Outreach Initiatives

Outreach focuses on American Indian communities and high school students. There are also projects that address the environmental health concerns of the general public and student pharmacists, who provide outreach to elementary students and their teachers.

The SWEHSC supports Tribal efforts to create and maintain healthy communities. The Outreach Core follows the UA Tribal Consultation Poiicy. For a discussion of the policy follow this link ...

The goal of community outreach and engagement is to help American Indian communities address their environmental issues, especially those tied into the research themes of SWEHSC.  New partnerships are welcome.

Current partnerships are with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.  In the past the outreach core has partnerd with the Department of Environmental Quality at the Gila River Indian Community, with their EPA funded Community Action for a Renewed Environment project.


Indigenous Stewards Magazine

This publication was created to focus on topics related to the health and the environment of Indigenous communities. The magazine includes features on current environmental issues, leaders in environmental health, and students pursuing education and careers in environmental health.

To view 1st Volume of Indigenous Stewards click here

The inaugural edition of Indigenous Stewards features the work of native students who took their idea of what environmental health meant to them and then created a photo, essay, drawing, short story or poem. SWEHSC is again hosting a contest for Volume 2.

To view 2nd Volume Contest Submission Guidelines click here

The University of Arizona Agnese Nelms Haury Grant

For the Fall of 2016 we have been awarded funding by the University of Arizona Agnese Nelms Haury program. The grant will sponsor two more volumes of Indigenous Stewards and will provide funding for two more Tribal Forums.

For information about the 2015 Tribal Forum click here

For information about our new grant click here.


Native American Science and Engineering Program

As part of the Haury Grant we are partnering with the Native American Science and Engineering Program (NASEP) to add environmental health content to their program. This exciting opportunity will provide new elements to the content that the students learn during their summer program and will provide additional resources to those students.

For more about NASEP click here.


Some Principles of Developing Tribal Partnerships for Environmental Health Research

Presented at the Annual Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers Meeting held Oct. 19-21, 2008, at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on Promises to keep: Public health policy for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the 21st century by Yvette Roubideaux and Mim Dixon.

Lindsey suggested the following principles in her presentation.

* It is important to consider learning about and incorporating Native viewpoints into the study design.

* Researchers should consider hiring Native people to assist in the studies and training them, instead of traditional graduate students, to become investigators.

* Another important concept to consider is funding a Native Research Committee appointed by the local community to oversee the study. This group can help investigators through the cultural differences and help them make good connections with the leadership in the community.

* When the study is finished, researchers should report their findings to this committee and the community in a non-technical summary.

The SWEHSC has a strong committment to assisting Tribal communiities in their interest in science and concern for the health of their people and their environments. The Native perspective about science and the enviornment is incorporated into such projects. The committment extends to promoting the importance of including community members and leaders in the design of the research, obtaining the data and in disseminating the results. The SWEHSC is also committed to providing community education, opportunities for Native children to be trained and to have an opportunity to be able to serve their own community.

Lindsey’s professional and personal experiences with Native Americans give her a special insight. She is married to a Cherokee and lived on the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona for six years. She earned a master’s degree in education, completing her thesis, A Constructivist Study of Developing Curriculum to Teach Internet Information Literacy to Navajo High School Students, and studied retension of American Indian graduate students while competing her master's degree in Information Resources and Library Science.

Marti Lindsey - Clinical



Professional Development Offerings

Outreach provides a variety of services for the purpose of professional development. Goals for these courses are:

  • to raise awareness of the connections between environmental quality and human health
  • to develop knowledge about specific environmental health issues, especially those of local interest
  • to expand participant interest in environmental health research

As such they increase the knowledge and understanding about environmental health among secondary school teachers, nurses, pharmacy students, and environmental quality professionals.

  • The COEC Summer Teacher Institute was expanded to include year round professional development for teachers with current science and lessons based from the existing curriculum.


    • Science Thursdays - in partnership with the Tucson Unifed School District, this program brougt fifteen teachers toftehr eery six weeks to discuss environmental helath problems in the local area.
    • TCE Symposium - in partnership with the Sunnyside Unified School District, teachers in this program are implementing SWEHSC lessons about the TCE Contamination and Cleanup in Tucson.
  • The pharmacy student course uses environmental health as a context for promoting understanding of health literacy, using a service learning approach. They serve in the classrooms of teachers who use SWEHSC curriculum.
  • The environmental quality professionals in the City of Tucson have requested environmental health training from the COEC during the spring of 2007.


PCOL 819: Health Literacy: Service Learning

Instructor: Marti Lindsey, lindsey@phamacy.arizona.edu
520-626-3692, Skaggs Building Room 311

PCOL819 is an elective service-learning course for the College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona. It is a course with lab for students with an interest in pharmacy or other health-related careers. Students attend class once per week and do service learning / volunteer work as part of the course.

Students study health literacy, environmental health topics, and the materials to be used in their service learning experiences. They complete assignments; make very short presentations about the materials and their outreach experiences, post comments about their service learning experiences, and a final paper. New service learning experiences have been added to the course.

Now, in addition to working in classrooms teaching about human anatomy, service can be provided to libraries & schools though a family night event.

