Building Interdisciplinary Partnerships for Community-Engaged Environmental Health Research in Appalachian Virginia
Bell, Shannon Elizabeth
Marr, Linsey C.
Thompson, Christopher K.
Prussin, Aaron J.
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This article describes a collaboration among a group of university faculty, undergraduate students, local governments, local residents, and U.S. Army staff to address long-standing concerns about the environmental health effects of an Army ammunition plant. The authors describe community-responsive scientific pilot studies that examined potential environmental contamination and a related undergraduate research course that documented residents’ concerns, contextualized those concerns, and developed recommendations. We make a case for the value of resource-intensive university–community partnerships that promote the production of knowledge through collaborations across disciplinary paradigms (natural/physical sciences, social sciences, health sciences, and humanities) in response to questions raised by local residents. Our experience also suggests that enacting this type of research through a university class may help promote researchers’ adoption of “epistemological pluralism”, and thereby facilitate the movement of a study from being “multidisciplinary” to “transdisciplinary”.
- Destination Area: Global Systems Science (GSS) 
- Journal Articles, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) 
- Scholarly Works, Civil and Environmental Engineering 
- Scholarly Works, Department of Population Health Sciences 
- Scholarly Works, Department of Religion and Culture 
- Scholarly Works, Department of Sociology 
- Scholarly Works, School of Neuroscience