BJ Cummings and her 2020 book, The River That Made Seattle: A Human and Environmental History of the Duwamish, were awarded the Virginia Marie Folkins Award for outstanding historical publication by the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) in a virtual awards ceremony in May.
On May 4th, UW SRP’s Community Engagement Manager, BJ Cummings, moderated a panel titled "Community-Led Partnerships for Environmental Justice in the Duwamish Valley." The event was hosted by the UW’s EarthLab as part of their 2020-21 Environmental Justice Salon Series and featured speakers from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and Port Community Action Team, as well as the Director of Seattle Public Utilities, Mami Hara.
UW SRP hosts presentation on Lower Duwamish Superfund Site sedimentation research by investigators for agency and community stakeholders.
Investigators in the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have been conducting research on sedimentation dynamics that are critical to the “natural recovery” of portions of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. On April 28th, doctoral student Maggie McKeon and faculty researcher Alexander Horner-Devine presented the results of their recent investigation of sedimentation rates and transportation dynamics within the Duwamish Superfund site and their implications for the selected remedy of natural recovery over large portions of the site.
UW SRP co-hosted the 12th annual Summit of the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition (NWTCC) in May. NWTCC is a long-standing community partner of the UW SRP. The organization works to empower communities impacted by toxic waste by sharing resources, information and support for cleanup efforts throughout the northwest states (EPA’s Region 10).
Dr. Jacqueline Garrick says the most important thing about her dissertation research is the fact that it opened so many doors for future research. Dr. Garrick studies Paraoxonase 2 (PON2), an antioxidative enzyme that's found all over the body in many different tissue types and is in particularly high concentrations in the heart and lungs.
Up until recently, PON2 was understood to be found in the mitochondria and to play a role in protecting cells from oxidative stress.
A new paper by researchers on the University of Washington Superfund Research Program Project 3 describes in detail an improved protocol for characterizing some of the features of Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) that help it provide protection from exposure to certain contaminants and affect susceptibility to disease. Unlike the previously existing protocol, the one reported does not depend on highly toxic substrates and can be carried out in any lab.
When UW SRP researchers found new evidence that environmental contamination from a former smelter may pose a threat to human health, they were careful to inform their agency partners in advance of publication. This advance notice allowed them a chance to coordinate the necessary risk communication before engaging with potentially affected populations.
In the fall of 2020, our partner community group, Juntos Podemos Ciudar Nuestro Rio Duwamish (Juntos), held a series of three webinars for fishers in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Khmer using videos that we helped create to teach how to safely and legally catch and prepare salmon from the Duwamish River. Because salmon spend only a small portion of their life in the Duwamish River, they are the safest fish to eat from the polluted waterway.
On November 9th, trainees Hao Wang and Megumi Matsushita presented at the Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists (PANWAT) regional meeting.
Cadmium exposure disrupts the formation of new neurons in a part of the brain responsible for learning and memory
To date, research into the development of Alzheimer's Disease has focused primarily on genetics. Less attention has been given to the role of environmental exposures. However, research from UW SRP Project 2, carried out in the lab of Zhengui Xia, suggested that exposures to contaminants are also relevant, and, surprisingly, that cadmium may play an important role.