Supplement: Empowering Concerned Communities with Validated Approaches to Environmental Citizen Science

Grants and Contracts Details


The Community Engagement Cores (CECs) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-funded Centers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) (Center for Environmental Genetics; CEG), and University of Kentucky (UK) (Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences; CARES) have a successful history of developing citizen science toolkits for environmental health community-engaged research (CEnR), and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the classroom. We propose to expand our existing well-established air and water sampling toolkits to add two new citizen science toolkits, for soil collection and home radon testing, for community and classroom/home use by achieving the following three specific aims: Aim 1: Develop and pilot test a citizen science soil collection toolkit for metal analysis for use by community members at multiple sites in OH, KY, and PA. We will evaluate the usability of the soil collection toolkit and validate the samples by in situ multi-metal analysis; Aim 2: Develop and pilot test a family-centered home radon testing toolkit designed for classroom education with youth and teachers at high schools in KY and OH. We will evaluate the usability of the radon testing toolkit and validate at the Kentucky sites using in situ soil radon gas measurements in a collaboration with the KY Geological Survey; and Aim 3: Determine effective report-back strategies for community residents and expand the existing online graphical user interface for water data to include soil and radon data. Each new toolkit will include an instruction manual with easy-to-read instructions accompanied by pictures or graphics to illustrate the steps. Protocols will be tailored for community members and youth in schools. In addition, we will expand our existing online graphical user interface for water data to include entry and mapping for soil and radon. All products will be shared through the Partnerships in Environmental Public Health (PEPH) Resource Library and through jointly authored manuscripts prepared for publication in open access peer-reviewed journals.
Effective start/end date5/1/173/31/20


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


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