Connecting Research with Community | UMBC Campus News

Here’s a recap of what’s in the news in and around the UMBC campus, originally brought to you by UMBC News.

This news recap is brought to you by UMBC’s Division of Professional Studies, offering a broad array of professionally-focused master’s degrees and certificate programs that address industry needs while anticipating future opportunities.

Tackling Food Insecurity in disasters: UMBC’s Lauren Clay develops a new model through $520k NSF CAREER award

Lauren Clay, associate professor and chair of UMBC’s Emergency Health Services program, has been awarded $520,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue her research on food availability during natural disasters. Her model, Food Environment in Disasters (FED), draws upon data from previous crises in order to address food insecurity in the aftermath of extreme weather or during a pandemic. In the future, Clay hopes to establish a lab that can both further the breadth of her project and provide resources to prepare communities for these disasters.

UMBC To co-lead new Baltimore Social-Environmental Collaborative with $2.3M grant

With new funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), UMBC is continuing its efforts towards environmental research in collaboration with other local universities. This project, called the Baltimore Social-Environmental Collaborative (BSEC) combines field research with community needs, using input from local communities to guide research on Baltimore’s water quality. By combining urban climate science with community collaboration, BSEC hopes to build for equitable pathways for climate action.

Students in UMBC’s ICARE program connect scientific research with community

UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Consortium for Applied Research in the Environment (ICARE), is a two year master’s program that allows students to conduct their own environmental research in the surrounding Baltimore area. By prioritizing community engagement in these projects, ICARE strives for their students to lead the way, both in the environmental field and in local communities. Students’ research topics include bats as biomonitors for neighborhood metal levels, engaging south-Baltimore residents in the zero-waste movement,  and sustainable oyster harvesting.

UMBC’s Nkiru Nnawulezi and D.C. community partners make the case for survivor-centered housing services

Nkiru Nnawulezi, an associate professor in UMBC’s psychology department, is collaborating with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) to conduct community-focused research on domestic violence survivors in the DC area, specifically in regards to accessibility in housing. To forward this cause, Nnawulezi partnered with the director of DCCADV to found the Domestic Violence Action Research Collective (DVARC), the goal of which was to study local crisis housing centers to discover the true source of equity barriers. Through this study, Nnawulezi and her collaborators hope to increase housing that is equitable, community-based, and survivor-focused.

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