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Climate Change and a Vanishing Island

This article about the effects of climate change on the people who live on a small island in the bayous of Louisiana is from the NN/LM South Central Region’s blog, Blogadillo.

SCR Regional Highlight: America’s First “Climate Refugees”

“Isle De Jean Charles” by Karen Apricot
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Isle De Jean Charles - Blue HouseIsle de Jean Charles is a tiny, narrow island deep in the bayous of Louisiana. The single-lane “Island Road” is the only land method of transportation to and from the island but is often impassible during times of high water. It has been the home to the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians for more than 170 years—but not for much longer.

Coastal erosion, severe storms, rising sea levels, and poor oil extraction practices have caused the island to literally sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Current island residents remember when Isle de Jean Charles was 5 miles wide. But with 98 percent of it lost since 1955, the island is now only a mere 1/4 mile in width. Southern Louisiana as a whole, actually, is the fastest disappearing landmass on earth.

Edison Dardar, one of the current residents, explains in The New York Times’ mini-documentary “Vanishing Island” that he remembers when there were 250, maybe even 300 homes, on the island years ago. Since the hurricanes have scared most families off, there are now maybe 20 left. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike severely damaged the infrastructure of the island causing many families to flee. Read more »

Upcoming PNR Rendezvous and PNR Partners webinars in August

This month’s PNR Rendezvous guest speaker will be Andrew Plumer, Outreach Librarian for the National Library of Medicine (NLM). His presentation, NLM’s K-12 Resources: Supporting the Teacher, Engaging the Student, will be Wednesday August 17 from 1:00 – 2:00pm Pacific Time.

The National Library offers a wide selection of resources to assist the educator and engage the students. Web portals designed with educator input focusing on such topics as environmental health, chemical and toxicological hazards in the community and genetics.  The National Library of Medicine offers other databases that can be used as adjuncts to existing classroom lessons.  It isn’t all just web portals and databases, the NLM has created a series of animations dealing with environmental health issues and games covering  multiple issues  including chemistry, biology and environmental health.

How do I connect to PNR Rendezvous?
You can participate in this free, web-based interactive session from your desk with your computer and telephone.

  • Please click here https://webmeeting.nih.gov/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm to test your computer prior to the meeting. The diagnostic test will prompt you if you need to update Flash, check your connection speed and install an Adobe Connect add-in. If you have problems with these steps, please call your information technology department for help.
  • Go to the following website and login as a Guest, using your own name: https://webmeeting.nih.gov/rendezvous.
  • Once in the web meeting a pop-up box allows you to put in your phone number and the program will call you. If this does not happen call the 800 number and use the participant code given in the Notes box (lower left-hand corner) on the screen.

PNR Partners will be the next day on August 18 from 1:00 – 2:00pm Pacific Time. Read more »

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Visits Seattle

 Molly Carney, Executive Director at Evergreen Treatment Services, meets with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Molly Carney, Executive Director at Evergreen Treatment Services, meets with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

This is a guest post from Jim Anderson, Physician Assistant and Dispensary Manager at Evergreen Treatment Services, a PNR Network member.  If you would like to write a guest post please contact Patricia Devine at devine@uw.edu.

On Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s recent stop in Seattle, he visited Evergreen Treatment Services to learn more about medication assisted treatment in Seattle and the opioid epidemic in the Pacific NW and Alaska. Evergreen Treatment Services has been working to transform the lives of individuals and their communities through innovative and effective addiction and social services in Western Washington since 1973.

The Surgeon General also visited the Seattle Police Department, to hear about their efforts to address the opioid epidemic and their successful use of naloxone in reversing 10 overdoses recently. Naloxone is provided for patrolling officers, and its use among police departments is rapidly spreading.

Murthy also spent time with an Opioid Task Force, a group made up of a variety of representatives from governmental and medical agencies and institutions, with a goal of addressing the opioid epidemic, including both heroin and other opioid medications.

While in Seattle, Murthy described what he believes to be the need to view opioid addiction as a chronic disease, and to respond rapidly to known opioid addiction the same way that the medical community responds to other chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Seattle Times quoted him sharing his thoughts about this with the Seattle Police Department leaders:

“For too many people in America, addiction is a character flaw or a moral failing, but that’s not the case. We have to help people see addiction for what it is, which is a chronic illness of the brain that we have to treat with the same urgency, compassion and skill that we would treat diabetes or heart disease. That shift is going to take all of us.”

NLM K-12 health and science resources

knowledgeFor many, the school year is right around the corner as the summer break will soon be over. Many school teachers, administrators, and staff will soon be preparing for the fall start if they haven’t already. MedlinePlus is a familiar NLM resource but perhaps the K-12 resources are not.  The Specialized Information Services of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is responsible for the many freely available resources that school staff as well as students and parents may find helpful in regards to school policies, science information as well as health information for the wider community.

As many may already know, STEM education has taken a front seat with the White House campaign of “Educate to Innovate” involving partnerships with top companies, universities, foundations, and other organizations to continue the push towards advancing the achievements of students in the STEM arena. However, we also know that many schools are underfunded and have several priorities needing attention. These NLM K-12 resources are available for free and can help reinforce and supplement curricula as well as provide information for science and health research papers and projects. These are resources that students and parents can access and use from home and do not require creating an account or a special login.  Read more »

NIH BD2K Updates

Big Data to Knowledge, or BD2K, is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Initiative to establish biomedical research as a digital enterprise, to support new knowledge and to maximize community engagement. Check the BD2K homepage for more information, and here is some recent news:

BD2K News:

Read more »

Funding Available for MLA Webinar: Getting Started with Statistics

Jin-WuFunding is available for NN/LM PNR Network members to apply for group or individual viewing for the next Medical Library Association webinar, Getting Started with Statistics for Librarians, on Wednesday, September 7, 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Learn how to understand basic statistical terms, identify test measures used in research studies, and interpret data presented in research findings. Presenter Jin Wu is an emerging technologies librarian at the University of Southern California Norris Medical Library. She has extensive experience using tools to gather information to make data-driven strategy and planning decisions. Those viewing the webinar receive 1.5 hours of Continuing Education credit from the Medical Library Association.

If you are in the Seattle area, you are invited to the PNR sponsored viewing in the University of Washington Health Sciences Library. To apply, send email to Patricia Devine at devine@uw.edu.