Suggested uses for Professionals
Many types of professionals are working on environmental health issues, including researchers, government officials, and attorneys. Each of them plays a unique role in how these issues are investigated, regulated, and litigated. This website can help these professionals become more aware of their shared interest in the environment and its impact on health.
For example, researchers can learn how their work is perceived by communities and other professionals who need to use scientific information; or they can learn how other researchers have worked with attorneys and the media. Government officials can consider how their official response to environmental issues may be perceived by reading about past events in several communities over time. Attorneys can learn about research investigating environmental issues and understand the sequence of events in several North Carolina communities facing environmental hazards.
If you are one of these professionals, this website can help you learn more about an environmental health issue affecting North Carolina citizens. Basic information with links to additional resources can help you quickly organize your background inquiry. Community narratives provide the human side of the issue to make sure the issue is grounded in the stories of real people. By reading about several issues or several communities, patterns in research or official responses may become more evident.
Learning about an environmental issue
Choose an environmental issue. Follow the various links we’ve assembled to learn background information on the issue. You will be able to read summaries of research findings and identify what is still unknown.
Learning about affected communities
Select a narrative from Real People – Real Stories. By reading about communities in North Carolina, you will learn how residents become aware of an issue and how it evolves into a recognizable problem for which they seek governmental or legal intervention. As evidence is needed, some communities participate in or even manage research projects to study the problem’s effects.
Developing Awareness through a Dialogue for Action
Professionals can benefit from exploring issues through the perspective of someone very different from themselves. Opportunities for observing a short film clip or performing a skit (reader’s theater) can be planned for continuing education seminars and classroom settings. We provide discussion questions that explore the characters, the story, and what it means. By engaging in dialogue, you may find your eyes “opened” to new aspects of an environmental health issue that you did not recognize before.
Use our short video documentaries to gain a quick understanding of environmental health issues and the origins of the environmental justice movement in North Carolina.
Literature about Environmental Health Promotion
Howze EH, Baldwin GT, Kegler MC.
Environmental health promotion: bridging traditional environmental health and health promotion. Health Educ Behav. 2004 Aug;31(4):429-40. PMID: 15296627
Kreuter MW, De Rosa C, Howze EH, Baldwin GT.
Understanding wicked problems: a key to advancing environmental health promotion.
Health Educ Behav. 2004 Aug;31(4):441-54. PMID: 15296628
Additional links explore the websites of other groups working on environmental health issues, the practice of science and research, advocacy for healthier communities, and legal protection of the environment.