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Taking Science to the Streets: Community Science and Participatory Approaches to Improve Environment, Health, and Quality of Life in Urban Areas

Class Details

Environmental justice communities are those which are disproportionately affected by and exposed to multiple environmental, socioeconomic and cultural stressors that may heighten their health risks in comparison to other communities. The availability of fine-grained, community-level data is limited to support appeals from these communities for public health practice, planning, and policy changes.
This presentation will describe local community-driven research, advocacy, and public health practice in an environmentally degraded urban community, Northwest Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Watershed. Community residents (watershed researchers), academics, and non-profit organizations leverage local, community knowledge; community science methods; and participatory approaches to identify, document, and analyze the impacts of local environmental hazards and quality of life stressors.
This highly collaborative and interdisciplinary work has helped to improve municipal services and community-municipality collaboration. It has also demonstrated that the democratization of science can help fill critical data gaps about local conditions and pollution sources, advance environmental justice, and impact changes in the implementation of urban policies and practice that influence community health.
By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:
• Define community science
• Apply a conceptual framework for urban health to urban environmental health challenges
• Identify a range of community engaged and participatory research approaches; and
• Articulate how these approaches can be used to improve environmental quality, health, and community engagement in research and public health practice.
Guest Speaker
Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Health Sciences Program at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Jelks investigates urban environmental health disparities; the role that place, race, and social factors play in influencing health; cumulative risk assessment; the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, and the connection between urban watersheds, pollution, the built environment, and health. She also develops, implements, and evaluates community-based initiatives that set the conditions that are conducive for low-income and communities of color to empower themselves to reduce exposure to environmental health hazards and improve health and quality of life. Dr. Jelks is particularly interested in approaches that engage vulnerable communities in community-driven citizen science/community science activities to monitor local environmental conditions, reduce existence of and exposure to environmental hazards, and develop effective community-based interventions that revitalize toxic, degraded spaces into healthy places.

You may register in advance for this webinar at

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Region/Office: National
Mar 3, 2021
1:00PM - 2:00PM ET

Class Overview

SEAside is an alternate webinar series from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region (NNLM SEA) to promote educational opportunities that occur infrequently and are in addition to the Beyond the SEA webinar series. Speakers cover different topics of interest to health science librarians, health care practitioners, librarians, and other health focused groups in the region. Topics include new and updated National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources, RML Awardee presentations on their research and outreach programs, Disaster Resources, Electronic Health Records, and many others related to health science and health care. All sessions are online webinars using WebEx, which allows for live phone conversation and online chat. SEAside webinars are held infrequently and are based on the availability of specific speakers who may not be able to present during the Beyond the SEA webinar series. Sessions are generally held at 2PM (ET) and last an hour. Sessions are recorded, closed captioned, and made available for later viewing.

Pre-Register: Pre-registration is required.

Technical Briefs 

Important Information Prior to the Use of WebEx:

Continuing Education

Link to Recordings

If you are unable to attend a session, webinars are recorded and added to the NNLM SEA Past Classes typically within one week.