NEWS FROM OUR TEAM
Beat the heat - phone survey to examine how risk to heat-related illness this summer is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
One hundred and one participants in Birmingham, Alabama and Wilcox County, Alabama participated in the phone survey. They informed us of the methods they used to stay cool in previous summers and this summer so far. We aim to find whether the COVID-19 pandemic impacts their heat mitigation behaviors. A summary of results will be posted soon!
Environmental advocacy work in North Birmingham going strong despite the pandemic
Pop up Market, Photo courtesy of Keisha Brown
Right to Breathe Caravan, Photo courtesy of Keisha Brown
Interactive workshops on climate and health were held in Camden, AL and Birmingham, AL on Sept 19th and 20th. A summary of results will be posted soon!
Camden, Sep 19th, 2019
Birmingham, Sep 20th, 2019
Keisha featured in The Washington Post!
ENACT Group Grant Writing Retreat
The community advisory board members and research team worked together to plan for the future of the group. We thoroughly enjoyed the retreat at the 4-H Center, Columbiana, AL.
Great work, Keisha!
Keisha has been BUSY advocating for her community. Check out these articles by al.com which describe her work and keep you updated on the status of the cleanup efforts in North Birmingham.
Congrats, ENACT group members!
Suwei, Anabel, Ben, Molly, and Julia attended the American Geophysical Union Fall Annual Meeting. They presented 2 posters and one oral presentation. All were well received! They also learned a lot about other relevant and exciting work going on related to this project!
Michael, Julia, Anna, Ben, and Linsey along with collaborator Daniel Gallagher recently published "Potential for city parks to reduce exposure to BTEX in air" in Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. Please find the article below for details!
Michael is currently working with the California Air Resources Board. We wish him all the best in his efforts to improve air quality in California!
The Obesity Society Annual Conference
Molly presented a poster of the preliminary results from the sub-study focusing on glycemic control in participants with type 2 diabetes. She received positive comments on the feasibility of the potential intervention of time spent outdoors on glycemic control, physical activity, and heat exposure.
Thanks to the ENACT group members on great representation in the 2018 Community Engagement Institute!
Photo: Susie Davies
Photo: Susie Davies
Sheila, Ethel, Keisha, Kirsten, Mary, and Molly all participated in the Community Engagement Institute "Building Bridges for Better Health through Engaging Communities" on October 12, 2018 in Birmingham, AL.
In particular, they represented the ENACT group in breakout sessions, engaging conversations, and the poster session.
They contributed insight in particular to "The Role of Social Justice in Building Bridges for Better Health."
Sheila and Molly presented a poster "A Community-engaged approach to understanding environmental health priorities in urban and rural Alabama" to communicate the recent 2018 workshop results and the history of the partnership through the River of Life.
Photo: Molly Richardson
Photo: Molly Richardson
Congrats Molly on the Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Postdoctoral Category at the Samford University Nutrition Symposium. She presented "A feasibility study to examine whether time spent outdoors during summer affects acute daily fasting blood glucose and steps."
Congrats on a great panel discussion!
The Black Belt Institute in it's 15th year was well-attended by community members including ENACT CAB members!
The panel discussion on Civic Engagement and Health was organized by Ethel and Mary and moderated by Sheryl. Panel members were: Sheila Tyson, John Moton, and Michael Hansen.
Julia and Molly gave a presentation on updated results from Summer 2017 data collection and the Spring 2018 workshops.
We are excited to announce the addition of a new member of our team!
Suwei Wang is joining us to contribute the environmental health research under the mentorship of Dr. Julia Gohlke. She is a 2nd-year doctoral student from Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health (TBMH) program at Virginia Tech. She begins by analyzing the personal temperature monitoring data collected in Alabama.
Welcome to our member, Suwei! We all look forward to working with you!
Anna successfully defended her dissertation “Improved Understanding of the Urban Heat Island through Observations and Models.”
Anna also is the founder and CEO of Troposphere Monitoring. They are working on building affordable environmental monitors for people who need to know what they're breathing. This summer, they are in Austin, TX for a startup company incubator/ accelerator program.
We wish her all the best on her new adventure and are excited to keep in touch!
Connor has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Social Sciences-Geography at Troy University. He has spent time in Alabama through this project and will move to Montgomery in July.
The Alabama team members will welcome him and he will continue to be a part of this collaboration as his new position allows.
Birmingham Neighborhoods USA Presentation
Sheila, Clarice, Mary, and Molly represented the group at Birmingham Neighborhoods USA. Their session "How to Work with Research Institutions to Address Issues Your Community Sees as Priority" was well-received.
