Cutting Edge > Topics > Geology and Human Health > Workshop 04 > Participants

Participant List


Participants at geology and human health workshop

Conveners

Catherine Skinner, Yale University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:

I teach and have a research appointment in the Geology and Geophysics Dept. Yale University as well as a joint appointment in the Yale Medical School Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation.

I set up a laboratory in the Orthopedics Department at the Yale Medical School to study bones and teeth as a mineralogist, that is by investigating the calcium phosphate system that is the mineral portion of vertebrate tissues. I have many papers on bones/teeth, their histology, mineralization and demineralization mechanisms.

In addition to investigations on normal and abnormal, or pathological, calcium phosphates and carbonates, I have studied biological precipitation of iron and manganese oxyhydroxides, the hazards of asbestos minerals, and with four collaborators completed the 8th Edition of DANA'S SYSTEM OF MINERALOGY, the classic reference book that includes all known minerals. I continue to utilize the latest analytical methods and techniques that make possible more precise determinations of the inorganic phases in living tissues, and collaborate with others on the organic and biologic molecular moieties found in a range of living forms and in the environment. My background at the atomic and molecular levels allows me to focus on the dynamic processes that involve mineral materials from their formation by earth processes to the growth, development, aging and pathology of mineralized tissues in a range of life forms from microbes to humans.

My present teaching commitments, in addition to working with graduate students on fossil, or modern medical problems, is a course I constructed which is presently called 'Minerals in the Biosphere.' It demonstrates the links and parallels between Geology with life forms, and focuses on environmental health issues. The class integrates mineralogy, geochemistry, paleontology, and the basic science side of orthopaedics and pathology. Not surprisingly I am intrigued by the larger questions such as how life forms 'fit' into the environment and how we humans have become the major force on planet earth. Since we humans rely on the earth for everything, our requirements are to extract, transport and consume the resources of our planet. The information presented in the course allows students to construct models that relate the interactions of geobiochemical data (atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) with that of the health of plants, animals and humans. Each student elects a particular element and follows it from the geoenvironment into the human body. Such independent investigations requires them to understand the natural transport mechanisms and element cycles and ask questions about the mechanisms that bring all the essential (and some hazardous) elements into our body. My goal is to make them aware of the vast amount of data available from diverse sources that must be considered as we make decisions for the earth and its inhabitants.


Jean Bahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have been teaching a senior/graduate level course in Contaminant Hydrogeology since 1987. This course focuses primarily on contaminant transport and transformation processes in groundwater systems rather than on the health effects of the contaminants. However, human health effects of such contamination are an important motivation for practical and research applications in contaminant hydrogeology. I also teach an undergraduate, non-major course in environmental geology. That course touches on anthropogenic contamination of surface and ground water as well as natural and anthropogenic sources of radiation hazards, all of which have human health implications. My research program has included studies of both anthropogenic and "geogenic" sources of groundwater contamination, with investigations of naturally occurring sources of radium, radon and arsenic in Wisconsin groundwater as examples of the latter category.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I'd be interested in modules/case studies that could be used both in my contaminant course as well as in an environmental geology course that I offer for undergraduate, non-majors.

Jill Singer, Buffalo State College

David Mogk, Montana State University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Class activities on asbestos in mineralogy and environmental geology. Research on As speciation in gold mine tailings.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Databases and images related to health issues.

Invited Speakers

Scott Bair, Ohio State University, Columbus
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
For the past 7-8 years, a group of graduate students and I have been working on determining the concentrations of TCE and PCE that residents of Woburn, Massachusetts were exposed to from 1964 to 1979 when the infamous pair of municipal wells G and H were operating. We now have a contaminant transport model linked to a water distribution model of the city water mains. This enables us to estimate the exposure of TCE and PCE of every household in Woburn. I have developed a number of homework assignments using well logs, water levels, stream flows, and groundwater quality data that enable students to make geologic cross sections, potentiometric maps, and other graphs and plots. I also have developed a series of EXCEL spreadsheets that enable students to use or create 1-D and 2-D flow and transport models. The combination of these materials enables students to appreciate what the expert witnesses in the famous "A Civil Action" trial did and how the testimony of these witnesses varied, even though they shared a common data base. I would like to develop more assignments using our residential exposure data that we have just finished. To do this, I need the help of toxicologists and/or epidemiologists to teach me more about exposure analysis and the statistical methods used to compare the plaintiffs exposures to a control group.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I think groundwater and surface water exposures are obvious pathways that most people are interested in and which geologists can help provide toxicologists with exposure data. The impact of soil chemistry on crops and human uptake is another pathway. Certainly fertilizer and pesticide application on crops and human uptake is another concern which offers a great deal of geologic diversity across the country in terms of crops, climates, soils, etc.

