Ramírez-Andreotta Receives 2019 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science recognizes early-career scientists who demonstrate excellence in their public engagement with science activities. This year, we honor Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, Assistant Professor of the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. She is honored for her innovative approach to engaging communities on environmental health-related problems, and working collaboratively with them to research and solve these problems. Residents of disadvantaged communities in Arizona, and across the nation, are disproportionately affected by environmental problems like pollution, water scarcity and food insecurity. Ramírez has been heading up citizen science programs for years in an effort to be a steward of the environment and to help these disadvantaged communities. This includes two major programs she launched, Garden Roots and Project Harvest. In addition, she’s made her science culturally relevant, accessible, and responsive to these communities’ concerns. She also advocates for environmental education programs in which communities, organizations, government, and academic stakeholders build meaningful partnerships and cultivate opportunities for informal science education. In her research, Ramírez focuses on the effects of exposure to environmental contaminants, with special attention on plant-soil systems to improve soil, air, and water quality. And she tightly integrates her research with her outreach and public engagement efforts. Finally, her work is international as she engages communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. In her public engagement efforts, Ramírez has been a true innovator in the ways she’s promoted dialogue and collaboration between scientists and communities affected by her work.

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