Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News June 2015

Volume 6, Issue 6: June 2015

PEPH E-News Header

New Magazine Sparks Discussion around Tribal Environmental Health

Indigenous Stewards Cover
Indigenous Stewards, a new publication from SWEHSC, focuses on issues and topics related to the health and the environment among Indigenous communities.

A new online magazine, Indigenous Stewards, provides American Indians an opportunity and platform to discuss the environmental issues that impact their everyday lives, health, and communities. Born out of the NIEHS-funded Native Environmental Health Stories Project, a collaborative effort between the Community Outreach and Engagement Cores (COEC) within the University of Arizona's (UA) Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) and the University of Washington's (UW) Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH), the publication aims to raise awareness, foster discussions, spark ideas, and provoke questions about environmental health issues across tribal communities, ultimately cultivating future generations of Indigenous stewards.

According to SWEHSC Outreach Director Marti Lindsey, Ph.D., the magazine offers a venue for native people to portray environmental problems and solutions in their communities, thus providing an authentic American Indian perspective. "The title of Indigenous Stewards applies broadly, showcasing environmental health research, art, innovation, music, and work on behalf of native communities," explained Lindsey. "An advisory board of native people oversees the publication, to ensure this intention is met."

Indigenous Stewards was built on the ongoing community engagement strengths of both the UA and UW COECs to address tribal environmental health disparities in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Conversations about environmental health and science with tribal leaders, scholars, and students guided the creation of the magazine.

Indigenous Stewards will include features on community organizations, as well as articles on environmental health issues of concern to tribal communities. For example, the inaugural issue features Selso Villegas, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation and Director of its Water Resources Department, who discusses his role in protecting the Tohono O'odham Nation's water supply from arsenic contamination. The magazine also includes a "Pathways" section, highlighting a number of Indigenous environmental health scientists who share their wisdom with the tribal youth. In addition, the UA SWEHSC encouraged tribal high school and college students to contribute to the magazine by hosting a contest in which participants documented through writing and photography the environmental issues facing Indigenous communities.

The first issue of Indigenous Stewards was recently revealed at the April 2015 meeting of the Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers, hosted by UA. The online version was launched a few weeks later. We encourage you to check out the beautiful 28-page magazine! A limited number of hard copies are also available; please contact Marti Lindsey to request one.

NIEHS Staff and Grantees Talk Citizen Science at APHL

The 2015 Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) meeting was recently held in Indianapolis and focused on the exposome and citizen science. As part of an invited session, Liam O'Fallon (NIEHS) and Sara Wylie (Northeastern University) presented on citizen science. O'Fallon emphasized the NIEHS commitment to community-engaged research and described how such work includes citizen science approaches. He highlighted the value of citizen science in environmental health research and provided examples of several projects that are using these approaches to address local environmental health concerns. O'Fallon also mentioned examples in which state public health labs have partnered with NIEHS-funded Centers and suggested that there could be greater coordination in this area. Wylie highlighted the work of Public Lab and the many tools they have developed to empower communities to collect data that will help them better understand their exposures. She emphasized the importance of creating a collaborative workspace for community groups to get engaged in research. She also noted that such civic science can be used to fill data gaps, build agency capacity, and inform decision making. This productive session helped to identify ways in which public health labs can contribute to the success and sustainability of community-engaged projects.

Not sure what APHL is or what services state public health laboratories provide? Check out the APHL website.

New Service Enlists Early Stage Investigators to Translate Published Research

A new service called STM Digest will focus on highlighting Elsevier's published research and exposing it to the broader research community and the general public in a digestible format. The result will be a collection of lay translations of original research papers with a societal impact or policy focus. The summaries are written by early career researchers who, under the title of Research Ambassador, will gain experience with publishing and reviewing while establishing a reputation in their areas of expertise. The Research Ambassador position is designed to foster involvement in scientific writing while gaining early stage investigators visibility for their research and connecting them with their peers. These lay summaries will be published online next to the original article on ScienceDirect and will have the potential to make research more accessible, improve engagement in science, and benefit the general public. The pilot will initially highlight articles in Elsevier's Environmental Science & Ecology and Economics & Finance journals and will likely expand to include other portfolios in 2015.

We encourage you to share this opportunity with any promising early stage investigators you know! Details about becoming a Research Ambassador are on the STM Digest Web page.

Public Comment Period: Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health

A draft report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, was developed by the U.S. Global Change Research Program Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health, which is co-chaired by NIEHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This assessment report is intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States. Public comments on the draft assessment report are now being solicited, and the public comment period is open until 12:00 p.m. EDT on June 8, 2015. See the U.S. Global Change Research Program website for the full draft and more information on providing comments.

Recent Awards in the PEPH Network

Please join us in congratulating our PEPH colleagues, Frederica Perera, Dr.P.H., Ph.D., and Phil Brown, Ph.D., who both recently received prestigious awards for their outstanding efforts in environmental health!

Frederica Perera, founder and director of the Columbia University Center for Children's Environmental Health, received the Heinz Award for the Environment for her decades-long research examining how early life environmental exposures affect children's health. Over the years, Perera and colleagues have provided evidence for a link between prenatal exposure to air pollution and a range of adverse health outcomes, including low birth weight, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The Heinz Awards, which are given annually by the Heinz Family Foundation, include a $250,000 prize.

Phil Brown, leader of the Community Engagement and Research Translation Cores within the PROTECT Superfund Research Program Center at Northeastern University, will be the 2015 recipient of the American Sociological Association's Environment and Technology Section's Practice and Outreach award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding service, innovation, and/or publication in environmental sociology or the sociology of technology. Over the past 25 years, Brown has worked with community groups, environmental justice advocates, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and academics to document and draw attention to environmental health and justice issues.

