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ARRA - Air Pollution Outreach, Education, and Research Capacity Building in Alaska Native Villages

Grant Details
Federal ID#: 
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Tony Ward

For the past six years, The University of Montana's Air Toxics Under the Big Sky program has been used to educate high school students in rural areas of Montana, Idaho, and Alaska about indoor air quality, and the adverse respiratory health effects of being exposed to poor air quality. As part of this program, the students collect indoor PM2.5 samples within their homes, enhancing the learning experience regarding air pollution and health, while also collecting data of importance to researchers in exposure assessment at The University of Montana. In collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), we will implement the Air Toxics Under the Big Sky program into seven Alaska Native villages to educate the communities on the importance of good indoor air quality. As the program evolves, we will then support the communities to identify community-specific air pollution issues of importance, and characterize respiratory disease within their communities. In the future, intervention type strategies will then be identified and implemented within each of the communities to mitigate the identified air pollution problems, and improve respiratory health among the Alaska Native populations. Before we implement the Air Toxics program into the rural villages of Alaska, we first need to establish and formalize the partnerships within each of the communities targeted in this proposal. Funding from this grant would support this capacity building effort. Project Relevance In collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), this project will establish a public health network that will support the understanding and mitigation of air quality issues within seven Alaska Native villages. This project will also create multiple jobs at ANTHC, the University of Montana, and within seven tribal villages, while improving the air quality and respiratory health of the community members.