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Hardscarbble: Sustainability Policy: Volunteers and Ethics

"Promoting bidirectional communication and collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and community volunteers is critical for advancing research translation and achieving environmental sustainability efforts. When a mutual sense of interest, purpose, and trust are shared, stakeholders can build partnerships to produce co-generated solutions. Many factors influence the dynamics and growth of these relationships and environmental and research ethics are critical to the process. Environmental ethics apply ethical thinking to the natural world and the relationship between humans and the earth, whereas research ethics, which include: autonomy (right to know), beneficence (maximum good), non-malfeasance (minimize harm), and justice (distribution of benefits and harm) protects participants in research studies. For environmental sustainability efforts to be successful, partners must understand the essential features of moral and ethical thinking, be able to look beyond their own boundaries, be capable of self-reflexivity, and be willing to take on new environmental sustainability ideas. This presentation will include an overview of ethical thinking; important environmental ethical frameworks, a system-thinking approach to sustainability research, and “reflexive research ethics”, a recent concept proposed to improve partnerships among academic, practitioner, and community stakeholders. 

Dr. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta is an assistant professor of Soil, Water and Environmental Science with a join appointment in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona (UA). She is the Director of two co-created citizen science programs called Gardenroots and Project Harvest. With a PhD in Environmental Science and a minor in Art, she is a transdisciplinary researcher in the purest sense. She received a B.A. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a B.A. degree in Studio Art, and masters of Public Administration from Columbia University. Dr. Ramirez-Andreotta was the recipient of the 14th Annual Karen Wetterhan Award from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), selected for the 2016 U.S. – Mexico Border Health Commission’s Leaders Across Borders Program, and recently completed a Science and Art Communication Fellowship led by UA’s Museum of Art. Dr. Ramirez-Andreotta’s research program includes developing a fundamental understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, with a primary focus on plant-soil systems. In parallel, she is building citizen science programs to increase public participation in environmental health research, developing low cost environmental monitoring tools to improve exposure estimates, and designing effective risk communication and data report-back strategies to improve environmental health literacy.

Wednesday Hardscrabble programs are brought to you collaboratively by Gila County Historical Society in Globe, and Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum in Miami. Programs are always free, although donations help us to bring the programs to you, and to help pay our utilities."

Later Event: May 19
Subway Underground