Community Engagement Core
Boston University School of Public Health
Residents of communities affected by exposures to hazardous substances often seek scientific, technical and legal expertise to deal with the health and environmental consequences of contamination. BUSRP believes that scientists have a responsibility to work with residents for a healthier environment and we formed the Community Engagement Core (CEC) to connect our research with community needs.
Our goal is to link scientists with community groups in affected neighborhoods to raise awareness of environmental and public health concerns, increase the utility of BUSRP research, and support residents in efforts to achieve cleaner and healthier environments. We work to reduce exposures to environmental hazards and prevent adverse health outcomes by forming partnerships, building networks and resources, and sharing our research with community advocates.
As part of our work, the CEC, Research Translation Core, and several of our research projects have been responding to concerns and engaging with the community surrounding the New Bedford Harbor in an effective interdisciplinary approach since 1995. Learn more about the history of the harbor and our work there.
The CEC partners closely with Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) and Toxics Action Center, two local community groups working with affected residents in Boston and across New England, and the Science & Environmental Health Network (SEHN), a national network using science to restore public and ecosystem health. We also operate with the active participation of BUSRP principal investigators, student trainees, and research staff.
Community Engagement Partners
Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), based in Boston, builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice.
Science & Environmental Health Network (SEHN) is a national organization that engages communities and governments in the effective application of science to protect and restore public and ecosystem health. SEHN encourages the practice of science in the public interest and the accurate interpretation of scientific information; identifies information, ethical concepts, and logic that have the potential to provoke essential change; and helps communities, organizations, and governments develop and implement sound environmental policies.
Toxics Action Center works side-by-side with communities across New England, providing residents with the skills and resources needed to prevent or clean up pollution at the local level. Toxics Action Center trains neighbors to not only defend their health and safety, but to think strategically and come together for proactive, positive change. Check out Toxics in Massachusetts: A Town-By-Town Profile, one of the products of our collaboration.
Health Studies Guide. Are you concerned about environmental health in your neighborhood? Would conducting a health study facilitate the change you want to see? The Health Studies Guide is designed to help community groups clarify questions and goals, determine whether or not a health study is an appropriate strategy to investigate an environmental health concern, and develop a strategic plan to ensure that the health study produces the information that the community wants and needs. Organized into seven chapters, the Health Studies Guide includes first person narratives, creative graphics and a glossary of useful words and terms. The Health Studies Guide reflects the efforts of many organizations including Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR), Toxics Action Center and students and faculty affiliated with Brown University SRP CEC. Want to learn more? Listen to Madeleine Scammell (CEC), Sylvia Broude of Toxics Action Center and Stephen Lester of CHEJ discuss the guide.
HEAR database. The Heath and Environment Assistance Resources (HEAR) database is a collaborative project of ACE, Toxics Action Center, and BUSPH to connect community groups with experts who are dedicated to building a cleaner, healthier environment. The database is a tool for increasing and diversifying the expertise available to community groups with environmental and public health concerns. Every day, each of our organizations is called by concerned residents seeking legal, scientific, medical and technical expertise. Through the database, we link community groups with scientists, lawyers, and experts in environmental health to form partnerships that catalyze change. Do you have expertise you can share? Include yourself in the database today.
Additional Tools for Communities. Produced by BUSRP researchers and partner organizations, these resources are useful to residents with questions or concerns about health or contamination. Check out tools for engaging youth in contemporary environmental health issues, informative factsheets (PFAS, PCBs in New Bedford, 1,4 Dioxane, and Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs), historic resident-led environmental victories and more.
- MAY 2017 CHE–BUSRP call on Spanish Translation and the Health Studies Guide
- MAY 2017 Madeleine Scammell featured in PEPH Grantee Highlight
- APR 2017 Madeleine Scammell wins ONES award
- MAR 2017 New study shows New Bedford Harbor is major source of airborne PCBs
- MAR 2017 CEC presents at Local Environmental Action conference
- JAN 2017 Share your PFAS expertise with affected communities
- JAN 2017 BUSRP hosts community engagement workshop
- DEC 2016 CHE-BUSRP call on PFAS a success
- DEC 2016 CEC and RTC Leaders meet with community surrounding New Bedford Harbor
- DEC 2016 BUSRP presents at NIEHS FEST
- DEC 2016 New factsheet for communities affected by PFAS contamination
- DEC 2016 New website for HEAR database launched
- DEC 2016 Upcoming Event: CHE–BUSRP call on health hazards and community responses to PFAS-contaminated water
- OCT 2016 9th International PCB Workshop in Japan includes plenary by Madeleine Scammell
- OCT 2016 Alaska Community Action on Toxics hosts Children’s Environmental Health Summit: Madeleine Scammell presents
- SEP 2016 SRPs meet with regulatory agencies on air monitoring project
- AUG 2016 Toxics Action Center annual staff retreat features BUSRP and the HEAR database
- AUG 2016 Chapter 3 of Health Studies Guide translated into Spanish
- AUG 2016 First chapters of Health Studies Guide are translated into Spanish
- JUL 2016 BUSRP co-hosts conference on NIEHS Superfund program
- JUL 2016 BUSRP runs Environmental Health Lab Day for Upward Bound Math Science students
- JUL 2016 Book Review: The Toxic Schoolhouse
- MAY 2016 Upcoming Event: ACE’s annual Jammin’ for Justice
- MAY 2016 BUSRP CEC Leader quoted on contamination in Midwest
- MAY 2016 Collaborative vapor intrusion study topic of latest SRP Research Brief
- APR 2016 BUSRP and Iowa SRP discuss air quality monitoring with EPA and MassDEP
- APR 2016 Upcoming Webinar Featuring BUSRP RTC and CEC
- APR 2016 What’s In Your Fish? Forum: An innovative and educational event!
