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Your Environment. Your Health.

Residents, Responders, and Resilience

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

February 25, 2014

Residents, Responders, and Resilience Webinar Slide

The adverse effects to human health of natural and man-made disasters have been a national concern for many decades and have led to a number of federal, state, and local efforts (primarily response preparedness). Increasingly, however, disaster-related research has focused on building the capacity and resilience of individuals and communities to assist with recovery and prepare for future disasters. This webinar discussed various facets of resilience, including the interaction of individual and community resilience, the role of longstanding socioeconomic disparities, and the importance of networking and capacity building.



Brian Mayer, Ph.D.

Brian Mayer, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on the social production of environmental health risks and the contestations that emerge around environmental problems in the areas of science, policy, and medicine. Recent research includes an NIEHS-funded project to examine the long-term psychosocial and community health impacts of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an investigation of the use of community-based science in social movement organizations, and a National Science Foundation-funded project exploring the interactions of labor and environmental social movement organizations in the United States. Through his qualitative research methodology, Brian often makes use of community-based participatory research in order to engage local stakeholders.

Tracy Irani, Ph.D.

Tracy Irani, Ph.D., is a professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. She teaches courses in agricultural communication theory and campaigns, organizational change management, and critical and creative thinking. Prior to teaching at U. Florida, Tracy worked in marketing, public relations, and advertising. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from Point Park College, an M.A. in Corporate Communications from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on critical thinking, problem solving and decision making with respect to controversial science, communications and technology issues. Tracy is also a certified administrator of the Kirton Adoption Innovation inventory, one of the most widely used assessments of cognitive style / problem solving.

Samuel Mathews, Ph.D.

Samuel Mathews, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences at the University of West Florida and a co-investigator for the Healthy Gulf – Healthy Communities Community Outreach and Dissemination Core. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1980. His experience working with community-based projects and using a community participatory research approach has included developing a federally-funded storefront afterschool program in a subsidized housing complex, conducting a formative evaluation of a community-managed educational initiative in Naryn Oblast of the Kyrgyz Republic, developing (in cooperation with a local nongovernmental organization) a community-based mentoring program for youth exposed to domestic violence, and working within the Community Outreach and Dissemination Core of the Healthy Gulf - Healthy Communities project.

Ebony Turner, Ph.D.

Ebony Turner, Ph.D., though born in Madison, Wisconsin, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Turner attended Xavier University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science.  In 1998, she graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics.  Dr. Turner then began her environmental education work at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ).   Ms. Turner’s work experience at the Center has been broad and quite extensive.  While ascending to the position of Assistant Director of Operations and Training, she has worked with or coordinated activities in all components of the center’s programs.  This has allowed her to pull together the three sectors of her interests: the environment, education and economic development.  In 2006, less than a year after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, she completed her Doctorate in Urban Higher Education Administration from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS through the school’s Executive Ph.D. Program.  Dr. Turner is a very involved, hands-on member of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church where she serves as the Assistant Director of the Multimedia Ministry.

For More Information

Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ)
The DSCEJ is a nationally known comprehensive university-based center dedicated to education, research, information dissemination, communication and community service related to environmental justice, that provides opportunities for communities, scientific researchers and decision makers to promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm as it impacts health, jobs, housing, education, and a general quality of life. 

Emergency Preparedness Resources
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) has compiled a number of resources related to emergency preparedness and response.This webpage provides documents and resources that address emergency preparedness in general. Documents found on this webpage primarily address issues in government preparedness and public preparedness. 

Healthy Gulf Healthy Communities  
Health Gulf Healthy Communities is a group of biologists, psychologists, social scientists and members of the community working together on an interdisciplinary project that addresses the environmental, economic and emotional health concerns in Gulf communities arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The work of our scientific team, in close association with our community partners, is designed to help Gulf Coast residents recover and strengthen resiliency in the face of this and future disasters. This initiative includes the University of Florida, the University of Maryland, the University of New Orleans, the University of Arizona, and the University of West Florida, and is being supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a sub-agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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