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Attend April 6 (Today!): Ending Childhood Lead Poisoning -Understanding Health through Community, Environment, and Policy

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 06 April 2011

4-6 pm
Wednesday, April 6
UC Sacramento Center 1130 K Street, Suite LL 22 Sacramento, CA
Light refreshments will be served at the panel and a no-host happy hour will follow at Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant, 1029 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Despite dramatic decline in the average blood lead levels of children, lead toxicity continues to be a threat. Lead persists in the environment and is present in older homes and the surrounding soils. In addition, the burden of elevated blood lead levels is not equally distributed; some communities have lead poisoning rates of 15-20% while the national average is below 2%. Finally, blood lead levels below 10 micrograms per deciliter, the current CDC level of concern, have been associated with substantial decrements in children's learning abilities and elevated risks for behavioral problems, such as ADHD and conduct disorder.

Pan

Research Review: Agenda setting articles and their approaches to couplings, complexity, and a functional diversity.

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 17 March 2011

After a few weeks of hearing practice job talks and learning about visiting scholar Karin Ingold’s work, the folks associated with the Center for Environmental Behavior and Policy discussed two articles of suggested by Kelly Garabach. Both the Liu et al. (2007) and Diaz et al. (2011) articles were short articles that we classified as most useful in their ability to contribute to ‘agenda setting’ in research related to social-ecological systems. Due to illness, Kelly was not present to lead the discussion however, I was pleased to later learn that she had intended the discussion to center around the utility of agenda setting papers and their relevance to the way our lab frames its research interests and priorities. As a group, we talked about the ability of both frameworks to appropriately embody social-ecological research questions and the challenges of collaborative research in all its disciplinary forms.

Research Review: Network Governance of the Commons

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 21 February 2011

To kick off the new year, the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior lab group discussed Lars Carlsson and Annica Sandström’s article, “Network Governance of the Commons”. The article overviews co-management literature and network approaches to understanding natural resource governance. It includes an in-depth review of social network measures that have been associated with social capital. The authors give a brief overview of both co-management and network approaches, noting that the traditional approach to understanding co-management focused on a linear axes of power sharing between “the state” and private actors. They argue that poor alignment between political boundaries and resource geographies-as well as the numerous scales of social and ecological processes involved in managing natural resources - challenge this approach (watersheds are a classic example). The paper presents social network analysis as a conceptual framework that allows for a flexible understanding of the governance structure. Echoing one of the core sentiments of the group, Mark later wrote that he “liked how the paper recognized the nuances of how social networks might affect environmental outcomes, such as the tradeoffs between different types of network structures.” And that he “thought they did a good job of connecting to some of the most important basic research in social networks, in particular Burt and Granovetter, and talked about the difference between more open and closed networks.” The article presents a call for further case studies comparing divergent outcomes, which is always nice for our lab (since that is one of the things we do – see the Schneider et al. reference in Carlsson and Sandstrom’s paper for proof!).

Below is a play-by-play account of the themes in the article we discussed at length. We hope it provides a) a good summary for people who missed the meeting, b) feedback to the authors and people who may use the article as a teaching tool, c) a reminder to ourselves about how this article informs and relates to some of the other scholarly work with which we are familiar. In the comments after to post, feel free to post citation information for references relevant to any of these points.

Dispatch: Lead 2010- Childhood exposure to lead

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 16 November 2010

Like many other environmental health issues, understanding childhood lead exposure involves land use history, politics, and the global economy. In a panel on childhood lead poisoning, we aim to synthesize the science behind lead’s distribution in the environment, the individual and societal implications of lead exposure in childhood, and barriers and opportunities to reducing lead exposure rates in the future. The panel is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday April 6th at 4 pm at the UC Center Sacramento-1130 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Lead poisoning continues to be a health threat despite efforts by the public health community to eliminate childhood lead poisoning by the year 2010. The removal of lead from consumer products, such as paint and gasoline, resulted in dramatic declines in the average blood lead levels of children. However, lead persists in the environment and is present in older homes and the surrounding soils. In addition, the burden of elevated blood lead levels is not equally distributed. Some urban communities demonstrate lead poisoning levels of 15-20% while the national average is below 2%.

Four panelists, representing public health science, urban ecology, policy makers, and grassroots organization active in California, will to discuss policy, science and community action on lead poisoning. The panel is open to the public and will include lots of opportunities for audience participation.

Meet the wiki: SNA in R

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 15 November 2010

Vicken, Matt Hamilton, and I met this morning as part of an ad hoc R support group. We decided that we'd start a wiki (hosted on a UC Davis SmartSite called "SNA in R" ) to adapt Hanneman and Riddle's online book about using UCINET to learn R, share code, and create a product that will be of use to people beyond the three of us.

Research Review: Bodin and Crona's Management of Natural Resources at the Community Level

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 12 November 2010

Research Review: Bodin and Crona, 2008. Management of Natural Resources as the Community Level: Exploring the Role of Social Capital and Leadership in a Rural Fishing Community. World Development 26(12) 2763-2779.

Links to our work: When I read this article, I thought immediately of Chantelise and her project on groundwater management in Baja and Sonoma County wine regions. I also thought of the grant I recently submitted with colleagues at the University of Alaska’s Institute for Social and Economic Research. I think both Chantelise and I are involved in research that answers Bodin and Crona’s call for more comparative work on collective management of natural resources in natural resource dependent communities.

Lab trip to Russell Ranch

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 01 November 2010

It was a cold and blustery Friday afternoon, but discussion about Russell Ranch as a leading site for social-ecological research on agriculture and agricultural policy proved envigorating. Here are a few pictures from the day. I think the bleak weather comes across very clearly. Thanks to Meredith et al. for organizing. I can't wait for the barn dance poster session.

Dispatch: effective visualization

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 01 November 2010

Question of the day: How do you present social network findings to an audience?

I think about this a lot and I encourage you to post positive examples or your own solutions in the "comments" section. Especially after attending a few social network conferences and producing my fair share of circle and line network diagrams. Most of the time, these do little more than demonstrate the researcher's ego (insert bad egonetwork joke here). This is the hallmark "look at all the data I collected!" slide for social network analysis. It is the prettier and more dizzing version of the size 8 font regression table that also appears in many a scientific talk. So, what's the solution? There are many out there, but I think a recent article in SEED magazine (http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/getting_past_the_pie_chart/) presents a good synopsis of the great visualization debate.

Research Brief: Interdisciplinary team prepares to survey ranchers

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 01 November 2010

Here is a press release I'm preparing for the Farm Bureau and California Cattlemen's to run in advance of our survey (which is getting close to being ready to test!). I would appreciate any comments.

A group of researchers at University of California, Davis is funded by the USDA to conduct cutting edge social and ecological research on rangelands. The project, supported by the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen’s Association, and many other groups, aims to understand the many ways in which ranchers manage livestock and lands for multiple goals. This winter, they will be sending a survey to over 1500 ranchers in an effort to understand decision-making.

Tweeting ranchers

By Bethany Cutts - Posted on 30 August 2010

Earlier I wrote about trying to get a sense for ranching culture "in the understory". That is, through the up and coming ranchers who have grown up with more technology in their lives. At long last, a contact through our research partners made me aware of Jeff Fowle. I feel comfortable writing about him here since he has a facebook page, twitter account, blog, and linkedin account.

http://twitter.com/jefffowle

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