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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News August 2015

Volume 5, Issue 8: August 2015

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Dartmouth Children's Center Collaborates to Create a Digital Story about Arsenic in Food

Rice and rice products are the most common sources of arsenic in our diet.

The new Arsenic digital story presents information about how arsenic enters our food supply in an interactive and engaging format. This image (adapted from the tool) explains that rice and rice products are the most common sources of arsenic in our diet.

Preventing exposure to arsenic in drinking water has long been a priority of scientists and public health agencies, but more recent studies have led to concerns about exposure to arsenic through food. With increasing evidence about the health effects of low-level arsenic exposure, especially for infants and children, public health professionals recognize the importance of educating the public about how they may come into contact with arsenic in their daily lives. To meet this information need, the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) within the Dartmouth Children's Environmental Health Center (CEHC) worked with the Dartmouth Computer Science Department to create a digital story to explain how arsenic gets into our food supply and also to provide people with simple tips for reducing their exposure.

"Communicating about arsenic in food and water is challenging, and because you can't see or taste it, consumer anxiety around sources of exposure can be heightened," explained Dartmouth COTC Director, Carolyn Murray, M.D. "Our goal in creating this tool was to demystify the sources of arsenic in our food and water, and also empower our stakeholders, particularly parents, to reduce arsenic exposure in an evidence-based manner, and not by drastic dietary changes."

The project began in June 2014 when the CEHC was approached by a small team of graduate and undergraduate students in Dartmouth's Digital Arts, Leadership, and Innovation (DALI) Lab. "We knew we needed creative input to effectively deliver this complex message, and were fortunate to have such a resource right here with DALI Lab," said Murray. DALI Lab is a research and development lab that mixes state-of-the-art technology with elegant design to assist faculty and organizations, such as the CEHC, achieve their communication goals while providing important experiential learning for students. The DALI Lab is supported by the Neukom Institute, the Computer Science Department, Dartmouth alumni, and projects such as this.

The students worked with Murray to translate CEHC research findings about dietary sources of arsenic and designed a visually pleasing and interactive format to display the information. According to Murray, during the "discovery phase," the students learned about arsenic, CEHC research, and the target audience. They then designed and developed the website with the goal of translating this scientific information into a story resembling a children's book.

The outcome of this collaboration is a streamlined Web page which presents information in a digestible format to help the public, particularly parents, better understand sources of dietary arsenic exposure. As the user scrolls through the infographic style Web page, short snippets of information written in plain language float atop visually appealing graphics to provide a fun and engaging way for families to learn about how arsenic enters our drinking water, soil, and food supply, including apples, rice, and rice products. To close, the tool offers several tips to empower and motivate people to make changes in their lifestyle to reduce their arsenic exposure. Tips include substituting rice with grains containing lower amounts of arsenic, rinsing your rice before cooking, and choosing other juices over apple juice.

Visit the Dartmouth COTC Web page to explore this beautiful and informative new educational tool.

New NIEHS Advancing Environmental Justice Report Released

We are excited to share with you a new report, Advancing Environmental Justice (3MB), which describes NIEHS efforts to support projects across the country addressing environmental health disparities and promoting environmental justice from 1998 through 2012. This report highlights the contributions to environmental justice by grant programs at the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT). It provides a brief history of the environmental justice movement, the role of and funding investments made by DERT, an analysis of those contributions, conclusions, and suggested next steps to continue advancing environmental justice. The report also includes grantee spotlights for twenty-four projects. Each summary includes a listing of outputs and outcomes. In addition, a report compendium, Advancing Environmental Justice: Annotated Bibliography (695KB), lists and summarizes peer-reviewed research articles from several of the projects highlighted in the report. We created the annotated bibliography to provide researchers, communities, and stakeholders with more accessible information about key outcomes reported in environmental justice projects. We hope you find Advancing Environmental Justice and the annotated bibliography engaging, informative, and useful. We encourage you to share the report with your colleagues and partners.

Videos from Impact of Climate Change on Children's Health Symposium

In March 2015, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Office of Environmental Health Assessment, along with the University of California (UC) San Francisco Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) and the UC Berkeley Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE), sponsored a two-day symposium to discuss the impacts of climate change on children's health. Each symposium presentation was captured on video and is now available for viewing on the CalEPA Web page. The meeting featured presentations from NIEHS Senior Advisor for Public Health John Balbus, M.D., as well as several NIEHS grantees. We encourage you to check out the videos and join the critical conversation about the impacts of climate change on children's health!

CDC Resource for Public Health Professionals and Urban Planners

The goals of public health professionals and urban planners are quite similar. Both sectors support the design and development of communities that promote physical and mental health by encouraging healthy behaviors, quality of life, social connectedness, safety, and equity. As public health professionals and urban planners begin to work more closely, they need the ability to speak each other's languages in order to work together effectively. To this end, CDC's National Center for Environmental Health recently developed a framework that stresses collaboration between health professionals and urban planners in six core areas. Users can click on a core area to view related resources. Visit the CDC Web page to start exploring this new resource!

Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Research Associate - Northeastern University and Silent Spring Institute

This two-year postdoctoral research position will be part of the new NIEHS Training Program, "Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health Science and Social Science," co-directed by Northeastern University's Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and Silent Spring Institute. This Training Program will prepare scholars to be future leaders in social science - environmental health science collaborations. A combination of learning at Northeastern and Silent Spring Institute will be complemented by externships at community-based organizations. The postdoctoral research associate will spend two-thirds of his/her time at Silent Spring Institute and one-third at Northeastern. For more information and to apply, see the Northeastern Jobs page.

Job Opportunity: Brown SRP Postdoctoral Fellowship Environmental Health State Agencies Liaison

The Brown Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center seeks applicants for an Environmental Health State Agencies Liaison (SAL) postdoctoral fellow who will advocate for the public's health by facilitating the flow of knowledge and information about environmental health research, practice, and policy among participating academics, government leaders, and community members in a true university-state-community partnership. The position is designed to ensure that Rhode Island communities and government agencies are informed by and engaged with basic research on environmental pollution and health impacts. Review of applications will begin August 15, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled. For more information, see the Science Jobs page.

Job Opportunity: Cancer Research Training Award Fellow for Environmental Epidemiology

The National Cancer Institute has an opening for a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Fellow with an interest in environmental epidemiology. This fellowship opportunity is with the Environmental Epidemiology Branch, which supports broadly defined environmental research that includes exposures to physical and chemical agents; nutritional components; physical activity and energy balance; alcohol and tobacco; and infectious agents. The successful candidate will interact with scientists from a variety of research disciplines, including environmental epidemiology, genomics, clinical sciences, and public health. A master's-level degree in epidemiology, public health, environmental health, or a related field is required. Visit NCI's Web page for more information and to apply.

PEPH Grantee Highlights: Jose Antonio Tovar-Aguilar, Ph.D.

Jose Antonio Tovar-Aguilar, Ph.D., is a medical anthropologist with a unique perspective on the impacts of environmental health and disease among farmworker communities. As a pesticide and poison investigator for the Florida Department of Health, he reviews occupational cases of acute pesticide exposure and performs outreach and education for affected communities. Tovar has extensive experience in community-based programs and social marketing methods to prevent disease and injury, primarily among Hispanic and Creole farmworker communities in Florida. Through the NIEHS-funded Research to Action program, Tovar teamed up with researchers from Emory University, the Farmworker Association of Florida, and the Farmworker Health and Safety Institute on a project to promote healthy pregnancy and protective behaviors among female farmworkers in central Florida. Using findings from their study, the researchers developed a culturally acceptable, Web-based training tool for female farmworkers of reproductive age. Read the Jose Antonio Tovar-Aguilar Grantee Highlight to learn more about his efforts to improve working conditions for farmworkers!

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

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Thanks to the sophisticated maps made possible by new geographic information technologies, researchers can extract valuable information from data collections that would otherwise be an impenetrable sea of numbers. In a new podcast titled Mapping Environmental Health, we explore the enormous potential of geographic information systems for improving environmental health knowledge and risk communication. Hear from Michael Jerrett, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles as we consider the potential applications - and challenges - of this evolving research tool.

You can find more podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page or subscribe to the series on iTunes. We want your feedback! Send comments and ideas for future podcasts to

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:

Climate justice conference focuses on needs of vulnerable populations. More than 100 scientists, public health professionals, and community members from across the nation converged on the NIEHS campus June 8 - 9 for the 2015 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Climate Justice Conference, "Responding to Emerging Health Effects."

Innovative training program launched in the wake of Ebola. The NIEHS Worker Training Program brought experts together to discuss training needs for future infectious disease outbreaks.

Call for PEPH at APHA Sessions

Each year, before the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference, we compile a "PEPH at APHA" booklet. This document is meant to help you navigate the large meeting so that you can quickly and easily find the sessions in which our PEPH colleagues are participating. If you are an NIEHS grantee or community partner presenting at APHA this year, let us know! We will send out a request later this summer through the PEPH Network listserv to collect your session information.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

August 4 - 6, 2015: 2015 U.S. EPA Community Involvement Training Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme of this year's conference is "Making a Visible Difference in Communities." Register to attend the conference in person or to view the online streaming sessions.

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

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 open.

August 24 - 26, 2015: 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics (NCHS) in Bethesda, Maryland. NCHS will include a one-day Learning Institute where participants will receive hands-on training in accessing and analyzing survey data and will explore learning modules on how to use selected data access tools. The Learning Institute will be followed by the two-day main conference, which will include scientific sessions, exhibits, and a poster session. The conference is free to attend.

September 10 - 11, 2015: Reimagining Health in Cities: New Directions in Urban Health Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This symposium, hosted by the Drexel University School of Public Health, will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to reflect critically on the links between urban environments and health, identify new opportunities for research (including novel data and methodological approaches), and consider implications for community action and policy. Register.