This course may be open for students not enrolled in the College of Pharmacy by request

Laboratory courses must maintain a minimum of 45 contact hours per unit of credit. http://catalog.arizona.edu/2004-05/poli


TCE Teachers



Public Activities

COEC participates in community sponsored activities through the year.  To request assistance for your project or program please contact Marti Lindsey 520-626-3692 or lindsey@pharmacy.arizona.edu

The Outreach Core supports community groups in a variety of ways, to provide up to date environmental health information and access to Southwest Environmental Health researchers for presentations, information, and to answer questions of concern to groups and individuals.

Examples include:

  • Advisor, concerning community outreach, to the Joint Air Toxics Assessment Project (JATAP), which monitors air quality in South Phoenix and several American Indian communities in the Phoenix valley.
  • Information Walks at community events
  • Presentations to small and large community meetings



Unified Community Action Board of the Tucson Superfund Site

The outreach director has been a member of the Unified Community Action Board of the TCE Superfund Cleanup site in Tucson for several years.

Unifed Community Action Board meetings are held the third Wednesday of January, April, July and October. Meetings are held at the El Pueblo Activity Center, 101 West Irvington Road, Tucson, 6:00 to 8:00pm. Membership is open to all community members.

  • The COEC supported them in their desire to teach local high school students about the TCE (trichloroethylene) contamination and cleanup with an interdisciplinary curriculum http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/tce/index.html
  • Set up opportunities for UCAB members, Possible Responsible Parties and EPA officials to speak to classes and groups of students and teachers.
  • Held a TCE Symposium for Sunnyside Unified School District teachers and administratiors in January 2011.
  • SWEHSC investigators and outreach core will provide education to support the need for a new plant to remove 1,4-dioxane from city water. RFG1 members will asist with presentations and materials development. To read more about the new plant click here

Gereral public

Information Walks

The most common modality is with Information Walks – where environmental health information is disseminated at various stations using interactive approaches. Other walks teach

The Asthma and Allergies Information WalkGereral public

  • Information to develop an information walk is located at http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/hope2/aa_hops.html, the goal of this activity is to promote sciencelearning, to young people and to the general public, using a stations approach.
  • Used to teach about asthma and allergies at the University of Arizona Saturday Academy in 2005
  • Was presented by students of Catalina Health Magnet High School to over 1000 students at the annual Health Fair of their school in 2006.
  • It has been used at the Gila River Indian Community and at the Tribal Youth Conference for several years.

The Greater Community

  • At Tucson’s citywide FunFest the COEC reaches 250 students and adults each year using an educational and entertaining activity, Lemons and Onions, based on ToxRAP. http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/curriculum/lemons_onions/index.html.
  • The Asthma and Allergies Museum Walk was also presented to the public in May of 2006 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

KEYS Internship High School StudentThe COEC offers a number of internship opportunities, for high school students, for undergraduates, and for graduate and professional students. The focus of these projects is improvement of environmental health literacy among the general public.

KEYS High School Student Research Internships

 School students are given opportunities to intern in SWEHSC environmental health research laboratories, through the KEYS Summer High School Student Research Internships. For more about that project visit http://keys.pharmacy.arizona.edu.

College Student Internships

Interns from the School of Information Resources and Library Science and the School of Public Health, are involved with the outreach initiatives. Examples of projects include:

  • EH education and literacy projects
  • Information walk creation and delivery
  • Community outreach to Hispanic and American Indian communities
  • Web design and development, virtual resource development, & virtual reference
  • Print materials collection assessment and development
  • Cataloging and dissemination of COEC resources

To inquire about doing an internship with the Community Outreach Core please contact Marti Lindsey, Outreach Director, at 520-626-3692, lindsey@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Examples of Environmental Public Health Internships

Environmental Health Assessment Internship

The goal of the internship is to develop an Environmental Health Needs Assessment about Arizona (AZ EH Needs Assessment). This project will prioritize the hazards(s) of concern and be disseminated on the SWEHSC website. This tool will describe the hazards of concern for the Superfund sites across the state, the demographics of the communities in the immediate area, the schools, health care settings, libraries in those areas, community organizations for COEC collaboration, possible locations for public events and school based activities, and descriptions of other exposures in the area from TOXMAP and other databases and resources. It will help the COEC describe the specific issues that are particular to the arid southwest, a major focus of SWEHSC research.

Environmental Health Outreach Internships

The Intern will assist the Outreach Director in implementation of outreach events to be held in Tribal and other communities Some planning, formative evaluation, additional planning, and summative evaluation will be included in the internship tasks.

Examples of Student Librarian Internships

Collection Development and Cataloging Internship

The learning objective of this project will be collection assessment, cataloging, and development of Environmental Health informational content. This will be done in the resource center of the SWEHSC Outreach Core developing the multi media collection and the catalog, which uses the Library software. The goal is to make the catalog available online to teachers who use the SWEHSC lessons. This learning objective will provide a valuable real life experience of collection assessment, cataloging and development of resources that can not be learned in the classroom.

Web Reference Development Internship

The learning objective of the project will be to develop pathfinder resources for the Environmental Health website and assist with web design. This work will be done by finding and evaluating resources for appropriateness. The information will then be made available by the organization’s website. Topics for the pathfinders will be decided upon over the internship period.