The Sludge Safety Project is always looking for the expertise and assistance of scientists, researchers and students who are willing to engage the issues surrounding coal sludge disposal and its impacts on human health and the environment. One of the biggest obstacles we face is bad science from regulators or industry or simply no science at all on critical issues. Work is needed in a wide range of disciplines including geochemistry, geohydrology, GIS analysis, epidemiology, toxicology, public health, and civil and environmental engineering. Large knowledge gaps provide a unique opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research that has immediate impacts in Appalachian communities. The Sludge Safety Project facilitates participatory research by connecting researchers with communities.
A great network we are part of is the Scholar-Activist Alliance. The Scholar-Activist Alliance (SAA) is a new way to connect scholars, researchers and students with community groups' real needs, thus providing a path for academic research to have real-world impacts on peoples' lives. Interested academics may also want to check out the Appalachian Community and Ecosystems Health Collaborative. In April of 2011, a group of 58 community members and scientists from across the Appalachian region convened to lay out a research plan—and community-based collaborative action steps to implement that plan—that closes the gaps in our current understanding of the environmental health/community health link. Their site has the working teams that emerged out of the summit and the research questions they are tackling.
In addition to connecting community members to professionals, we are in constant need of water testing resources, kits, sampling equipment and lab analysis. We need to test for heavy metals such as manganese, iron, arsenic, copper, and lead, and also for volatile organics when possible. If you are interested in working with SSP, please contact us at email@example.com.