Upcoming Events at EPA

By Michaela Burns

Interested in attending some of EPA’s public meetings or webinars? Here are a few that we are hosting at the end of April.

C-FERST bannerCommunity-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool
Wednesday, April 20, 3:00 p.m. ET
Tune in for a webinar spotlighting the Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Tool (C-FERST), an online tool that when completed will help inform communities about their environmental and public health issues. C-FERST will include maps and tables with data on sources of pollution, environmental concentrations, estimated exposures and potential risks, demographics, and community characteristics. Register to attend the webinar and learn more.

Disinfection Byproduct Regulatory Issues and Solutions Webinar
Tuesday, April 26th at 2:00 p.m. ET
water coming out of faucetMark your calendar for this month’s small systems webinar—the topic is Disinfection Byproduct Regulatory Issues and Solutions. Gastrointestinal illnesses with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, cramps can be caused by pathogens and viruses that are often found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. This water must therefore be treated with disinfectant in order to be safe to drink. However some disinfectants react with naturally-occurring materials in the water to form byproducts that are associated with health risks.

EPA environmental engineer Michael Finn will review the Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule, a series of regulations aimed at limiting public exposure to these disinfectant byproducts. Jolyn Leslie, a regional engineer for the Washington State Department of Health Office of Drinking Water, will discuss the challenges for small systems dealing with disinfectant byproducts in Washington State and the possible solutions.

Bonus—attendees may have the option of receiving a certificate for participating in this webinar. Register now!

EPA Research Tribal bannerTribal Science Webinar Series
Tuesday, April 26th at 3:00 p.m. ET
Checkout this month’s Tribal Science Webinar. Speakers will discuss the environmental work in the Strong Heart Study, the largest and longest study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in American Indian communities. Cynthia McOliver, an EPA environmental health scientist, will be joined by Ana Navas-Acien, a physician-epidemiologist with a specialty in preventive medicine and public health, and Joseph Yracheta of Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc. Register soon!.

Water Research Webinar
Wednesday, April 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET
Scientists doing water researchJoin EPA’s Dr. David Mount for this month’s Water Research Webinar. Dr. Mount will give a presentation on the effects of inorganic ions on aquatic organisms. Natural geochemical weathering introduces several inorganic ions to natural waters. These ions become part of the basic chemistry of surface waters. The problem begins when land uses, such as energy and mineral extraction, increase concentrations of these geochemical ions. The ecological effects of increased ion concentrations are being explored through several inter-related research efforts. This webinar provides an overview of EPA’s research in this area, and some of the implications for predicting ecological risks and informing management decisions. Register to learn more.

Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice Meeting
Thursday, April 28th at 11:00 a.m. ET
Shafer_Lab_02Interested in the latest research on neurotoxicity? Then you don’t want to miss this month’s Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice Meeting. Drs. William Mundy and Timothy Shafer will present EPA research focusing on new approaches to characterize neurotoxicity from exposure to chemicals. Contact Monica Linnenbrink (linnenbrink.monica@epa.gov) to register.

 

About the Author: Michaela Burns is an Oak Ridge Associated Universities contractor and writer for the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Taking Flight: “GRO” Fellow Bridges Cultural Heritage and Science

By Ciarra Greene

 

I grew up on the Nez Perce Reservation in Northern Idaho, surrounded by rolling wheat fields and wooded mountains, where I learned the traditional stories of my Tribe.  My favorite quote was one my father would recite while we were hunting, fishing, and gathering: “The earth is part of my body… I belong to the land out of which I came.”  From the Nez Perce leader Toohoolhoolzote, the quote inspired me to observe and investigate my environment and initiated my desire to bridge my culture with Western science.

As a college undergraduate in 2010 at Northern Arizona University, I received a two-year Greater Research Opportunity (GRO) EPA Fellowship that provided support for my ongoing undergraduate research and for a summer internship.

Under the guidance of Jani Ingram Ph.D, my undergraduate research focused on environmental uranium contamination.   Uranium mining occurred on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, leaving a toxic landscape for the people. The harvested uranium was transported for processing at the Hanford Nuclear Waste Site in Richland, Washington, resulting in further contamination of natural and cultural resources of other Tribes, including the Nez Perce. The relationship of uranium and Native peoples captivated my interest and solidified my dedication to the project.

Our lab focused on water, soil, plants, livestock (sheep) and my specific project: cleaning up the contamination. Through my research, I was able to educate both Native and non-Native people about the challenges Tribal Nations are facing today because of decisions made decades ago.

My summer internship took me all the way across the country, where my assignment—“The Helicopter Monitoring Program”—involved surveying and sampling New Jersey and New York waterways and beaches from the air. 

I was also invited to attend the Consultation with Indian Nations Training Course in New York City, where I gave a presentation about the challenges of working with tribes in the Southwest and Northwest.  I was honored to share my experiences about the environmental problems facing Tribes throughout our nation. 

Later that summer, I made another presentation at the Society for American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) about my research, various EPA fellowship and scholarship opportunities, and Native American women in the workforce, focusing on my role in EPA.

I took the opportunity to share my culture, experiences, and concerns with professionals across the nation.  My goal was to give back more than I had received from this extraordinary experience.

About the Author: Ciarra Greene, a former GRO Fellow, is part of the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho. She is currently working at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, AZ, educating youth about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  She will be attending the University of Idaho next fall to pursue a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources through their McCall Outdoor Science School.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.