Alma Lizette Anides Morales

Graduate Student, PhD


Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta


Environmental Science


Using a Community Needs and Assets Survey to Build an Environmental Health Mapping Tool
for Arizona Communities

Environmental justice work stems from the acknowledgement that communities of people of color and low-income face disproportionate environmental risk burdens.  A community’s ability to withstand, respond to, and adapt to the environmental health challenges that negatively impact quality of life is determined by its community resiliency.  In this study, a state-wide Community Needs and Assets online survey asked Arizona residents to determine which factors and the degree to which these contribute to the vulnerability and resiliency experienced in their communities.  Results from this survey will be used to inform vulnerability and resiliency indices in an online environmental health mapping tool by the name of HOWL (Health Opportunity Wellness Landscape). Furthermore, indices will incorporate local, state, and federal datasets along with environmental quality data of water, soil, and plant metal(loid) concentrations collected by community-based citizen science projects in mining communities throughout Arizona. Creating standardization and improving accessibility among these related, but often isolated datasets, can help with hypothesis generation and improve our understanding of community resiliency and vulnerability.  Our objective is for HOWL to serve as a tool for community members, policy makers and researchers to visualize and address environmental health disparities in Arizona.