Barry Boyer, SUNY Buffalo
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Co-Presenter (with Jill Singer) on use of local environmental controversies in the classroom.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Would like to find good materials that make basic hyrdrogeological concepts understandable for non-scientists.

Lynn Chyi, University of Akron

Gus Davis, Yale University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:

Private practice of pathology, and Clinical Professor of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine. Currently half time research/education track and Professor in Program in Applied Mathematics, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests: Hyperspectral imaging for quantitation and diagnosis pathology, carbon monoxide in the metropolitan St Louis population (NSF), virus infection and neonatal development of the ear (NIH)


Laura Gehrig, LSUHSC-Shreveport

Mickey Gunter, University of Idaho
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have given a one-hour lecture in my Geol 101 class on "health effects of inhaled mineral dust" for 14 years. During this time I have also given about 40-50 seminars in North America about that subject, 1/2 as a MSA lecturer. I also developed and taught a course called "Minerals and Human Helath." The main theme of this course was to discuss the interactions, both positive and negative, about interactions of mienrals in the human body.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I think the more intro levels are the most important. When one of us (i.e., a geologist) tries to learn about human health the resources seem to be over our heads - at least mine. So the first thing we need to do is to educate faculty who want to teach this subject.

Yan Zheng, Queens College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Currently I am investigating the mechanism resulting in Arsenic enrichment in Bangladesh groundwater with support from NIEHS SBRP program. An estimated 25-50 million people in Bangladesh alone was exposed to unsafe level of arsenic in their drinking water, which primarily was drawn from shallow tube well. I have used my research experience to teach a capstone course, "Environmental Problem Solving" for environmental science and environmental studies major at Queens College
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
drinking water quality and public health

Workshop Participants

Janice Barlow, Marin Breast Cancer Watch
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am part of a very successful community-based non-profit organization founded by women with breast cancer and who are dedicated to finding the causes for Marin County's historically high incidence of breast cancer. Our focus has been on identifying the role environmental factors may play in the initiation and promotion of breast cancer. Our organization is a pioneer in partnering with researchers/scientists in a research process called community-based, participatory research. The community is involved as an equal partner in the research process from initiating the hypothesis, reviewing the literature, developing the methodology, collecting and analyzing the data and publishing the results. I have sent information to Catherine Skinner on Marin Breast Cancer (mission, research projects, etc), my biosketch, and our most recent scientific publication on adolescent risk factors and the development of breast cancer in Marin County. We have been working with Christopher Oze, Ph.D (Dartmouth College) and Scott Fendorf, Ph.D (Stanford University) and have submitted a proposal to identify the concentration and speciation of trace minerals in serpentinites, serpentine soil, dust and related water in Marin County and to examine the correlation, if any, of serpentite and trace element distribution on the high incidence of breast cancer in Marin County. We have also just recently partnered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Foundation headquartered here in Marin to do a prospective research study on why the guide dogs breed and raised here in Marin have a higher incidence of breast cancer than guide dogs raised on the east coast. Two other projects related to the environment and breast cancer that we will be very involved in this year are: National Institute of Environmental Health Services Center of Excellence on Breast Cancer and the Environment: San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer and The Environment Research Center- This research collaboration with University of California, San Francisco, Northern California Kaiser Permanente and Marin Breast Cancer Watch will explore the environmental effects on the molecular architecture and function of the mammary gland across the lifespan and will investigate the environmental and genetic determinants of puberty. Marin Breast Cancer Watch, as Director of the Community Outreach and Translation Core, will assist with the development of partnerships and active participation among Bay Area community representatives and the Center's research scientists. Biomonitoring: Community-Based Risk Communications: A community forum funded through a subcontract from Marin County Department of Health and Human Services will be held to stimulate an exchange of information among researchers and community members of varied perspectives, experiences and expertise on biomonitoring. Topics to be discussed will include: An overview of the science of biomonitoring, ethical issues related to biomonitoring, the use of biomonitoring in advancing breast cancer research and the role of community involvement in the research process.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
As an outcome of the workshop, it would be helpful to include suggestions on how to include the community in the research process and how to translate and disseminate information about geology and health to community members

Ray Beiersdorfer, Youngstown State University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I teach mineralogy, environmental geochemistry and environmental geology. I touch briefly on health issues in environmental geochemistry and environmental geology. I have done researched and published on using zeolites in a solid fertilizer (zeoponic system). This research has health implications because the use of this slow release fertilizer diminishes nutrient pollution due to over fertilizing.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I am particularly interested in mineralogy and health and chemical speciation in aqueous environments. I am also interested in the human health aspects of energy resource utilization.

