What is Research Translation: UA SBRP Informs the Next Generation

For the first time ever, The University of Arizona’s Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department is offering a Spring 2009 course entitled: “Translating Environmental Science”. During the development of this course, UA SBRP Research Translation Core (RTC) Director, Mark Brusseau, provided instructor, Dr. Melanie Lenart, with insight, course topic ideas, and crucial technology and information transfer elements that need to be considered when discussing research translation.

In addition, on March 10, 2009, Dr. Brusseau and RTC Coordinator, Monica Ramirez, gave a presentation entitled: “Translating Environmental Science and Hazardous Waste Sites: Environmental Contamination and Human Health Risk”. This presentation outlined how the UA SBRP conducts Research Translation and applies a holistic, multiple-component approach, which fundamentally consists of collaborations and partnerships between site owners, regulators and community members. Case studies were presented regarding the work at the Tucson International Airport Area (a federal Superfund site), CampCIENCIAS (an environmental science summer for AZ-Mexico border high school students) and Promotora (community advocates) trainings. In order to emphasize the sociological factors and challenges that surround hazardous waste sites, Dr. Brusseau and Ms. Ramirez stressed the importance of community-based participatory research principles, as well as elements of public participation and human capital social theory within each case study.

At the end of the presentation, many students had questions regarding the UA SBRP Research Translation Core, and how to pursue a career in this multi-disciplinary field. The RTC looks forward to future opportunities to inform and educate the next generation of environmental scientists and Research Translation Specialists