On July 10, 2008 five SBRP programs from across the country came together to present “Working Together: Aligning Communities, Academia, and EPA” at the US EPA’s 2008 National Association of Remedial Project Managers (NARPM) in Portland, Oregon.
NARPM is an annual US EPA training conference that provides Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) an opportunity to learn about critical site cleanup issues and to acquire skills and resources to help improve their job performance. A wide range of courses and sessions were offered this year including: green remedial technologies, ground water issues, leadership development, vapor intrusion and community involvement.
Nadia Hollan Burke, Remedial Project Manager from the US EPA Region 9 Office in San Francisco, California and former SBRP-funded graduate student from the University of Arizona championed the notion of having SBRP-funded universities participate in the 2008 NARPM conference. Nadia believes it is important to demonstrate how a successful alliance between the EPA, academia and the community could be initiated and maintained to yield positive results for all stakeholders involved in superfund site cleanup.
The following SBRP-funded universities gave presentations at the 2008 NARPM:
- What Really Counts: Transferring Information to Stakeholders - The Impact of the Superfund Basic Program’s Research Translation and Community Outreach (RT/CO) Cores – Monica Ramirez and Denise Moreno, University of Arizona
- Capacity Building through Academic – Community Partnerships – Nancy Serrrell, Dartmouth College
- Utilizing the Strengths of a Land-Grant Institution: The University of Kentucky SBRP and Cooperative Extension Service Working Together for Increased Stakeholder Engagement – Dr. Lisa Gaetke, University of Kentucky
- Partnerships with Tribes to Reduce Exposures to Superfund Chemicals along the U.S.-Mexico Border – Hiram Sarabia Ramirez, University of California, San Diego
- Supporting and Empowering Communities Impacted by Toxic Waste: The Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition and the Research Translation and Outreach Core of UW-SBRP – Katie Frevert, University of Washington and BJ Cummings, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
By the end of the session, RPMs were aware of the SBRP at a national level, as well as the SBRP-funded universities in their region. The participants left the session with the knowledge that the SBRP is a scientific resource for cleanup issues and an entity that is well equipped to assist in community outreach and education.
Special thanks to Maureen Avakian, MDB, Inc., Beth Anderson, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Shelley Brodie, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7.