Van Brahana, University of Arkansas
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
My teaching involves several introductory courses, in addition to upper level grad courses (General Geology, Environmental Justice, Hydrogeology) and in these courses, I have tried to relate anomalous health distributions to explainable geology (and related land use). The themes fit nicely with research we are conducting on a variety of projects.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Case studies–coupled with the theoretical science components. Interdisciplinary flavor, including epidemiology, toxicology, areal geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, statistics, assessment of why the complexity so often confuses the general public, and the need for lucid, succinct communication, PR, and outreach.

Jeffrey Chiarenzelli, State University of New York, Potsdam
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have been involved in Environmental and Public Health since 1989. I began my career working for the Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation for the New York State Department of Health where I was responsible for representing the State on over 100 hazardous waste sites in western New York, including Kodak Park and some other complex sites. After leaving the NYSDOH I worked at the Environmental Research Center at SUNY Oswego for seven years directing a heavy metal and organics laboratory. Much of our work focussed on PCBs and remediation of waste sites. All of our research was completed by undergraduates. In my current courses (Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Hydrology, Engineering Hydrology, and Contaminant Hydrology) we focus on numerous environmental concerns including radon and radionuclides, asbestiform minerals, POPs (persistent organic pollutants), ground water contamination, air pollution, and related current topics (drugs in water supplies). I also serve as an advisor to the Yu'pik tribe of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska related to cleanup of former military sites on the island.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Most of our students find employment in the environmental field yet our curriculum is firmly based in traditional geology. I believe that traditional geology provides a strong background but would like to see more options in the undergraduate curriculum related to environmental health. In essence I'd like to educate my students to be informed citizens and productive employees.

Nelson Eby, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I teach a broad range of courses in the Geosciences - Principles of Earth & Environmental Systems, Environmental Geochemistry, Advanced Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology, Sedimentation & Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, Applied Geophysics, and Geological Oceanography. I am currently developing courses in Forensic Geosciences and, very much at the early planning stages, an introductory geoscience course for a new major in Environmental Health to be offered by our College of Health Professions. In terms of research, most of my work has been in igneous petrology, but I have been involved in a major study of the chemistry of air borne pollutants and a study of arsenic in human hair. I have recently published a textbook - Principles of Environmental Geochemistry - that deals with some environmental health issues, notably those related to mineral particles.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
A broad area. It seems to me that geochemical cycles, mineralogy and the interactions of minerals with biological materials, and the chemistry of soils, water, and the atmosphere would all be important topical areas.

David Feary, National Research Council
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
The National Academies have just commenced a study to advise on research opportunities at the interface of earth science and public health. I will be managing this study, which will involve an almost equal mix of earth science and medical experts. I believe that it will be especially important for all the study participants to understand the issues and activities related to education.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I anticipate that the National Academies study will address issues related to education, and would hope to gain an in depth understanding of these issues from the people most actively involved.

A. Russel Flegal, University of California, Santa Cruz
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I teach courses in Aquatic Toxicology, Groundwater Contamination, and Fate and Transport of Pollutants. My research is on the biogeochemical cycles of metals, with an emphasis on industrial metals (Pb, Hg, Cr...). I also do pro bono work for the California Attorney General's Office on human exposure to contaminant metals.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I don't have the time to write texts for my courses, but haven't found any that are appropriate for the levels that I teach at, so I would like to see the development of instructional kits on related topics - or a complete text. It would preferably be in an electronic format that could be readily updated.

Martin Goldhaber, USGS
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am currently working on soil geochemistry and have interest in human health and soils. I have also worked on geologic controls on arsenic distritution in rocks and groundwater.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I think the whole area of geologic controls on human health impacts is underappreciated and any materials developed in this area would be useful.

Lisa Grant, University of California - Irvine
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am the only geologist in the new Dept. of Environmental Health, Science and Policy, in the multi-disciplinary School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine. Our department is undergoing a major change in focus from Environmental Design to Environmental Health Science. I was hired to teach and develop relevant geologic classes for undergraduates in two majors: Environmental Analysis & Design; and Applied Ecology. I teach Natural Disasters, Environmental Geology, and/or Environmental Hydrology to approx. 500 undergraduates per year. At the graduate level, I teach my research specialty of earthquake geology and paleoseismology. I am chair of our Curriculum and Teaching Committee, and we are currently developing a new major in Environmental Health Science and Policy which will replace our major in Applied Ecology. I have degrees in Geology, Environmental Earth Science, Environmental Engineering, and Geology with Geophysics minor, so I am broadly trained in the natural and applied environmental sciences, but I have no formal training in medical geology or geology and human health. These are areas that my department would like me to teach, initially as part of my environmental geology course, and eventually as a separate undergraduate course or graduate courses. We already have a joint M.D./Ph.D. with the College of Medicine, and we are currently developing a joint M.S./M.D. program in parallel with our new B.S. in Environmental Health Science and Policy. I could benefit greatly from participating in a teaching workshop on Geology and Human Health because it would help me get started in this area. Through my large enrollment classes, I have the potential to teach this topic to thousands of students in the next few years.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I would really like to see 1) good case studies at a level suitable for lower division undergraduates and 2)example assignments that I could use in an environmental geology undergrad. class. Ideally, the case studies and assignments would be linked, but this is not required.

