Environmental Health News

People and Places, Winter 2018

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The Mongolian delegation stands with members of DEOHS Continuing Education program in front of a bus wearing construction site safety gear.

The Mongolian delegation poses for a photo with members of the DEOHS Continuing Education program during their visit.


Courtesy of DEOHS Continuing Education.


DEOHS welcomes Mongolian delegation for five-day road construction safety course

The DEOHS Continuing Education program designed a custom-made training course for a group of road construction safety professionals and union representatives from Mongolia, where construction is underway on Mongolia's first national highway construction project. Their visit to Seattle included a site visit to the Interstate 405 Direct Connector project and sessions on working safely at night, stopping work when an employee spots a hazard and more.

New funding expands DEOHS research on possible pathogen transmission between primates and humans in Nepal

DEOHS Professor Marilyn Roberts received grant funding to continue a study examining contact between humans and primates at shrines and parks in Nepal and whether it enables transmission of infections, including the deadly MRSA infection.

Many of the primates are listed as endangered or vulnerable, and the study aims to determine whether primates are being infected with bacterial diseases from people visiting the shrines and whether people may be at risk of infection from the primates. Abstracts may be presented this spring.

University of Ottawa scholar collaborates with DEOHS professor on cross-border food security and environmental health study

Visiting scholar Dr. Laurie H.M. Chan is collaborating with Professor Elaine Faustman on a four-month comparative study on food security and environmental health issues between First Nations in British Columbia, Canada, and Native American tribes in the state of Washington.

Dr. Chan, professor and Canada research chair in toxicology and environmental health from the University of Ottawa, is a recipient of the Fulbright Scholar award from the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program.

DEOHS faculty, staff attend 2018 Cascadia symposium

Professor Noah Seixas presented the keynote address at the 2018 Cascadia symposium on environmental, occupational and population health in January. He spoke on “Defining Precarious Work: Implications for Mental Health.”

The annual conference brings together universities in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia to facilitate cross-border collaborations and learning. Other DEOHS attendees included research scientist Kit Galvin, PNASH Center manager Marcy Harrington, Professor Peter Johnson and Nancy Simcox, director of continuing education programs.



PNASH Center sponsors upcoming poster session

The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center will host a poster session at the Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health in Seattle February 22–24. The conference brings together health professionals from migrant and community health centers and allied organizations for education, training, coalition-building and program and policy development.

The poster session will be held on February 22. Conference registration is available here.

Toxicology students recognized

Four DEOHS students received awards at the 2017 Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists annual meeting.

PhD students Joseph Dempsey and Cindy Yanfei Li received outstanding platform presentation awards. Josi Herron received an outstanding graduate student poster award. Natalya Matlashchuk received an outstanding undergraduate poster award. Read more.

Mini-symposium held on microbiomes and environmental health

A mini-symposium on January 24, 2018, marked the first event held by the department’s Environmental Health/Microbiome initiative. Speakers included DEOHS Associate Professor Peter Rabinowitz and Professor Matthew Redinbo of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of microbiomes in environmental and occupational health and to stimulate new interactions and collaborative research.

DEOHS lecturer, student co-author study on government’s social media use during disasters

DEOHS Lecturer Nicole Errett and former DEOHS student Katie Scott (‘16) recently co-authored a research study published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice about the use of social media communications by government agencies during the 2016 Louisiana floods. They found that most social media posts contained information related to situational awareness and recovery resources, yet few posts were made in languages other than English. Read more.

DEOHS student wins endowed fellowship award

DEOHS PhD student Rachel Shaffer was awarded the UW School of Public Health endowed fellowship award. Read more.

DEOHS welcomes new Environmental Health Laboratory Director

Shar Samy is the new director of the department's Environmental Health Laboratory and the Trace Organics Analysis Center. Shar has years of experience managing complex analytical chemistry services in the private sector and previously worked with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research Development (ORD) as a research fellow.

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