- MAR 2016 Iowa SRP trainee Bailey Hadnott visits BU
- MAR 2016 Health Studies Guide Workshop at LEA 2016
- FEB 2016 Focus Group for What’s In Your Fish? Forum a Success!
- DEC 2015 Upcoming Event: CHE call on Is a Health Study the Answer for Your Community?
- DEC 2015 Meet and Greet at US EPA Atlantic Ecology Division
- NOV 2015 BUSRP Highlights from the 2015 SRP Annual Meeting
- NOV 2015 CEC attends EPA public meeting in New Bedford
- NOV 2015 New England SRPs visit EPA Region 1
- NOV 2015 CEC Leader Madeleine Scammell attends Iowa SRP EAC meeting
- OCT 2015 BUSRP and Museum plan public forum on fish with stakeholder input
- OCT 2015 BUSRP investigators participate in Research on Tap
- OCT 2015 2015-2016 EH Seminar features BUSRP Investigators
- SEP 2015 Data dialogue: scientific, organizing, and legal discussions with the community
- SEP 2015 SRP research focus of EPA Diversity Event
- SEP 2015 CEC article with partner ACE among top read in EJ Journal
- AUG 2015 Community engagement strategy underway in air monitoring study
- AUG 2015 Union of Concerned Scientists blog highlights importance of community-based research
- JUL 2015 Collaborative publication on RT/CE by BU and Iowa SRPs
- JUN 2015 SRPs and partners meet with the community to plan air monitoring study
- JUN 2015 BU and Iowa SRPs receive funding to study air-borne PCBs in response to community concern
- JUN 2015 Upcoming Event: RTC partner CHE presents A Story of Developmental Disability, A Story of Health
- MAY 2015 BUSRP at the 2015 Social Science-Environmental Health Collaborations Conference
- MAY 2015 ACE hosts EPA session on EJScreen & EJ 2020
- APR 2015 Community Responsive PCB Factsheet
- APR 2015 ACE hosts EPA session on EJScreen & EJ 2020
- APR 2015 Another Year, Another Success! LEA 2015
- FEB 2015 Upcoming Event: Local Environmental Action Conference on March 15th
- JAN 2015 CEC Leader provides all-staff training to partner TAC
- JAN 2015 Upcoming Event: RTC partner CHE presents A Story of Childhood Leukemia, a Story of Health: Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Childhood Leukemia
- NOV 2014 Congratulations MA EJ Alliance & ACE on the historic signing of the Executive Order on Environmental Justice!
- NOV 2014 CEC Leader Madeleine Scammell Awarded JPB Environmental Health Fellowship
- OCT 2014 Community Responsive Workshop & EH Clinic Pilot in New Bedford
- OCT 2014 Engaging Community at the Eighth International PCB Workshop
- OCT 2014 Gardening & Soil Analysis Workshop in Chelsea
- SEP 2014 Upcoming Workshop: A Dialogue on Cumulative Impacts in New Bedford
- SEP 2014 Second Annual EH Clinic at Malden River Festival 2014
- SEP 2014 Project 1 attends ACE’s EJ Toxic Tour!
- MAY 2014 BUSRP at EPA Regional Science Council Forum
- MAY 2014 Annual Soil Testing at City Farm Fest
- APR 2014 Soil Testing at City Farm Fest on May 10th
- APR 2014 Marine Pollution Inspiration for Falmouth High School Ceramics Class
- APR 2014 Risk Communication Planning
- MAR 2014 Water Quality and Human Health the focus of Open Classroom
- MAR 2014 BUSRP at Local Environmental Action 2014
- FEB 2014 Free Events Today: Film Screening & Water Lecture
- FEB 2014 Addressing Health Risks and Regulation of 1,4 Dioxane in Eastham, MA
- FEB 2014 Dr. Scammell presents seminar on Exposure, Risk, & Regulation
- DEC 2013 Training & Outreach Day at the Museum of Science, Boston
- NOV 2013 Free Soil Lead Testing for Community Gardners
- OCT 2013 Madeleine Scammell co-edits new book The Toxic Schoolhouse
- OCT 2013 Upcoming Event: CHE Partnership Call on Environmental Justice and the Superfund Research Program: Community Collaborations Making a Difference
- SEP 2013 Environmental Health Clinic Piloted at Malden River Fest 2013
- SEP 2013 Community Engagement Partner ACE awarded 2013 EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant
- JUL 2013 Dr. Scammell to present at Environmental Health Disparities & Environmental Justice Meeting
- JUL 2013 BUSRP participates in Museum of Science Summer Youth Interns’ Discussion with Environmental Health Experts
- JUN 2013 June 18 CHEJ Webinar on the Health Studies Guide
- MAY 2013 Health Studies Guide for community groups now available!
- MAY 2013 Exposure assessment at urban farm festival
- APR 2013 BUSRP offering soil testing at City Farm Fest on May 11
- MAR 2013 BUSRP hosts exposure assessment training for community partners
- FEB 2013 CEC partners urge extension of MA incinerator moratorium as part of “Zero Waste” Campaign
- SEP 2011 BUSRP Co-Organizer of Oct. 5 Food Safety Event at the Museum of Science
- FEB 2011 BUSRP cosponsors Environmental Action 2011
- APR 2010 “Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging” lecture video available
- JUN 2009 Nelson and Scammell speak at research translation workshop
- JUN 2009 Community Outreach Core holds web conference on communication tools
- JAN 2009 New publication from the BU SBRP Community Outreach Core
- NOV 2008 Community Outreach in New Bedford
- SEP 2008 New Research Translation and Community Outreach staff