February 8, 2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Harvill Building, Room 460
Denise Moreno Ramírez, Doctoral student at the University of Arizona’s Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science and the School of Anthropology
Denise Ramírez pondered hazardous contamination at an early age while growing up in the Sister Cities of Ambos Nogales. As a high school student, she experienced first hand what it felt like to have the national spotlight on your community because of toxic pollution and researchers swarming in to study the environmental health effects. She quickly learned that impacted individuals must not be left out of the scientific and decision-making processes.
Motivated by this experience, Moreno Ramírez is curious to understand how people end up living next to contaminated sites, why certain science communication efforts may be considered useful, and what do individuals do—or do not do—with scientific information. Her dissertation project focuses on preserving and sharing the oral histories of community members living next to government-designated Superfund Sites in Arizona. In addition, Moreno Ramírez will qualitatively analyze these histories to determine how people experience hazardous contamination, work to disseminate the histories to a broader audience, and establish digital and local archives that can serve as a reference to current and future generations. She hopes that findings from her research will inform how scientists and policymakers approach communities that are dealing with pollution and assist them to act on these issues.