Trainee Sows Gardenroots Results Across Arizona

University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) trainee Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta has compiled the results from her dissertation research, Gardenroots, the Dewey-Humboldt, AZ Garden Project. In response to interest from gardeners around the state of Arizona, she has been on the road to provide presentations describing the results of her study on metals uptake in garden vegetables.

In May, 2012, Ms. Ramírez-Andreotta gave a presentation to 27 Gila County Master Gardeners and a very enthusiastic UA Cooperative Extension County Director. She says of the experience, “They invited me to a picnic where most of the food and salads were from their garden - it was delicious. I had nice conversations with people, and they suggested I test beer and chocolate next!”

In June, 2012, Ms. Ramírez-Andreotta provided a presentation for 60 Yavapai County Master Gardeners, who were very supportive of her work and had many questions. Jeff Schalau, the UA Cooperative Extension agent with whom she has worked closely on this project, explained to the attendees that while many investigators perform their research without contacting the Extension office, Ms. Ramírez-Andreotta broke the mold. Says Schalau, “Mónica worked with us from the very beginning. Since she did that, now other investigators are following in her footsteps. This type of partnership and working together has paved the path for other scientists to work with Extension.”

Dewey-Humboldt citizen-scientists who participated in the project had already received their individual household results in January (“Results for Lunch event a success!”) In June, in response to community requests, Ms. Ramírez-Andreotta provided a complete overview of the project, discussing the results from greenhouse results to community samples as a whole. Many of the citizen-scientist participants attended, as well as the Chair of the Town of Dewey-Humboldt Environmental Issues Advisory Committee.

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