Photo: Emily Ingram
Spring Community Workshops
The ENACT group held workshops in Birmingham, AL at the Memorial Park Rec Center in Birmingham, AL and at Gee's Bend Ferry Terminal in Wilcox County, AL May 7th and 8th. The workshops were well-attended with 23 resident participants in Birmingham and 30 in Wilcox County. We discussed results from previous workshops and studies. We presented the results of the temperature and air quality studies conducted the previous summer (2017). They also filled out a questionnaire. We also sought input on future directions with the Keeping the River Flowing group activity where participants drew where and how they would like to see the ENACT group help to improve their communities.
We appreciate the time and efforts of the participants and look forward to our next workshop soon!
Photo: Mary Evans
Photo: Mary Evans
Photo: Emily Ingram
Photo: Mary Evans
April and May 2018
Michael has had a very busy and successful spring! He won first place at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department's Research Day for his poster presentation, "Potential for City Parks to Reduce Exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants." In addition, he successfully defended his thesis under the same name. Michael's research looked at whether concentrations of four hazardous air pollutants (called BTEX) around three communities in Birmingham and one community in Camden were lower in nearby parks. He has now graduated with his Master of Science in Civil Engineering. We look forward to great things in Michael's future as he pursues a career in air quality monitoring and assessment.
Many Congrats to Michael!
March and April 2018
Steven D. Black, a Masters of Public Health student in the Department of Population Health Sciences, along with Connor, Molly, and Julia investigated the effect of perceived neighborhood crime on individual heat exposure. He presented his preliminary findings at poster sessions at an internal college symposium and at the Virginia Public Health Association Meeting in Lynchburg, VA. His poster presentations were met with thoughtful questions and encouragement!
Virginia Public Health Association Meeting
Special Session at APHA
Nov 16, 2017
The ENACT group was well represented at the American Public Health Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA Nov 2017. There were lots of great questions regarding the community partnerships, research results, and next steps!
Photo: Hannah Menefee
Engage for Equity
Sheryl, Sheila, Julia, and Mary attended a workshop called Engage for Equity at the Center for Participatory Research, University of New Mexico. They worked on tools to strengthen the community-engaged research partnership. One example is the mapping of the historical timeline of the partnership through the Rive of Life (shown right).
Coming soon: Special Session at APHA Nov 2017
August 21, 2017
Community-engaged research in urban and rural settings:
Identifying environmental priorities and measuring exposure
We are so excited to have so many team members present, moderate, and otherwise represent the ENACT group at the APHA Conference in Atlanta, GA Nov 2017.
Environmental Heat Exposure among Pet Dogs in Rural and Urban Counties of the South
Kaya presented her poster at the Boehring-Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Symposium at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD.
She is currently working on further analyzing the data and plans to publish her research under the mentorship of Dr. Gohlke.
She is also continuing her studies to become a veterinarian at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in Tuskegee, AL.
Congrats, Kaya on all your hard work!
Coming soon: A collaborative commentary on personal heat exposure
August 21, 2017
Connor, Mary, and Julia worked with Paul Wolff at UAB to compare a phone survey which compared environmental health priorities for residents versus environmental health professionals.
Connor Y.H. Wu, Mary B. Evans, Paul E. Wolff, & Julia M. Gohlke (2017). Environmental Health Priorities of Residents and Environmental Health Professionals: Implications for Improving Environmental Health Services in Rural Versus Urban Communities. Journal of Environmental Health (Accepted in March 2017 and published in December 2017)
Once the article is published in December, we'll post a link so everyone can read it!
Now Available: A collaborative commentary on personal heat exposure
Anna, Ben, Julia, and Molly worked with a diverse group of researchers on this recently published paper. The commentary represents a collaboration of more than a dozen researchers across the United States who have recently or are currently engaged in the study of personal heat exposure.
We are pleased to announce that commentary “Opportunities and Challenges for Personal Heat Exposure Research,” is now publicly available.
In the commentary, they describe some of their recent experiences investigating this topic, which we anticipate will be valuable information to many colleagues in the field who are newly embarking on personal heat exposure research or seeking to incorporate perspectives from such studies into their work.
APHA Special Session
November 30, 2016
Sheila represented the group at a special section of the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in October in Denver. She presented "A Community partner perspective on personal heat exposure measurement in urban and rural Alabama"
Julia also represented our group at this session. She organized and moderated discussions on "Informing climate change adaptation strategies through community-engaged research on personal heat exposure."
Molly's paper from her pilot study examining food intake in a warm or standard office environment is published!