Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, Superfund Research Program Training Core graduate student and former Research Translation Coordinator, recently received a $15,000 EPA grant in support of her Gardenroots citizen-science program. Each year, the EPA’s Office of Research and Development provides funds to support a select number of extramural projects nominated by regional EPA Superfund and Technical Liaisons (STLs). Selected projects are expected to have an intimate connection to Superfund issues. In response to concern in the Dewey-Humboldt, AZ community regarding metal contamination from the neighboring Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund site, Mrs. Ramírez-Andreotta developed a research project to determine the metal content of vegetables grown in soils with elevated metals, such as arsenic and lead. Collaborators Mike Gill, EPA Region 9 STL, and Leah Butler, past EPA Region 9 Project Manager, sponsored Mrs. Ramírez-Andreotta’s Gardenroots project application.
The Gardenroots project combines controlled greenhouse studies with citizen-science training designed to inform and engage community members as they collect home-grown vegetables, soil, and water samples for analysis. Projected outcomes of the project include future reduction of metal exposure via increased understanding of metals uptake by edible plants, and empowerment of the community to become ambassadors for the environment in their own communities. Funding received from the EPA will cover the costs of supplies and laboratory analyses. Please join us in congratulating Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta on the award of the Gardenroots grant.