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Tag: Tufts Institute of the Environment

Lunch and Learn Recap: Elena Naumova, Environmental Indicators of Enteric Infections and Water Safety in Southern India

Elena Naumova, director of the Tufts Initiative for the Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases (InForMid) and Associate Dean for Research at the Tufts School of Engineering, spoke last week as part of the Tufts Environmental Studies and Tufts Institute of the Environment Lunch and Learn program. Her presentation on the Environmental Indicators of Enteric Infections and Water Safety in Southern India covered student research projects sponsored through a collaboration between the Tufts School of Engineering and Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.

 A mathematician by training, Naumova emphasized the importance of translating data into usable information that allows for action and policy.

Naumova began by laying out the importance of preventing waterborne diseases. Globally, there are 4 billion cases of diarrhea annually, 2.2 million of which lead to death. Of those 2.2 million, 80% of the deaths are among infants. Unsafe water is a large factor in these diseases.

Modern mathematical tools allow for an understanding of waterborne outbreaks in “temporal and spatial patterns”, Naumova said. “Practically all waterborne diseases exhibit strong seasonal patterns distinct for a specific pathogen in a given population [and] locality”, in a phenomenon known

as seasonality. An example familiar to New England residents, of course, would be the peaks of flu that occur in the winter. “Variability in seasonal characteristics can provide clues on important factors influencing disease occurrence, exposure, [and] spread.” These environmental factors, when they are within human control, could be a key to disease prevention. Climate change, however, will affect our ability to use these seasonal indicators as the patterns we have come to recognize begin to shift radically.

Naumova further presented statistics on the seasonality of cryptosporidiosis in the United States and the United Kingdom, salmonellosis in the United Status, and rotavirus in India.

She then laid out two studies conducted by some of her students, Dr. Stefan Collinet-Adler, Andrea Brown, Alexandra Kulinkina, and Negin Ashoori. Both studies examined the transmission of infectious diarrhea in 300 urban and rural households in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India. The first study focused on the role of flies, which can carry pathogens such as norovirus, salmonella, and rotavirus. In the tests conducted, 72% of the flies tested positive for potential human pathogens. The second study used GIS to map ground water quality and distribution systems in Vellore.

Naumova here noted the importance of recognizing the difference between water quality and quantity: the focus of these studies was on quality, for lack of water leads to other severe problems but obviously cannot cause waterborne diseases.

Elena said she is always looking for students who are interested in going abroad and conducting research and will do whatever she can to make that possible!

TIE Fellowship (Tufts University, Medford, MA)

Doctoral Students: Proposals are due at the TIE office by 11:59am on Monday, November 25, 2013.
Master’s students: Proposals are due at the TIE office by 11:59am on
Monday, February 17, 2013.

Matriculated graduate students at any of Tufts University¹s graduate programs and professional schools are eligible to apply for a TIE fellowship to conduct interdisciplinary environmental research projects. This is an opportunity to recognize and provide greater visibility for stellar interdisciplinary students and their work. Selected students will receive funding toward a research stipend and/or supplies (up to $6000 per graduate fellowship). Funds are available May 15, 2014, with the fellowship terms extending from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015.


Please review the Request for Proposals and the Budget Template to apply. Applicants may also find the Tisch Library research guide as a useful tool. Further information and a list of program highlights can be found on our website, and any questions should be directed to Emily Geosling, the TIE Program Coordinator, at emily.geosling@tufts.edu or (617)627-5522.

 

Office Assistant – Tufts Institute of the Environment (Medford, MA)

The Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) is the focal cross-school environmental program of Tufts University. TIE initiates, facilitates, and promotes academic environmental education, research, and outreach towards a sustainable future. We are supporting and enhancing existing environmental educational programs such as the Environmental Studies undergraduate concentration, the Water: Systems, Science, and Society graduate certificate program, and the Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute for faculty development and help create new programs when needed.

The Office Assistant position will be expected to work with team members to provide general administrative support to TIE and limited support to TIE’s resident partners. The position will provide assistance to the Administrative Director and provide office support to staff who are developing programs and managing fundraising efforts. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Acting as the first point or initial contact person for customers by greeting visitors and answering questions and providing information
• Keeping the office environment organized
• Responding to routine correspondence or draft responses for program staff to review
• Scheduling meetings and appointments and maintaining calendar for the Administrative Director
• As needed, taking and preparing meeting minutes, preparing documents and reports, and helping in the assembly of funding proposals and syllabi
• Supporting TIE programs by preparing business reimbursements, making travel arrangements, managing calendar and office hours, organizing files, ordering office supplies, assisting with and arranging catering and event management
• Helping prepare brochures or other materials for TIE programs, using word processing software
• Updating TIE website using content management software; updating and managing TIE’s online networks
• Organizing and assisting with special programs, grants, conferences, lectures and/or events; and interfacing with guests, students and outside organizations as required
• Maintaining and balancing accounts, monitoring expenses, and may make budget projections using Excel; may produce expense reports

Preferred Qualifications:
Three (3) years of previous work experience is preferred. Knowledge of HTML, Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop is a plus. Knowledge of or experience in environment and environmental studies is valued. Basic Mac OS experience is beneficial.

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Contest: Undergrad Environmental Photography – $300 in prizes

The Tufts Environmental Studies Program is holding its first annual Environmental Photo Contest. It’s open to all Tufts undergrads and will include prizes for first place ($150), second place ($100), and third place ($50). CASH MONEY.

Students can submit multiple photos. All photography styles are welcome. Full rules and details are available on Facebook.

Submissions are due to the Environmental Studies Program, 210 Packard Avenue, Miller Hall-East Rear Door, Medford Campus, by Monday, Oct. 24.

Submitted prints will be exhibited in the Tufts Institute of the Environment and may be used by the Environmental Studies and TIE in their publications, websites, or for other Tufts-related purposes. Prints will also be showcased in a digital exhibition on the Environmental Studies website.

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