Jean Grassman, Brooklyn College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
My field is occupational and environmental health with an emphasis in toxicology. I teach both undergraduate and graduate levels courses. In the environmental health course, I take a problems/issues approach. Topics that are typically covered in a given semester include
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS): Evidence of Reproductive effects based on Wildlife and Human Studies. In this module, students examine sources, dispersion and tissue levels of POPS such as dioxins, furans, and DDT. Each student is expected to summarize and present an article from the peer reviewed literature and state whether it provides evidence of an effect to animals or humans.
  • Water pollutants: An examination of sources and resources. This module has two parts. The first focuses on development, distribution, vulnerability and oversight of water resources in New York City. The second part focuses on the contamination of groundwater by arsenic in Bangladesh. An emphasis is placed on the role of trade offs and options. Students discuss how the processes of development, natural and economic resources, and geography have contributed to what has been characterized as the largest mass poisoning in human history.
  • Wastes: Solid, liquid, hazardous, Superfund and Brownfields. Part of this module is a case study of the downstream dispersion of PCBs from the General Electric Facilities in Hudson Falls and Port Edwards. The Hudson Falls facility used a basement blasted into bedrock which resulted in the contamination and eventual migration of the PCBs into the surrounding area including the river. The module then focuses on risk assessment with student evaluating the risk posed by swimming, living near, and eating fish from the river.
The emphasis in these units has been the human health effects and I would like to see a better presentation of the geological aspects which are critical in determining the magnitude of human risk. These case studies could then be used in a interdisciplinary undergraduate course, possibly as one of the options in the newly revised core curriculum.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
What would be most useful to me would be case studies that integrate geology with environmental health problems, both natural and anthropogenic sources. I'd like to see accessible materials designed to teach students quantitative reasoning students in such an interesting way they don't realize they're using their mathematical skills.

Syed Hasan, University of Missouri, Kansas City
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have taught a course in environmental geology for 20+ years and have always inlcuded a brief discussion on 'geologic aspects of environmental health.' In the recent years great progress has been made in this field leading to identification of the new subspecialty of medical geology. With health problems related to natural and human inducedfactors there is a strong case for devloping a full course in medical geolgoy. My goal is to do so before the end of the current academic year and offer this class during the 2004-05 A.Y. Foresnic med. geol; toxicology; human and natural factors controllling health and well being are some of theme areas that are on interest to me.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
At this point, my thoughts are to design a Sr/Jr level regular (3.0 cr. hr) course that should minimally inlcude a discussion of chemical elements and their toxicity and potential health effects; commonly used organic and inorganic compounds should also be inlcuded. Mobility of these substances in the envt'l media and basic discussion of geochemistry of soil, rocks and water should be a part of the course. Fundamentals of toxicology and epidemiology should be inlcuded. Case histories should constitute the bulk of the course material.

Andrew Knudsen, Lawrence University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am currently in my first year as a professor of mineralogy and geochemistry at Lawrence University. My research interests are in environmental mineralogy and geochemistry, particularly in the area of contaminant residence and availability. My research focuses on the role of poorly-crystalline iron-oxyhydroxides in controlling the cycling of potentially toxic trace elements such as lead and arsenic. As a PhD student, I worked with Mickey Gunter at the University of Idaho, where I recognized the importance of the interplay between geology and human health. Pursuing this disciplinary focus is a continuing goal in my courses, ranging from Introductory Geology to my core mineralogy/geochemistry course, and particularly in a new course I am developing in Geology and Human Health. In the classroom, as well as in my research, this focus helps me to better display the relevancy of traditional material covered in the geology curriculum to the lives of my students, human society, and the environment as a whole. In the classroom, using case studies helps me weave together local environmental and public health concerns with geological processes. Here in northeastern Wisconsin, our primary aquifer has high concentrations of naturally occurring arsenic. The As was emplaced as a result of geothermal brines transported here during the deposition in the Michigan basin. The As was precipitated primarily in pyrite, and resided stably for millions of years in the oxygen-poor aquifer. As we have attempted to utilize the aquifer as a resource, we have introduced oxygen by drilling wells and drawing down the aquifer, and thus, the pyrite has oxidized and released the As. This case study has presented the connections between an issue of significant local environmental and public health concern and a wide array of geological processes.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
As this field is still in many ways in its infancy, I see a great need for instructional materials across the curricular spectrum. From my personal perspective, I hope that the workshop will help me in classes ranging from Introductory Geology, to sophomore level core classes, to a class committed to this field, to Senior level honors project research. I would look forward to seeing how topics of Geology and Human Health are applied by others across, and indeed outside of, the geological curriculum.

