Walt Klimecki, a University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) investigator, is the director of an environmental health sciences research-training program for UA undergraduate students who are from backgrounds that are under-represented in STEM. This summer, Klimecki and UA SRP Director Raina Maier took 11 students on a tour of the Asarco Copper Mine and Mineral Discovery Center.
The purpose of the tour was to introduce students to the complex operations of a modern mining enterprise. This experience served as a framework for a UA undergraduate course in the Fall 2015 semester that focused on the environmental health sciences impact of mining and mining byproducts. Klimecki commented, “Nothing replaces these firsthand experiences. It was a windy day with dust from the tailings blowing, and a couple of students noticed a metallic taste in their mouths. That experience was worth ten lectures on particle mobilization and respiratory deposition!”