Research Translation Core

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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.

The RTC continues to grow, evaluate, and strengthen a social media program for translating isrp research and PCB news to a wide range of national and global audiences, including engaged stakeholders, regulators, researchers, and SRP centers. Its twitter page continues as the world’s leading  source for PCB science, hazards, policy, and remediation news, with more than 66,000 unique impressions (of 126,000 since 2014).

The RTC released the first in a series of web-based applications designed to transfer isrp research methods and data to researchers, regulators, government, the general public, and other stakeholder communities. It is a method for accurately predicting the sampling volume of passive air samplers deployed anywhere in the world (Herkert et al., 2018). The RTC immediately made it publicly available through an accessible web application.  Click on the image link to the right to access the web page.

The RTC  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.

The RTC 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.

The RTC 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. Information can be obtained on our Science Cafes page.


Scott Spak, Core Leader

Dr. Spak is responsible for supervising all aspects of research translation, including monitoring the development of new innovations and applications that arise as a result of isrp research, facilitating the exchange of information and resources to isrp stakeholders, identifying potential partners in industry and government, and continuing to grow, evaluate, and strengthen the isrp social media program.

Dr. Spak is also directly involved in the planning of all Core activities and has specific responsibility for liaison work with governmental partners, including local, state, regional and national representatives, Region VII, EPA and others.

Craig Just

Dr. Just, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental 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.