Helen Lang, West Virginia University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
In 1995, I developed a lab on the health effects of asbestos minerals for my Mineralogy class. This lab developed into a lab that I presented at the Teaching Mineralogy workshop in 1996 and a contribution to the Teaching Mineralogy Monograph put out by MSA in 1997. Since 1996, I have taught a senior/graduate student class at WVU in Environmental Mineralogy (now called Minerals and the Environment) seven times. In that class, I have used a case-study approach to teaching about minerals that cause environmental and health problems, and minerals that can be used to ameliorate environmental problems (Lang, 1998, Journal of Geoscience Education, v.46, p. 354-363). I'm interested in all of the themes of the workshop, and would like get new ideas for these and other courses from other teachers and researchers in related fields.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I'd like to see materials developed that would give students the ability to realistically assess the risks of various environmental and health hazards. I'd also like to learn about relative risks of minerals used in household, agricultural and industrial applications, besides the ones that get all the publicity. I'd also like to see materials developed concerning the beneficial uses of minerals.

William Manton, University of Texas, Dallas
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have for the past 30 years been carrying out research with lead isotopes applied to medicine and have contributed to the uptake of lead from gasoline aerosols, lead poisoning from retained bullets, lead in cerebrospinal fluid and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, lead bioavailabilty, uptake of lead by young children, and bone mobilization in pregnancy in both humans and primates. Current interests are the mechanism of post-menopausal bone loss in a non-human primate model and the sources of lead in the diet. I taught a class called 'Toxic metals in the Environment' for many years but on realizing that it had become no more than a historical survey I began and have all but finished an MPH degree so that I could teach more along the lines of public health.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Instructional materials should be developed to cover topics that geologists are not familiar with. Epidemiology, physiology (especially the lung and kidney) and toxicology come to mind.

Carlota Marin, Kansas State University, Topeka
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have taught environmental geology, which includes all the aspects of geology and human health, I focused on air quality and human health such as working on coal mines and the health hazards associated with mining, I also introduced the topics of water and soil pollutions and the relationship to human health, air pollution as realted to asthma and lung cancer, most of my focus was the environmental impacts to human health.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Air pollution as related to compressor stations, hydrocarbons pose a threat to human health when the levels of volatile organic compounds, NOx, CO, forlmaldehyde, benzene go beyond the treshold acceptable by EPA, I would like to see how experts from EPA address issues related to human health when geology is present- examples, mining, quarries, cement, asbestos etc.

Ann Melamed, American Nurses Association
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am a nurse with a degree in Geology and Geography. Currently in my position at the American Nurses Association, I teach nurses about the linkages between human and environmental health, including how persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs) contaminate air, food and water; and the human health impacts from PBTs. Since nursing is a health-based practice that looks at prevention, nurses are well-positioned to advocate for healthy environments. Nurses are advocates for patients, and nurses work in all settings. Nurses are at the top of the list of professionals who are trusted by the public. My teaching materials include articles, powerpoint presentations, and other materials from Health Care Without Harm and Hospitals for a Healthy Environment. Some themes in my presentations include: "Purchasing Products for Safety", "Greening the O.R. Suite," "Alternatives to Incineration of Medical Waste," "The Precautionary Principle and Implications for Nurses and Human Health"
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I would like to see more involvement in/understanding of human health from geoscientists. When I studied geology, my professors were unable to give me any good assessment of the negative impacts from waste incineration. This is an example of where there is a need for linkages between geoscientists and human health. Geoscientists should understand and guide such pursuits as mercury recycling, computer monitors and lead reclamation, and other types of hazardous waste reclamation.

Stephen Peters, Lehigh University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
My research experience includes 7 years studying the chemistry of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater systems. I have worked closely with an epidemiology group studying the human health impacts in the same areas. I hope to teach a course in either medical geology or forensic geology in the next three years.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I would like to see course material on concepts such as dose-response relationships, exposure thresholds, examples of unintended/unknown exposures and their outcomes. What I like about the subject area is that it illustrates concepts such as interconnectedness and complex interactions using subject matter that is relevant to everyone.

