Community Engagement Core

Barley with sunrising

Community members and researchers talking at table

Working with communities to strengthen our research

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) helps to develop partnerships between researchers at the Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) and the communities where they do their work. One of the main goals of the partnership is to address environmental health problems in a more scientifically rigorous way.

Communities most affected by environmental health problems are often ones that experience significant health disparities, like not having good access to health care. When scientists work directly with these communities it can make a difference in the direction their research takes. CEC functions by:

  • Facilitating the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee (CSTAC). CEC creates the structure for its community partnerships through CSTAC. CSTAC includes government and community leaders in environmental health and justice organizations. One key role CSTAC plays is to guide research so it addresses the needs of vulnerable populations in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
  • Providing researchers with training and mentoring. CEC helps scientists working on Pilot Projects or doing other research find new ways to incorporate community engagement in their work.
  • Supporting the Community Environmental Health Science Academy. CEC trains community leaders in concepts and methods of environmental health science to support informed engagement, understanding, participation in EHSC research.
  • Running the Environmental Health Sciences Writing Internship. CEC sponsors a writing internship in collaboration with the University Writing Program. EHSC writing interns host a blog where they publish articles and profiles of  EHSC researchers, community leaders and environmental advocates who serve as community advisers for EHSC. Please visit their blog.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) also promotes community-engaged research through its Partnerships for Environmental Public Health. NIEHS provides funding for EHSC.

For more information about the Community Engagement Core contact:

Jonathan London, PhD
Michelle Ko, MD, PhD