October 20th - Lunch - Special Interest Group: Measuring Environmental Health Literacy
Environmental health literacy (EHL) is an emerging framework that defines the knowledge and skills that prepare people to make environmentally healthy and protective decisions for themselves, their families and their communities, using available environmental data. Working knowledge of environmental health sciences is critical for people to be able to generalize from one environmental exposure to others. The ability to accurately interpret science-related knowledge is an important dimension of EHL and should inform an individual’s ability to locate and use new information to understand the impact of additional exposures. Measurement of EHL may also include assessment of self-efficacy for health-protective behaviors, especially where behavior change is an identified outcome.
Kathleen M. Gray, PhD, MSPH
Research Associate Professor, UNC Institute for the Environment
Kathleen M. Gray, PhD, MSPH, is a research associate professor in the UNC Institute for the Environment and directs the Center for Public Engagement with Science, which has a mission of enhancing public understanding of current environmental science and health research and its relevance to daily life. She also leads community engagement activity for two NIH-funded research centers in UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gray has over 20 years of experience conducting environmental health education with community audiences and assisting businesses and government agencies in making sustainable choices. Prior to joining UNC, she led an assessment of NC’s recycling industry for the Division of Pollution Prevention in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, advised over 300 businesses in expanding their use of environmentally responsible products and services for Green Seal, assisted EPA’s voluntary environmental programs in developing and evaluating educational materials, and led a community-focused environmental health program at Vanderbilt University.
Anna Goodman Hoover, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky College of Public Health
Anna Goodman Hoover, PhD, is an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. A communication researcher, her work incorporates the impact of both knowledge gaps and legacy distrust on the capacity of at-risk populations to understand health hazards and take protective action. Her recent work in Appalachian environmental health literacy has surfaced a need for more accessible, understandable, audience-centered information to help people protect themselves from diseases linked to environmental exposures. Much of her research and professional service center on developing and implementing processes that encourage community-engaged, evidence-informed health decisions.
Marti Lindsay, PhD
Marti Lindsey’s PhD is in information Science. She has studied EHL for fifteen years, describing the knowledge and skill items that define EHL. She collaborates with basic and clinical scientists, integrating public health outreach and translational opportunities with environmental health sciences research. She draws upon her experiences with teaching, toxicology, and community engagement, to share information resulting from the research of toxicologists and environmental health scientists with public, tribal, and the K-12 education communities. Important to her work is to inform people in plain language about the health effects of environmental pollution, without causing distress.
Ben Richmond, MPH
Ben Richmond, MPH leads a wide range of programming that aims to promote environmental health literacy (EHL). This includes the youth programming efforts of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona with programs that target students as young as 5th grade to community college students and engages them in university research and environmental health science. In addition, Ben works on EHL research projects that aim to discover best practices in risk communication and communicating complex environmental health research in general to the public.
Research Assistant, UNC Institute for the Environment
Victoria is passionate about promoting understanding of environmental and health science among lay publics. She supports multiple environmental health projects by developing activities and materials to engage professional and public audiences. Her experience with qualitative and quantitative analysis enables her to play a vital role in research initiatives and program evaluation, on topics ranging from EHL to Healthy Homes.