UA SRP Research Translation Director Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta was invited to participate in “ScienceWriters 2016” a meeting held by the National Association of Science Writers. The meeting took place in downtown San Antonio, Texas, October 28 - November 1, 2016.
Ramirez-Andreotta gave a talk entitled “Cultivating citizen science to reduce environmental risks” focused on how gardens can be hubs for environmental health research, education, and public health interventions. Ramirez-Andreotta described her participatory approach to research that addresses research questions and policy issues identified by residents and then work alongside throughout the data collection and sharing process. She highlighted her previous and ongoing projects, illustrating participatory approaches that can be used to produce exposure and risk data in a form that is directly relevant to participants' lives, to increase community involvement in environmental decision-making, and to improve environmental health education and literacy in underserved rural and urban communities.
“When you do informal science education, you are capitalizing on people’s intrinsic motivation and curiosity…. people are intrinsically motivated to protect themselves, and can become local environmental health champions” says Ramirez-Andreotta.