Following participation of the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) at the Mining Profile Event in April 2014, the UA SRP was invited to present at the Southern Arizona Business Coalition’s monthly luncheons. This group was created to promote “the development and growth of sustainable, responsible economic opportunities in southern Arizona,” and is very interested in mining as an economic driver in Arizona. The monthly luncheon is attended by up to 200 local business people.
UA SRP Director Raina Maier kicked off the series of presentations on April 11 with an overview of the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining (CESM), an industry/academic cooperative created by the UA SRP in partnership with the UA Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources. On May 9, UA SRP Community Engagement Coordinator Denise Moreno Ramírez offered the group a sometimes overlooked perspective, delivering a presentation on the importance of community engagement in sustainable mining approaches. Julie Nielson, a UA SRP associate investigator, described revegetation research being performed at mining sites as part of the CESM industry/academic cooperative on June 13. UA SRP graduate trainee Michael Stovern wrapped up the series for 2014 with a presentation of his dissertation research on mine tailings dust and dust modeling on July 11.
The UA SRP relationship with the Southern Arizona Business Coalition has continued into 2015. On February 13, UA SRP collaborator Mary Poulton, Director of the UA Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources, attended the group’s 2015 Mining Appreciation Day event to highlight the close collaborations that are developing between the University of Arizona and the mining industry to address environmental and social issues important for sustaining development of mining in Arizona.