Wayne Powell, Brooklyn College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
"Geology and Human Health" constitutes a major theme in two courses that I teach. As an alternative to a typical optical mineralogy course, I offer students a course in applied microscopy focused on asbestos analysis. "Asbestos and Its Societal Impact" is structured around an applied problem: does Central Brooklyn High School require asbestos abatement? The course requires students to:
  1. develop basic petrographic skills associated with transmitted-light microscopy (TLM) asbestos analysis;
  2. understand the laws associated with asbestos exposure and abatement;
  3. understand the health hazards associated with asbestos; and,
  4. apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills to a practical problem.
To aid in the teaching of this course I developed an interactive website (more info) that simulates the use of job of a TLM asbestos analyst. One major advantage of this simulation is that it allows students to develop basic familiarity with asbestos, without risks of actual physical exposure. Parts of this website are also used to teach about mineral toxicity in the non-majors course "Science in the Modern World: Geology" which is a college-wide core curriculum requirement. This course also discusses issues related to waste disposal, contaminant transport in the environment, and impacts of global warming on the environment. I consider the primary goal of this course to be to prepare students to make informed decisions regarding their environment. This most certainly ties in to the defined themes of this workshop. Brooklyn College has a department of Health and Nutrition Sciences (HNS) that offers "Environmental Health", and a department of geology that offers the courses "Medical Geology", "Geologic Aspects of Waste Disposal", as well as the courses described above. Discussion is underway to create a multi-disciplinary course (geology and health science) in health and the environment that would be designed and taught by instructors from both departments.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I am most interested in seeing case study packages developed, particularly integrated data packages that include chemical analyses, petrographic/mineralogical data, epidemiological data, and GIS file sets. Ideally, these packages would be made available over the internet. Two case studies of particular interest to me at this time are the World Trade Center debris cloud, and the mass arsenic poisoning in Bangaladesh.

Monica Ramirez, Aims College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Research: Environmental literacy. Teaching: As part of my introductory geology courses (environmental and physical), I examine local environmental issues and concerns that affect students. One major course focus is water (surface and ground water) as it relates to drought (Colorado has and is experiencing severe drought along the Front Range). The lack of water and the increasing drought were correlated with last summer's sudden and vehement outbreak of the West Nile Virus using spatial mapping (GIS/GPS.)
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Using GPS and GIS to correlate disease with location.

Audrey Rule, State University of New York, Oswego
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
  1. I have taught Introduction to Geology for 3 semesters, have taught Science Methods for 4 years, but am not currently teaching these courses. I have the opportunity to develop a masters-level course for science teachers that would be interdisciplinary with regard to science. I think that using the topic of human health would unite several areas of science and could be a large part of this course.
  2. I have experience in using case studies to stimulate student thinking in courses. The way I have used the case studies is to present the situation and then allow students to discuss possible solutions before presenting the solution that was applied. This allows students to consider many options. Often they produce a different but viable solution.
  3. I am particularly interested in helping to produce some curriculum materials related to Geology and Human Health. Although I have a Master's in Petrology and Ph.D. in Geology/Mineralogy, I later earned two Masters degrees in Education and am currently a faculty member in Curriculum and Instruction. One of my main areas of research is making and testing curriculum materials. My education background can assist participants in devising objectives, curriculum materials, and assessments for those objectives.

In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
  1. As I mentioned above, I would be willing to produce some humorous cartoons that relate to Geology and Human Health concepts. I think these would be very useful to other professors presenting these topics to their classes. I have drawn cartoons to help students remember the minerals of the Mohs scale and these have been recently published: Rule, A. C. (2003). The Rhyming Peg Mnemonic Device Applied to Learning the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Journal of Geoscience Education, 51(5), 465-73.
  2. I would like to make some K-12 curriculum materials related to these topics, some of which (those that relate to clays) might be put into the K-12 Book of Activities for Teaching Clay Science that I am currently compiling.
  3. I have produced and published many different sets of curriculum materials. I would enjoy making some materials that would facilitate the teaching of Geology and Human Health for college students. One set for elementary students that I published related to animals was set up in the following way. A chart showed unidentified measurements taken of the animal. Students guessed what was being measured. Then another chart showed the answers- the parts or aspects of the animal that each measurement represented. (Rule, A. C., ed. (2000). Measurement activities for increasing student curiosity for animal and space topics. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 438 126 Preservice teachers from my courses contributed to this document.) This short activity generated a lot of student curiosity for the topic. Perhaps we could produce a similar chart of outcomes for a health hazard and have students discuss and guess what the cause of these outcomes is. This would make an interesting introduction to the topic and fit with the first stage of a lesson according to the Learning Cycle format.
  4. I would like to see some materials produced that address affective areas of science teaching: the science learning domains of feeling and valuing. I have produced some poetry related to minerals and have worked with preservice/inservice science teachers on activities in which students wrote poetry related to science content: Rule, A. C., Carnicelli, L., and Kane, S. S. Using Poetry to Teach About Minerals in Earth Science Class. Journal of Geoscience Education. Accepted for publication in special issue focusing on mineralogy that will appear January, 2004. Kane, S., and Rule, A. C. (2003). Poetry connections can enhance content area learning. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, in press.

