Research Translation Core
The activities accomplished and proposed by the Research Translation Core (RTC), more than any other part of the Superfund Research Program (isrp), endeavor to connect research projects to the world. Examples of how we have connected research projects to the world:
We have developed a relationship with Ecolotree, Inc., a firm using isrp-developed knowledge to remediate a PCB contaminated site in Virginia where other cores and projects of the isrp are also engaged.
We have provided outreach to and engagement of elected state legislators and their staff including developing and coordinating workshops on environmental remediation and have presented at the National Conference of State Legislature Summit in Seattle, Washington. In March 2017 we co-hosted, with Michigan State University and Wayne State University, a legislator workshop in Lansing, Michigan.
We brought activist Jennifer deNicola of Malibu Unites, a group of parents opposed to the testing and remediation of PCBs by their local school board in school buildings in the Los Angeles area, to present at the 8th International PCB Workshop held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In addition to having Ms. deNicola speak, the Woods Hole workshop sought out community groups to attend.
We brought the Science Café approach to small towns near Iowa City to engage a less academically oriented audience in learning about SRP work and other exciting science research from the College of Public Health.
A video of a visit to isrp laboratories by Columbus Junction 7th graders exemplifies what the Research Translation Core hopes to achieve:
All RTC aims are supported by an entrepreneurial approach to communicating results and activities to many audiences by many methods, including traditional media relations, social media, interactive web applications and decision support tools, and webinars.
Scott Spak, PhD, Core Leader
Dr. Spak is responsible for supervising all aspects of research translation, including monitoring the development of new innovations that arise as a result of isrp research, facilitating the exchange of information and resources to isrp stakeholders, and identifying potential partners in industry and government.
Dr. Spak, Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering, also leads the evaluation, decision-support tool development, and webinar series for the Core with special emphasis on expanding social media.
Craig Just, PhD
Dr. Just, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Research Scientist, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, The University of Iowa, has a broad and long-standing experience in engagement. He guided the development of the Public Engagement Grant Program that commenced at the University of Iowa in 2011. His commitment to engagement was acknowledged in 2010 with the David Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Public Service. He co-directs the UI Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy.