Another Successful Collaboration with Tohono O’odham Community College

Led by University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) associate investigator Dr. Karletta Chief and Director Dr. Raina Maier, a team of graduate students and UA SRP personnel have been partnering with Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) faculty to develop and pilot “Mining and Environmental Educational Modules for Tribal Colleges” since 2012. This spring, the team piloted additional module components.

On March 31, 2015, Dr. Chief and trainee Kimberly Danny returned to TOCC to partner with collaborator Dr. Adrian Quijada. Working with the members of his Environmental Biology class, the pair provided instruction on the basics of arsenic, a common groundwater contaminant in Arizona, and also commonly associated with mining waste. The students then partnered to develop and deliver public service announcements about arsenic exposure to their classmates. They also worked with colored water to better understand the concepts of dilution and terms such as part per million and part per billion. The lecture and interactive activities were adapted for the TOCC class by Danny, who drew from the Arsenic module in the popular UA SRP Promotora transferable training module series developed by Denise Moreno Ramírez. This module is available for download from our website.

On April 13, 2015, trainees Shelby Rader, Carime Lechner, and Lydia Jennings returned to TOCC to work with a new collaborator, Dr. Jennifer McCormack, and her Cultural Geography class. The team presented a lecture on the socio-cultural impacts of mining and led the students in a Community Survival Activity. Next, they lead a lecture and hands-on activity related to air pollution with Dr. Quijada’s Biology Concepts class. In the Air Pollution: What goes up must come down activity, the students learned concepts related to the creation, transport, and fate of particulate matter, and the dangers of unseen air pollution.

Stay tuned, the Mining and Environmental Educational Modules for Tribal Colleges should be available for download later this year!