Working with the RTC, SRP trainee Sydelle Harrison coordinated a campus visit for students from the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) on May 13-14. Students went on a campus tour, ate lunch at the Eena Haws Native American Longhouse Annual Salmon Bake, and met with Dr. Rohlman (CEC, RTC) to learn about recent tribal-university collaborations (more information available here). The tour culminated in a hands-on lab activity wherein students learned how to isolate DNA from strawberries as a proxy for understanding how SRP investigators can learn underlying genetic determinants of disease by analyzing DNA. This event was a collaborative effort between the Research Translation Core, Training Core, Administrative Core and Community Engagement Core.
Amber Kramer is a first year Chemistry Graduate student working with Dr. Staci Simonich on SRP Project 5. She is working on identifying oxidation products formed during polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) remediation.
Amber has been selected to work with Dr. Alla Zelenyuk this summerat Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to get hands on experience studying atmospheric reactions of PAHs adsorbed to secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). Many PAHs are on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) priority pollutant list. Amber has been awarded an SRP Trainee Externship Award through the SRP Training Core to support her during this training.
Dr. Zelenyuk’s group at PNNL has done extensive work with SOAs. This externship will provide training and experience for Amber to study PAH adsorption during SOA formation, as well as reactions these PAHs may undergo when exposed to atmospheric species like ozone and hydroxyl radicals. Some oxidation products of PAHs have been show to be more toxic than the original PAH, and this work along with long range transport models, will help identify U.S. populations at risk from exposure to common atmospheric PAH sources.
In collaboration with the SRP Chemistry Core, SRP trainees Holly Dixon and Greta Frey (CEC) worked with Drs. Rohlman and Kile on a passive wristband project. Following a significant air quality incident last year, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community was interested in the passive wristband samplers developed by Dr. Kim Anderson. This year, the community recruited 10 individuals to each wear a wristband for one week. The wristbands were analyzed for 62 different PAHs, and results were returned to those participants that requested them. The study will be repeated in the fall with the same participants, as the community is interested in seasonal changes in air quality.
The Community Engagement Core is collaborating with Dr. Staci Simonich (Core D) and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to begin an ambient air sampling project.
April 2016 Update
Dr. Simonich and three trainees, Drs. Cleo Davie-Martin, Courtney Roper (Training grant) and Amber Kramer returned to La Conner with Dr. Rohlman (CEC) to meet again with Mr. Larry Campbell for a second cultural tour. Following the tour, SRP researchers met with Swinomish staff to deploy two high-volume air quality monitors. The deployment included hands-on training. The training was recorded for incoming Swinomish technicians that will be collaborating on the project. Sampling will continue over the course of this year.
January 2016 Update
Drs. Simonich, Rohlman and Harding, along with SRP trainees Dr. Cleo Davie-Martin and Amber Kramer met with Dr. Tony Basabe (Air Quality Analyst) at the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to evaluate two sites that would hold high-volume air samplers. These samplers would collect particulate matter (PM2.5) and the particulate matter can also be assessed for the types of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). See our video here about PAHs. The community is concerned about air quality as a result of their proximity to two oil refineries. Our collaborators at Swinomish were familiar with the study performed with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Lafontaine et al. 2015). One sampler will be placed at the Northwest Indian College site within the reservation, and a second one will be placed on the grounds of the Swinomish Indian Casino and Lodge. During their visit, co-investigator and Historical Preservation Officer, Larry Campbell gave them a cultural tour of the Swinomish reservation including a brief history of tribe, their land, their culture and their beliefs. The air quality monitors will be placed in April 2016 and sampling will continue over the course of this year.
(From left to right) Dr. Basabe shows the site where a air sampler will be placed at the Northwest Indian College to Dr. Simonich (Core D) and her post-doc, Dr. Cleo Davie-Martin and Dr. Harding (Core E).
Lafontaine S, Schrlau J, Butler J, Jia Y, Harper B, Harris S, et al. 2015. Relative influence of trans-pacific and regional atmospheric transport of pahs in the pacific northwest, u.S. Environmental science & technology.
With the snowstorm burying the East Coast, the snow itself has come under scrutiny. Children (and adults!) love to eat the white stuff, with some even using it in recipes. Snow looks beautiful and clean, but how safe is it? Dr. Staci Simonich suggests you might not want to eat the snow. Surprisingly, snow can carry pesticides, attracting the chemicals from the air and soil. On the plus side, the can help remove air pollutants. For more information, Dr. Simonich’s research has been featured in the news, most notably on NPR. Links are listed below.
- Snow cones fresh from the sky [NPR] http://www.npr.org/2016/01/24/464180347/snow-cones-fresh-from-the-sky-listeners-share-recipes
- You should not eat snow, explains new study [Epoch Times] http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1944877-you-should-not-eat-snow-explains-new-study/
- Snow Storm season – 3 things to know [Latinos Health] http://www.latinoshealth.com/articles/17111/20160125/snow-storm-season-3-things.htm