Kaye Savage, Vanderbilt University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
My research on arsenic geochemistry is very directly connected with human health issues, as arsenic seriously impacts the health of millions of people in the Bengal Basin and elsewhere. My particular interest is in transport pathways for arsenic in near-surface environments, particularly in mine-impacted areas - this is related to arsenic speciation which also affects its toxicity and bioavailability. I teach a large introductory "environmental geology" course in which I address human health themes and risk assessment, but I would like to find or develop more thoroughly engaging approaches to these topics. This opportunity is especially timely as the nature of our science requirement at Vanderbilt is about to change, which will allow even more latitude in the topics addressed in our introductory courses for non-majors. Many of our undergraduates are pre-med and we have recently been discussing the possibility of offering a freshman seminar on Geology andHuman Health in order to introduce some of these students to the Earth & earth materials component of the human/health experience. Our medical school is an important component of the university, and our department is trying to develop ways to interact. We have set in motion the development of a joint MD/MS Geology program and are eager to interact with others who are also trying to explore and expand overlapping interests between geosciences and medical disciplines.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I was sorry to see the geomedicine chapter removed from Montgomery's Environmental Geology textbook, and I hope that the interest this group demonstrates will lead to its reinstatement as well as similar chapters in comparable texts at the introductory level. Areas I think are particularly promising for further development especially at upper levels are related to water resources, mining impacts, speciation & bioavailability of trace elements, and environmental mineralogy including the role of minerals in strategies for treating contaminated water.

Catherine Shrady, St. Lawrence University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
By training I am a structural geologist. However, since I teach at a small, undergraduate institution I have developed broader teaching and research interests. I teach an introductory environmental geology course and at present touch upon the theme of geology and human health throughout the course but not in sufficient depth. Recently, I have been doing research in a field I have dubbed "ethnogeology"- something like ethnobotany- but in this case the use of earth materials for healing. Specifically my research has been on the use of stones, clay and minerals in the healing practices of Peruvian curanderos (traditional healers). Of course some of these healing practices are what we would call "magical" but other uses of these geological substances may be testable within the western scientific paradigm, since, for example, for certain ailments particular rock types are always used and prepared in a certain way before ingesting. Although my research has so far been confined to South America, it is clear that many cultures throughout the world use or did use geological substances for healing. This is, in a sense, the "flip side" of geology and human health- geology and healing as opposed to geology connected to health hazards. So far, I have only touched on this research in my teaching in a cultural encounters/geology course I teach: Cross Cultural Perspectives of Healing.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I'd love to see materials developed that could be used in a stand alone course on Geology and Human Health or that could be integrated into an Environmental Geology class. As such the areas identified in the tentative program sound promising.

Brian Skinner, Yale University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Have taught at undergraduate and graduate level for 40 years in the areas of introductory physical geology, geochemistry, and mineral deposits. Research and practise in mining and mineral resources for most of that time. Interest in issues of human health issues focussed on the effects of mining on the environment.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
We lack an adequate understanding of natural background levels of toxic components and the effects of common human practises such as farming and mining on the rates of dispersal of such components. I would like the outcome of the workshop to be a clearer focus on such issues. Two obvious and widespread examples are arsenic dispersal following land disturbance, and acid mine waste.

Suki (Suzanne) Smaglik, Central Wyoming College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have been teaching chemistry, geology and geochemistry with and environmental twist for about 8 years. Depending on the course, I usually select a focus topic for the semester and try to weave most of the basic subjects in the course into this topic. Since Wyoming depends largely on agricultural and mining activities to support our economy, there is never a lack of relevant current issues to explore.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I am interested in the impact of human activities on the land and ecosystems. I would like to see instructional materials developed for people (the community) to understand what impact certain human activities will produce and why it is important to plan ahead for mitigation rather than leave things to chance. I would also like to develop materials that would bring more relevant/local problems into my classroom.

Nancy Thorpe, Hagerstown Community College, MD
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I recently graduated with a PhD in Marine-Estuarine Environmental Studies. My research centered on the possible correlation between various childhood cancers in the state of Maryland and exposure to four types of herbicides in groundwater. I have been teaching chemistry at the community college level for the past seven years, but since graduating, I have taken over the Introduction to Geology classes. Teaching this class is new to me and I tried this year to bring in the human and environmental components to the course. The students responded favorably to it and I would like to develop this aspect of the course more, and hopefully, expand it to a full course on Geology and Human Health. Part of my research involved Geographic Information Systems technology, so I have also introduced this technology into the course and would like to develop this further. I am excited about learning more in this field and how to bring it back to my classroom.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
First, I would like to see instructional materials developed to bring the topic of geology and human health into the introductory geology classroom. Then I would like to see materials developed to integrate GIS into the course.

