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July 2020 eBulletin.

Below are a few snapshots of recent University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) accomplishments. 

UW SRP Releases Video Series About how to Fish Safely and Legally on the Duwamish River

The University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) has partnered with agencies and community groups focused on the cleanup of the Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site for two decades. In recent years, the program has supported efforts to educate local communities about the safety of eating fish from the river.

“The focus of our program is to help reach communities that continue to fish the river” says Dr. Tom Burbacher, the Director of the Community Engagement Core for the UW SRP. “As part of this effort we encourage people fishing in the Duwamish to eat only the salmon, within recommended amounts, and not the resident fish taken from that stretch of river. These guidelines are from the Washington State Department of Health.” But, how to get that critical message to the fishers, especially members of the Cambodian, Latino and Vietnamese communities who fish in the Duwamish?

Online videos! That was the advice from members of those communities who participated in a city-funded program and now serve as Community Health Advocates for Public Health–Seattle & King County. Taking that advice, the agencies partnered with the community members to create nine videos in four languages to introduce salmon fishing, the regulations involved, what fishing gear is needed, how much salmon is safe to eat, and how to prepare salmon.
Learn more

UW SRP hosts webinar on Institutional Controls

On June 24th, the UW SRP and the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition hosted the second in a two-part series on Institutional Controls (ICs). Professor Cliff Villa of the University of New Mexico, Piper Peterson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and James Rasmussen of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition discussed details of the EPA's IC Plan for fishers at the Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site and lessons it offers for communities working to protect fishers at other contaminated sites. Watch the webinar here.

Dr. Hao Wang receives a KC Donnelly Externship

Dr. Hao Wang and Jogen Atone have been awarded mutual exchange KC Donnelly externships. Dr. Wang works on the UW SRP Project 2 supervised by Dr. Zhengui Xia. Jogen Atone works with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) SRP under the supervision of Director Dr. Bruce Hammock.

The externship will support Dr. Wang to spend two months training at the UC Davis SRP with Dr. Hammock while Atone will train with Dr. Xia at UW. Learn more.

Lisa Hayward teaches a communication class 

In spring of 2020, Lisa Hayward, Manager of Research Translation for the UW SRP, taught a class titled "Communication for Environmental Health Scientists" aimed at giving graduate students in environmental and public health a toolkit of tactics and strategies for making their communications with technical and non-technical audiences more effective. Given stay-at-home orders, the class was taught virtually.   

Megumi Matsushita presents to CHE-WA

On April 9th, Megumi Matsushita, a trainee on UW SRP Project Two, presented evidence that cadmium is a neurotoxicant to members of Washington's chapter on the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-WA). In her presentation, she summarized epidemiological and toxicological evidence linking cadmium exposure with cognitive impairment in children and adults. Learn more.

UW SRP Project Four transfers technology

Jim Gawell and other researchers from UW SRP Project Four are providing porewater peepers for a study of Waughop Lake in Pierce County by Jeff Tepper at the University of Puget Sound. The peepers were built with students at Bellarmine High School in Tacoma, WA for UW SRP research. The porewater peepers provide a way to measure small scale differences in dissolved arsenic concentrations above and below the sediment-water interface. Learn more here.

BJ Cummings publishes book on the Duwamish

UW SRP Community Engagement Manager BJ Cummings will soon launch her book titled "The River That Made Seattle: A Human and Natural History of the Duwamish." Five years in the making, the book offers a richly detailed history of the transformation of the Duwamish River from a mighty and meandering force of nature to a tightly channeled and highly contaminated Superfund Site. It also offers Cummings' hope that the Duwamish will one day truly become "a river for all." Learn more here. Photo by Paul Joseph Brown. 

Translating cadmium research to local agencies

Lisa Hayward, Manager of Research Translation, synthesized results from UW SRP Project Two for the quarterly meeting of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Environmental Protection Agency, and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit of Region 10. Agency representatives provided feedback on how best to use results to advocate for public health.  

We want to hear from you!

We would love to hear from you! If you have feedback related to our work or are interested in a potential partnership don't hesitate to contact UW SRP Director, Dr. Evan Gallagher; Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores, Dr. Tom Burbacher; Research Translation Manager, Lisa Hayward; or Community Engagement Manager, BJ Cummings.

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Superfund Research Program
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