September 24 - 25, 2015: EPA Region 6 Symposium: Children's Environmental Health on the Border in El Paso, Texas. This symposium will provide important information regarding the impacts of the environment on children's health. Sessions are being planned for health care providers, academics, community health workers, policy makers, social workers, and community leaders. Registration is free!

October 12 - 14, 2015: Pathways into Health Conference - Achieving Excellence, Harmony, and Balance in Seattle, Washington. The purpose of this conference is to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to contribute to the cultivation of a robust American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare workforce. The year’s theme, “Uniting and Sustaining Pathways into Health Professions,” explores opportunities to unite, enhance, and sustain new and existing pathways into health professions for AI/AN individuals and communities.

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

October 31 - November 4, 2015: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This year's theme is "Health in All Policies." Registration.

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.

November 9 - 10, 2015: 2015 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit in Austin, Texas. The Impact Summit is the premier gathering for those involved in the field of community measurement. The conference will highlight successes, tools, and how to use data to build equitable communities. Presentations are grouped to highlight specific subjects, such as community development and housing, education, health, sustainability, as well as a more general cross-cutting category. Registration  is open. Preconference workshops are also being offered on November 8 for an additional fee.

November 12, 2015: Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. This one-day conference is designed to help build and strengthen effective human subject protections programs that oversee social, behavioral, and educational research. Registration is now open.

December 3 - 4, 2015: Tribal Ecological Knowledge Workshop in Bethesda, Maryland. This workshop will explore the contributions that Native American (NA) and Alaskan Native (AN) tribal communities bring to the research enterprise. The workshop is intended for those with an interest in research with NA/AN communities, academic investigators, federal staff, and members of tribal communities to give them the opportunity to contribute to the desired dialogue. The workshop is open to the public but requires pre-registration.

December 14 - 15, 2015: 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Washington, D.C. This meeting is ideal for researchers, evaluators, and implementers who are interested in identifying opportunities, challenges, and strategies for disseminating the findings and implementation of research to key stakeholders. This year's theme is "Optimizing Personal and Population Health." Submit your abstract for an oral, panel, or poster presentation by August 20. Registration will open in mid-August.

Funding Opportunities

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

Using Educational Networks to Increase Schools' Adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting proposals for a cooperative agreement to provide education, training, resources, and technical assistance to increase IPM implementation in kindergarten to 12th grade public and tribal schools nationwide. The grantee will conduct a national program, using its existing organizational structure and established relationships with school districts throughout the U.S., to further IPM adoption by schools. Projects that use consortia, partnerships, and other collaborative means of conducting the project are encouraged. Deadline: August 10, 2015.

Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (U19). The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases invites applications from single institutions or consortia of institutions to participate in the Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Centers (AADCRC) program. The program will support centers that integrate clinical and basic research to conduct studies on the mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of diseases of interest, including asthma, rhinitis (allergic and non-allergic), chronic rhinosinusitis, atopic dermatitis, food allergy, and drug allergy. Deadlines: September 2, 2015 (letter of intent); October 2, 2015 (application).

National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Program. This program targets Hispanic students enrolled full-time in dental, medical, nursing, public health, and policy schools. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication (R01). The purpose of this FOA is to support innovative research that identifies sources of spatial uncertainty in public health data, incorporates the inaccuracy or instability into statistical methods, and develops novel tools to visualize the nature and consequences of spatial uncertainty. Deadlines: October 5, 2015.

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: October 5, 2015 (R01); October 16, 2015 (R03, R21). Learn more about NIEHS areas of interest.

Advancing Implementation Science in Community/Academic Partnered Research. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Donaghue Foundation have partnered to offer an opportunity for academic medical centers to engage collaboratively in research that has the potential for a near-term impact to improve population health outcomes. The research should facilitate collaborations among researchers, community organizations, and health system leaders. For more information, download the RFP. Deadline: October 16, 2015.

Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health through Community-Based Participatory Research (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.

Emerging Global Leader Award (K43). The purpose of the Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award is to provide research support and protected time to a research scientist from a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) with a junior faculty position at an LMIC academic or research institution. This intensive, mentored research career development experience is expected to lead to an independently funded research career. This FOA invites applications from LMIC scientists from any health-related discipline to propose career development activities and a research project that is relevant to the health priorities of their country. See the related notice and Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award Web page for more information. Deadlines: December 16, 2015.

International Research Scientist Development Award (K01). The purpose of the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) is to provide support and protected time (three to five years) to advanced postdoctoral U.S. research scientists and recently-appointed U.S. junior faculty (at least two years beyond conferral of doctoral degree) for an intensive, mentored research career development experience in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) leading to an independently funded research career focused on global health. See the IRSDA Web page for more information. Deadline: March 2, 2016.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health.. This program aims to provide individuals, organizations, communities, policymakers, and researchers the empirical evidence needed to address the key determinants of health encompassed in the Culture of Health Action Framework. Applicants must be either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Deadlines: Applications accepted on a rolling basis, see the RWJF Web page for key dates.


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