Margaret Townsend, Kansas Geological Survey
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I am currently working on an NSF project with several colleagues to develop a groundwater tutor for the computer. The goal of the project is to provide information about the basics of groundwater movement in relation to a contamination spill of TCE. Students are provided information to act as consultants to find the plume and do remedial cleanup. My area of expertise is on determining sources of nitrate in groundwater using the nitrogen-15 natural abundance technique. I have 10 years of experience using this method to assist municipalities and other agencies to determine souces of nitrate contamination in groundwater. I was invited to present my work at the 2003 Soil Science Society Isotope symposium in Denver this fall. I am interested in getting the word out to the public that there are many sources of contamination to ground and surface waters that may be manmade or natural. The processes of how the contaminants move is important in order to address the health and clean up issues. Developing courses that would permit presentation of the processes and discussion of the policies needed to address health and cleanup issues are important and of interest to me.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Enivironmental geology and groundwater courses can use a discussion perpective in addition to the science. Discussion of how the science can be used to understand a specific problem should help students to understand the application of the science to a problem. Of course using nitrate as a basic discussion of human health impacts by contaminants is a good introduction. Inclusion of other contaminants such as pharma ceuticals, arsenic and other natural metals such as lead or radioactive elements, or the impacts of acid rain on the environment both human and the ecosystem at large would help students to understand the impact of humans on the ecosystem at large. There are also the airborne aspects of nitrogen as well as the impacts of excess nitrogen on the Mississippi embayment. I think providing information on the basic science and then developing discussion or subtopics for discussion and study would be of interest to students.

Thomas Van Biersel, Southern Connecticut State University
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
My experience comes from 15 years in the environmental consulting industry, dealing with groundwater contamination issues and risk assessment (dominantly in the Midwest). I would very much like to enhance this background with a better understanding of the health effects associated with other geologic settings.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I think, from my biased point of view, that it would be interesting to prepare a set of case reports providing in detail the correlation between natural health hazards and a specific geologic setting. I know that some of those exist for arsenic, but it would be interesting to look further into selenium, hardness, radionuclies, etc.

Kenneth Verosub, University of California, Davis
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
In my introductory geology course, I have a specific section on Medical Geology. I also teach an upper division course on Geology and Society, and there are several components of that course that address the issue of geology and human health. On the reserach side, I am currently developing several new projects on the role of geologic processes in the transport of toxic contamiants, such as mercury.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I would like to develop a new course in Medical Geology and would like to see the workshop come up with a curricular framework for such a course.

Caryl Waggett, Allegheny College
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I have taught and will continue to teach an advanced course in environmental science that focuses on fundamental issues, key health methods (epidemiology, risk assessment), understanding the literature, and establishment of a group project. In this year, the students conducted a risk assessment of the region for potential lead contamination and risk of elevated blood lead levels in children. My background has been in developing risk assessments for regions that pose high risk for Lyme disease and other vector-borne diseases. I have used satellite imagery, traditional ecological field methods and assessments behavioral correlates to determine areas at high risk for Lyme disease in California. Most recently, I have begun to evaluate areas of interest in environmental health here in Pennsylvania, and have so far been evaluating elevated lead levels in children and high levels of mercury exposure in the region. While my background is not specifically in geology, I have a strong interest in water quality and water management from a hydrogeology perspective and as a mechanism for disease transmission, and in geological processes as they impact the incidence of disease. For example, how aspect, slope, soil quality affect the distribution of vectors and the potential for development of land. The intersection of these two areas will help to evaluate the potential increase or decrease in disease incidence for different diseases. Students have been so interested in these topics at the intersection of multiple fields, and I feel strongly that our teaching/ training/ research should help reflect the increasingly interdisicplinary nature of these critical issues.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
I am particularly interested in the advanced and applied coursework. I am not likely to teach introductory or core courses within a geology department, but am already incorporating many of these issues into my own courses in environmental science. I would like to see specific strategies and approaches for courses that encourage student research in such areas as plume dispersion of various contaminants through different types of soils; particulate matter transport; mechanisms controlling heavy metal uptake and methylation of mercury in wetlands; geological processes and controls of vector-borne and water-borne diseases...

Tanja Williamson, University of the Pacific
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
I teach an Environmental Geology course that deals with human effects and threats from resource use (soil, water, air, organisms). I teach Soil, Water, and War, a course that examines sustainable use of resources in both historical and current society. I teach Spatial Analysis and GIS which discusses several examples of air and water contaminants that endanger human health. All of these courses focus on teaching students to make informed decisions, critically interpret data, and effectively communicate data that is important for human interaction with the natural environment.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Water contamination case studies (both surface and groundwater cases). Air pollution centers and the areas that are affected (i.e. based on wind patterns, etc.). Radon cases. Soil contamination and dumping that led to landmark cases (like Tucson, AZ or Love Canal).

William Woessner, University of Montana
Brief description of your teaching and/or research experience in geology and human health:
Hydrogeology classes. Work on viruses transport and pharmaceudicals in ground water.
In what areas of geology and human health would you like to see instructional materials developed as an outcome of the workshop?
Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology


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