Designing a Comprehensive, Integrated Approach for Environmental Research Translation: The Gardenroots Project to Empower Communities Neighboring Contamination
AuthorRamirez-Andreotta, Monica D.
Public participation in scientific research
Soil, Water & Environmental Science
Environmental Research Translation
AdvisorBrusseau, Mark L.
Maier, Raina M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractChallenges at hazardous waste and contaminated sites are persistent, complex, and multifactorial, and unfortunately the progress in implementing solutions is slow. This delay can be attributed to the lack of collaboration, information transfer to the end-user, and partnership building among academia, government and the affected community. As a solution, Environmental Research Translation (ERT), a framework that is rooted in existing participatory models, and encompasses many of the key principles from informal science education and community-based participatory research is proposed. The ERT framework lead to a community-academic partnership called: Gardenroots: The Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona Garden Project. Vegetable gardening in contaminated soils presents a health hazard. A controlled greenhouse study was conducted in parallel with a co-created citizen science program to characterize the uptake of arsenic by homegrown vegetables near the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in Arizona. Community members, after training, collected soil, water and vegetable samples from their household garden. The greenhouse and home garden arsenic soil concentrations ranged from 2.35 to 533 mg kg⁻¹. In the greenhouse experiment four vegetables were grown in three different soil treatments and a total of 63 home garden produce samples were obtained from 19 properties neighboring the site. All vegetables accumulated arsenic, ranging from 0.01 - 23.0 mg kg⁻¹ dry weight. Bioconcentration factors were determined and arsenic uptake decreased in the order: Asteraceae > Brassicaceae >> Amaranthaceae > Cucurbitaceae > Liliaceae > Solanaceae > Fabaceae. Concentrations of arsenic measured in potable water, soils and vegetable samples were used in conjunction with reported US intake rates to calculate daily dose, excess cancer risk and Hazard Quotient for arsenic. Relative arsenic intake dose decreased in order: potable water > garden soils > well washed homegrown vegetables, and on average, each accounted for 79, 14 and 7%, of a residential gardener's daily arsenic intake dose. The IELCR ranges for vegetables, garden soils and potable water were 10⁻⁸ to 10⁻⁴, 10⁻⁶ to 10⁻⁴; and 10⁻⁵ to 10⁻², respectively. The ERT framework improved environmental health research, information transfer, and risk communication efforts. Incorporating the community in the scientific process lead to individual learning and community-level outcomes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science