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Dina G. Markowitz, Ph.D.

Dina G. Markowitz, Ph.D., has extensive experience developing and coordinating science education and outreach programs for students, teachers, and the general community, focused on a range of disciplines, including genetics, microbiology, immunology, and environmental medicine. As the Director and Founder of the University of Rochester's Life Sciences and Learning Center, Markowitz directs numerous programs for local schools, summer science camps, and science teacher workshops in order to promote the use of hands-on, inquiry-based curricula. She is also a member of the steering committee of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at the University of Rochester, which collaborates with a broad network of other CIRTL institutions to use graduate education as a leverage point for developing national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty. Read the Dina G. Markowitz Grantee Highlight to learn more about her efforts to bridge gaps in science and environmental health education.

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

Environmental health chat logo

A variety of new, low-cost air quality monitoring devices lets everyday citizens monitor air pollution where they live, work, and play. But how accurate and appropriate are these technologies to meet the goals of community groups? In a follow-up to our first podcast on Citizen Science, we asked Ron Williams of the U.S. EPA to explain the potential benefits and limitations of next-generation air quality monitors, as well as strategies for citizen scientists as they get started. Check out the new podcast: Air Quality Monitoring for Citizen Science.

You can find past podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page or subscribe to the series on iTunes.

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The latest issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting our PEPH colleagues, as well as other topics of interest to the PEPH community. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects, events, and activities happening in the PEPH network.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

June 8 - 9, 2015: HHS Climate Justice Meeting at the NIEHS main campus in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The HHS is hosting a one-and-a-half-day conference that will focus on public health issues and solutions related to climate change for disadvantaged populations. Registration closes Friday, May 29. A webcast option has just been added for those unable to attend in person; more information will be posted to the meeting website soon. (We encourage people to organize watch parties or to watch the webcast with colleagues and research partners.)

June 23 - 25, 2015: NIH OBSSR 20th Anniversary Celebration of Research at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. With the theme of "Healthier Lives through Behavioral and Social Sciences," seasoned researchers, young scientists, federal agency representatives, policy makers, students, and others in the field will find the three-day 20th Anniversary celebration full of discussion, networking, and community building. See the OBSSR Web page for the agenda and to register.

July 13 - 15, 2015: National Environmental Health Association Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition (NEHA AEC) in Orlando, Florida. NEHA's AEC is the nexus for environmental health training, education, networking, and advancement.

August 4 - 6, 2015: 2015 U.S. EPA Community Involvement Training Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This conference brings together people from EPA as well as the Agency's partners and stakeholders who plan and implement environmental community involvement, partnership, stewardship, outreach, and education programs. The theme of this year's conference is "Making a Visible Difference in Communities." Registration is expected to open late May 2015.

August 10 - 13, 2015: 16th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium (PBC) in Depok, Indonesia. Traditional areas covered by PBC conferences include hazardous waste management and remediation, e-waste, air pollution, persistent toxic substances, emerging pollutants, global climate change, and children's environmental health. Registration is now open.

August 11 - 13, 2015: 2015 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta, Georgia. Hosted by the National Public Health Information Coalition, this conference will bring together individuals representing academia, public health researchers, and practitioners from federal and state government, as well as the private sector. The conference is an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues and shape the future of health communication, marketing, and media practice. Registration is now open.

October 18 - 22, 2015: International Society for Exposure Science (ISES) in Henderson, Nevada. The 25th Annual ISES Meeting theme is "Exposures in an Evolving Environment." Registration is open.

October 31 - November 4, 2015: Save the date for the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This year's meeting theme is "Health in All Policies." Registration opens June 2.

November 2 - 3, 2015: 7th Annual Health Literacy Research Conference (HARC) in Bethesda, Maryland. The HARC is an interdisciplinary meeting for investigators dedicated to health literacy research. Submit a presentation abstract by July 2, 2015! Registration will open July 2015.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2015. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is soliciting proposals from organizations and libraries to design and conduct projects that will improve disaster medicine and public health information access for health professionals, first responders, and others who play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Deadline: July 6, 2015. See the NLM Web page for more about the funding opportunity and be sure to check out the Disaster Research Response website, which offers disaster response tools, resources, training materials, and more!

Advancing Health Disparities Interventions through Community-Based Participatory Research (U01). The purpose of this FOA is to support promising community interventions using community-based participatory research principles and approaches aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating health disparities. Deadlines: July 3, 2015 (letter of intent); August 3, 2015 (application).

NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research Focused on Precision Medicine (U54). The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications for new Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCCs) for health disparities research exploring the potential for precision medicine to promote health equity and reduce health disparities. Deadlines: August 17, 2015 (letter of intent); September 17, 2015 (application).

Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01, R03, R21). The goal of this program announcement is to encourage methodological, intervention, and dissemination research for understanding and promoting health literacy. Deadlines: June 5, 2015 (R01); June 16, 2015 (R03, R21). Learn more about NIEHS areas of interest.

Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health through Community-Based Participatory Research (Limited Competition R03). This FOA supports community-based participatory research projects planned and developed by recipients of the Phase I Academic-Community Partnerships Conference Series awards under PAR-09-092 and PAR-12-102. Deadlines: November 20, 2015 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.


Do you have an announcement to share with the PEPH community? Send us your news for the next issue of the PEPH Newsletter (

To subscribe to our mailing list, remove your name from our mailing list, or submit a question/comment, please email


to Top