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Environmental Factor, February 2013

Outreach educator honored with SOT Public Communications Award

By Ed Kang

Marti Lindsey, Ph.D.

As a member of the Navajo Nation, Lindsey is directly invested in Native American health and outreach. By tirelessly reaching out to these communities, she has built successful partnerships based on trust. (Photo courtesy of Marti Lindsey)

NIEHS grantee Marti Lindsey, Ph.D., has been honored with the 2013 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Public Communications Award. Her recognition stems from her efforts to develop and disseminate environmental health materials specifically related to issues of concern in the southwestern U.S.

Lindsey  is the director of the Community Outreach and Education Core (COEC) of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC). The center is an NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Core Center located at the University of Arizona (UA).  

Lindsey has become nationally recognized for her success with outreach and communication with Native American populations in Arizona. Her efforts to communicate the hazards of relevant contaminants in local communities, such as the Gila River Indian Community and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, have had significant impact and fostered collaborations that address wide-ranging health disparities.

“She is a nationally recognized leader in the development of interactions with, and dissemination of information to, the native community,” said Clark Lantz, Ph.D., SWEHSC deputy director and associate head of cell biology and anatomy at UA. “The impact that she has had on communicating important environmental information to the public is immeasurable.”

Under Lindsey’s guidance, the COEC develops materials related to SWEHSC research topics, such as arsenic exposure, asthma, lead poisoning, and skin cancer from ultraviolet exposure, as well as other health issues related to air toxics, water contamination, pesticides, and hazardous waste. To support the outreach effort, she has led the creation and dissemination of successful flyers, information walks, presentations, and Web materials.

Nathan Cherrington, Ph.D., director of graduate studies in the UA department of pharmacology and toxicology, remarked, “I can quite confidently say that no single person has done more to extend environmental health education in the state of Arizona than Marti. Her work and influence is meaningful to the public in general but, more importantly, has benefited the underserved and Native American populations of the state."

The Public Communications Award is presented by SOT to recognize an individual who has made a major contribution to broadening the awareness of the general public on toxicological issues through any aspect of public communications.

(Ed Kang is a public affairs specialist in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)

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