Monica Ramirez
Democratizing Science: Developing Tools to Effectively Evaluate Co-Created Citizen Science Efforts in Rural Mining Towns
To date, only a limited number of co-created citizen science (CS) projects where community members are involved in most or all steps of the scientific process have been, and even less in conjunction with risk communication. Concomitantly, there is a dire need to assess and standardize the evaluation of CS programs. Using a mixed method approach and combining quantitative and qualitative assessment tools, this project will evaluate potential differences in knowledge of contaminate fate and transport and environmental pollution and understanding of governmental environmental policy and regulations, as well as internal and external motivations and self-efficacy for environmental action and learning and performing science. This information is critical to move citizen science efforts forward and to determine whether such a project co- produces environmental monitoring, exposure assessment, and risk data in a form that will be directly relevant to the participant's lives and increases the community’s involvement in environmental decision- making.
Project type
Projet OHM
OHM(s) involved
  • Pima County
Écologie de la santé, Santé publique, Socio-anthropologie, Sociologie
Image (put here just a single image)EN DEV


I am a new assistant professor of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) with a join appointment in the College of Public Health’s Division of Community, Environment and Policy at the University of Arizona. I am trained across various fields and I am a transdisciplinary researcher in the purest sense. I received a B.A. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a B.A. degree in Studio Art (Photography), and a master’s of Public Administration from Columbia University. I received my Ph.D. from the UA in SWES (with a minor in Art) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with a medical sociologist in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University.
The goals of my research program include: 1) developing a fundamental understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, with a primary focus on plant-soil systems; and 2) designing effective risk communication and data report-back strategies to improve environmental health literacy and education. The foci of my research program include: assessing the environmental health of residential and community gardens and food products; monitoring and improving soil and air quality through phytotechnologies; and building citizen science programs and low-cost environmental monitoring tools to increase public participation in environmental health research. I have been successful in reaching underserved populations and have previously facilitated community-academic partnerships in Arizona and Massachusetts.