Feb 042014
 

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Fall 2013 Chapter Meeting Recap

The fall 2013 regional ISES Tri-State (NJ, NY, PA) Chapter meeting was held from 12:00 – 2:00 pm on Wednesday November 13, 2013 at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) of Rutgers University. The meeting was jointly held with the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Mid-Atlantic States Section. Two seminars were presented focusing on the topic of “Environmental Health Effects of Hurricane Sandy.” The first presenter was Raymond Cantor, Chief Advisor to the NJDEP Commissioner and overseer of the Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of Economic Analysis. His presentation sparked discussion over our vulnerability to future storms and ways in which NJ can better prepare the environmental and energy infrastructure. The second presenter was Brian Buckley, Administrative Director of Laboratories at Rutgers EOHSI and resident of the Jersey Shore. His presentation included his own photographs depicting post storm damage in his neighborhood and ongoing work to study post storm bioaerosol exposures. The meeting was a successful collaboration between the ISES Tri-State Chapter and A&WMA Mid-Atlantic States section through which the attendees could learn about and discuss a topic of mutual concern and interest.

Announcement of Graduate Student Travel Award from Tri-State ISES

Beginning this coming March, the Chapter Council anticipates the establishment of a Student Travel Award Program to increase Chapter visibility and to support graduate student research and travel. Per funding availability, $300/year will be awarded to one student to support their travel to present (poster or platform) at the ISES conference (or another conference if deemed appropriate). Eligibility requirements will include: Chapter membership of student and/or student’s adviser, at least part-time enrollment of student in a graduate program, and a focus of research on exposure related topic. Award applications will be available through this website. Please check our website in March for program details. An email about the program will also be sent out this spring to announce the program launch and opening for applications.

EPA Region 2 Citizen Science Program Helps Engage and Empower Communities to Address Local Environmental Issues

The EPA Region 2 Citizen Science Program exemplifies the aim of the ISES Tri-State Chapter: to foster and advance exposure science related to environmental contaminants and to promote environmental health dialogue amongst scientists, communities, government and all other local stakeholders of the tri-state area. The EPA recently launched a new website for the Citizen Science program to provide updates about available resources for conducting scientific investigations, funding opportunities (look under “Grants” topic), quality assurance, workshops, webinars and success stories; the program is designed to assist local communities in collecting their own environmental data and advocating for their own health concerns. A main goal of the program is to encourage dialogue amongst the Citizen Scientists in local communities through discussion forums about their ongoing projects. This can also provide opportunities for scientists at local universities and other organizations to connect their research with the actual needs of communities.

epa-citizen-science

Crafted through interviews conducted with community groups, environmental justice groups, non-governmental organizations and academia to identify community needs and concerns, EPA Region 2 is focusing the program on water and air monitoring. Local scientists can get involved by browsing the website to check out the various current topic areas of interest and signing up to receive email updates about local Citizen Scientist activities. The data collected from Citizen Science projects can serve to support educational outreach, provide observational data, or provide credible/defensible data for advocacy to leverage action. An actionable example is a Western New York grassroots community-led air monitoring effort using a bucket brigade to successfully champion an enforcement action at Tonawanda Coke Corporation to reduce benzene emissions. The program will continue outreach efforts with community groups and others through technical assistance, training, identifying funding sources and developing tools that communities can use to generate credible data. Check out the website for more information at: http://www.epa.gov/region2/citizenscience/.

Graduate Student Highlight: Seungo Kim, Clarkson University

SeungoKimSeungo Kim’s research focuses on impacts of manure spreading on downwind air quality and provides insight into how to mitigate these impacts. To determine the impacts of application method on ammonia emission, transport, and deposition, ammonia is monitored and modeled following land application of dairy manure. Ammonia emission flux from manure applied fields and downwind concentrations are measured following conventional splash plate spreading, direct injection, and drag-hose application of liquid dairy manure. Transport and downwind concentrations are also predicted using EPA’s AERMOD.  His data indicate that conventional broadcast spreading produced the greatest nitrogen emissions during both the field and lab soil experiments; exposure concentrations in excess of OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 35 mg/m-3 have been observed. At present, there exists little information on the impact of manure spreading techniques on downwind air quality in regards to many factors, and results of this study will predict emissions better than the current model by including other application practices such as manure type, application method, atmospheric conditions and soil conditions. Seungo’s research will help in the understanding of impacts of nitrogen cycling in the ecosystem, leading to improved nitrogen management and human health.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

JenniferJaquetDistinguished Speaker Seminar: Jennifer Jacquet, Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU, “Some Human Dimensions of Environmental Science”

  • Wed., 2/12/14, 12:30pm, Alampi Room (IMCS, Rutgers University, Cook Campus)
  • Dr. Jacquet was recently featured in TIME magazine, Nature, and WIRED magazine’s “Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world”. She studies common resource problems, such as overfishing, clean water shortages, and climate change. Her book about the evolution, function, and future of shame as a tool is due out in late 2014.
  • Sponsored by the Env. Sci. Graduate Student Assoc., Cook Campus Dean, and the Climate Institute