251019 Communication of risk assessment and disease prevention through outreach and educational networks

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:30 AM

Robin Fuchs-Young, PhD , Molecular Carcinogenesis, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX
In today's society, there is an increasing need to better understand both the impact of the environment on human health and the causes and prevention of environmental diseases and disasters. The major goal of the Community Outreach and Education Core (COEC) of the NIEHS Center for Research on Environmental Disease is to utilize multiple avenues of communication to assimilate and respond to community concerns by providing scientifically accurate information to communities and policy makers. Using a variety of mechanisms, the COEC translates scientific information and research results to target audiences, including the general public, policy makers and the K-12 educational community. Through development of communication networks linking the scientific community and the public, the COEC serves as a source of trusted information following environmental disasters. Following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, COEC lead an effort to provide timely re-entry and clean up information translated into several languages. Teams also traveled to NOLA to provide supplies and interact with grass roots organizations to identify and respond to immediate information needs. As part of its efforts to enhance scientific literacy and environmental stewardship, COEC also provides broad based support of the K-12 community through development of innovative classroom lesson plans that are related to current environmental health issues. During the summer of 2010, after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, teachers designed an “Ocean Biome” lesson so that students could evaluate the environmental impacts on the environment. Our annual Environmental Health Sciences Summer Institute for K-12 Educators (SI) is a unique conference where scientists and educators from the top research facilities in the U.S., including the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the NIH, provide professional development to teachers. The goal is to integrate environmental lessons into classrooms at all grade levels in order to promote informed decision-making now and in the future.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss effective strategies for sustained engagement and communication of environmental risk and disease prevention information to communities, students and teachers.

Keywords: Education, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee K-12 education programs as the director of the Community Outreach and Education Core (COEC), NIEHS Center for Research on Environmental Disease; Director if the HHMI Precollege Education Project, CENTIPEDe and Associate Director of the Center for Research on Minority Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.