEC. Major accomplishments included:

  • Maintaining community liaisons in the partner communities;
  • Collaboratively conducting Superfund Indigenous Cultural Training II for faculty and trainees;
  • Holding four meetings in Paguate, NM, including a Listening Session, to identify community concerns and needs;
  • Developing a citizen soil-sampling program for Paguate croplands starting in February 2020;
  • Developing a community-based Health Studies Work Group to build consensus for future health studies addressing chronic exposures to mine dusts;
  • Facilitating collection of dust samples and new meteorological data from four monitoring stations in Laguna;
  • Facilitating operation of AirCare1 mobile lab in Paguate to assess cardiovascular responses in mice exposed to ambient dust next to the Jackpile Mine;
  • Collaboratively preparing research briefs summarizing results of water quality studies and particulate monitoring in Laguna villages;
  • Collaborating with the Modulation of Uranium and Arsenic Immune Dysregulation by Zinc Project to conduct four community-based blood and urine collections for the Thinking Zinc clinical trial;
  • Supporting a Navajo graduate student examining constraints on land-use planning in a community impacted by 20 abandoned uranium mines;
  • Providing research findings and technical support to the Navajo Environmental Response Trustee II conducting a water study in Blue Gap-Tachee; and
  • Assisting Laguna Pueblo with congressional testimony supporting renewal and expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

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