Welcoming the 2019-2020 UA SRP Training Core!

During the Fall semester, the University of Arizona Superfund Research Project (UA SRP) welcomed eight graduate students and post docs to the Training Core: Nick Buchanan, Dominika Heusinkveld, JoRee LaFrance, Anissa McKenna, Lia Ossanna, Tania Rodriguez, Sarah Van Glubt and James Wise.

The objective of the UA SRP Training Core is to produce interdisciplinary graduates who are equipped to solve complex hazardous waste problems in the environment. Our approach to helping UA SRP Trainees develop as professionals has evolved throughout the years, crafted in partnership with former Trainees.

All Trainees will receive professional development trainings throughout the school year. Each Trainee is also required to enroll in the University of Arizona Transdisciplinary Environmental Science for Society (TESS) online program, a new program aiming to equip future generations of researchers, practitioners, political leaders and educators to confront society’s most complex environmental challenges.

The Trainees will also present their background and elevator pitch in a radio interview on local station KXCI 93.1 FM with Dr. Monica Ramierz-Andreotta as host (KXCI 93.1 FM "Thesis-Thursday") , participate in a research translation and/or community engagement activity of their choice, and have the opportunity to attend the Superfund Annual Meeting in Seattle in November 2019.

Listed below are brief biographies of our new Trainees; to learn more visit superfund.arizona.edu/our-team/trainees/ [link].

Nick Buchanan is in the Accelerated Master’s degree program in the Department of Environmental Science, mentored by Dr. Jon Chorover. Nick wants to be involved in science that makes a difference in people’s lives. He is investigating the subsurface geochemical dynamics during active phytostabilization of the Iron King legacy mine tailings.

Dominika Heusinkveld is pursuing a master’s degree in the Department of Environmental Science. Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta (Research Translation Core Director) is mentoring Heusinkveld, who is investigating lead exposure in children living near a legacy mine and copper smelter in Hayden-Winkelman, Arizona. Heusinkveld is concurrently pursuing a M.A. in the School of Journalism. She previously earned a B.S. from Emory University, a M.S. in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, and a Doctor of Medicine from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

JoRee LaFrance is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science, mentored by Dr. Karletta Chief (Community Engagement Core Director). LaFrance is studying food-energy-water interactions. She is working on the development stages of her graduate research into the impacts of agricultural contamination due to the Crow Irrigation Project in the Little Bighorn River watershed in southcentral Montana.

Anissa McKenna is a M.S. student in the Department of Environmental Science, mentored by Dr. Jon Chorover. She is researching improved methods for estimating bioaccessibility of toxic metal(oid)s in mine tailings.

Lia Ossanna is a Research Specialist working under the direction of Dr. Raina Maier (UA SRP Director) and Julia Neilson (UA SRP Investigator). She graduated with honors last May with a B.S. from the Department of Environmental Science. Her honors thesis was titled, “Nitrogen dynamics as an indicator of mine waste revegetation progress.”

Tania Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Engineering, mentored by Dr. Eduardo Saez. She is characterizing the indoor/outdoor contaminant transport of atmospheric aerosols at an active smelter in Hayden, Arizona.

Sarah Van Glubt is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science, mentored by Dr. Mark Brusseau. Sarah is investigating the retention and transport of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The aim of her research is to characterize and quantify the processes in PFAS source zones to better understand PFAS transport in complex systems. 

James Wise is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working under the direction of Dr. Donna Zhang in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. James is investigating how arsenic exposure may influence TRIM proteins leading to increased NRF2 activation. He is studying the effects of arsenic on the molecular, cellular, and pathophysiologic alterations that contribute to disease progression and expects to generate preventive and therapeutic strategies.