2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Contextual Training Design
2.2. Partner Community Selection
2.3. Participant Recruitment
2.4. Training Facilitation
- Simultaneous translation during the lectures, with bilingual facilitator-scientists acting as translators.
- Dual projection of slide presentations in English and Spanish (all slides were identical in content and presented and projected in English and Spanish).
- Spanish language kit and manual during sampling hands-on education, and bilingual educators on site to provide one-on-one assistance.
2.5. Research Methods
2.6. Data Analysis Methods
- Motivation to learn was measured through four questions on the pre-program participant survey asking participants why they chose to attend, what they hoped to gain from the program, about their current rainwater harvesting practices, and what prior training on similar topics they may have received. Participant responses were coded for common themes, and occurrence of themes were aggregated to understand common motivations for choosing to attend the training.
- Attitude towards the environment was measured by two closed-ended survey questions about preference towards environmental protection and environmental investment. Participant responses were aggregated and evaluated as a group, and pre-post change was evaluated per participant.
- Environmental science knowledge was measured through seven open-ended and six closed-ended survey questions. Responses to four multiple choice questions were scored for level of knowledge. Responses to seven short answer questions were analyzed for both specific knowledge concepts, using qualitative coding for themes; and, for level of knowledge, by assigning a 0 (no knowledge), 1 (partial knowledge), 2 (baseline knowledge), or 3 (advanced knowledge) to each response. Coding rules for level of knowledge were specific to the question being analyzed. Table 4 describes the coding rules and example responses to one open-ended survey question. A dependent samples t-test was performed per question to assess significant change in participants’ mean level of environmental science knowledge for each topic area. Because participants who scored below baseline knowledge pre-training had more opportunity for learning gains, an additional dependent samples t-test was performed to look at knowledge change in those participants only. For this test, questions that could only be scored right or wrong were omitted.
- Skills for environmental health comprised a significant portion of training content. Three survey questions asked participants about specific actions they could take to (1) “curb the effects of climate change”, (2) “make a positive impact on water reliability in the future”, and (3) “protect the environment, conserve water, conserve energy, and protect the health of your family and neighbors”. Responses to these questions were coded for categories of environmental health action. The number of participants describing each skill category was compared pre- and post-training. Additionally, specific strategies described per participant pre- and post-training were averaged per participant and compared using a dependent samples t-test.
- Motivation for environmental action was assessed by eleven Likert scale items. These items were modified from literature provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology , who use a similar measurement tool with their citizen science program participants. Five items were designed to measure external motivation for environmental action, and six items were designed to measure internal motivation. Following the recommended analysis methodology from Cornell, the sum of external motivation scores were subtracted from the sum of internal motivation item scores, to calculate an overall motivation score per participant. Positive scores indicate predominantly internal motivations, while negative scores indicate predominantly external motivations. A dependent samples t-test was used to analyze pre-post change in motivation for environmental action overall. A Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test was used to test for significance between the mean pre- and mean post-survey scores by community.
- Self-efficacy (SE) is defined as a person’s belief in their own capabilities . SE was measured using a Likert scale in the categories of “SE for learning science” (six items), “SE for doing science” (four items), and “SE for environmental action” (12 items). These items were modified from the literature provided by Cornell Lab of Ornithology , and analyzed using their suggested methodology. Four items on the survey were worded in reverse (statements reflected lack of SE), were therefore scored in reverse. From a total dataset of 41 paired surveys, 12 “high self-efficacy” participants were removed who met the criteria of having 15 or more responses of a 4 or 5 on the 1–5 Likert scale, to isolate the participants with an opportunity for change. Using this “low pre SE” dataset (n = 29), the mean SE for each SE category was calculated pre- and post-training for each participant, and were analyzed using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test to assess differences between communities.
- Community change is defined broadly here to include relationship building, network building, collaboration, educational advocacy, and political advocacy. Participant responses to three survey questions and reflections from facilitator-scientists were analyzed for community action themes. Additionally, the individual decision by a participant to further invest their time and effort as an environmental citizen scientist post-training was considered to be a community-level action, as participation in co-created citizen science involves translating results into responsive action as part of the study design .
- Participant experience was assessed through qualitative coding for themes in responses to four open-ended survey questions related to participant perception of benefits of the training, their intentions to harvest rainwater, and suggestions for training improvements and future trainings.
- Facilitator-scientist experience was assessed through an open-ended survey via email with four of the facilitator-scientists, all who were involved in the design and agenda planning for the trainings. Survey questions asked for general reflections, specific surprises or challenges in the trainings, and for specific anecdotes of participants connecting content to local knowledge or life experiences.
3.1. Participant Demographics
3.2. Participant Motivation and Attitude
“We dug a cistern and have harvested rainwater for 30 years. We live in the canyon where Dioxin/Agent Orange was sprayed in the Pinal [Mountain]s 1965–1969. Many problems associated with that. Interested in present contamination, also because we grow our own vegetables.”
3.3. Environmental Science Knowledge
3.5. Skills for Environmental Health Action
3.6. Community Change
3.7. Reflections from Participants
“An appreciation of how things are connected. How these connections can be identified & monitored for protecting our public health”—Globe/Miami participant
“Calentamiento global, el peligro de algunos microorganismos. Importancia de conservar” (Global warming, the risk of some microoganisms. Importance of conservation.)—Tucson participant
“Deeper understanding of how and why CC [climate change] is occurring, stronger appreciation for the efforts of the scientific community, understanding and appreciation for the idea of “democratized science”—Hayden/Winkelman participant
3.8. Reflections from Facilitator-Scientists
3.8.1. Formative Evaluation of Materials
3.8.2. Gaining Local Knowledge to Inform Research
3.8.3. Building Relationship and Co-Creating Hope with Community Members
4.1. Study and Survey Design
4.2. Contextual Learning and Collaborative Relationships
4.3. Environmental Health Literacy and Community Action
4.3.1. Knowledge and Awareness
4.3.2. Skills and Self-Efficacy (SE)
4.3.3. Community Change
Conflicts of Interest
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|City/Town and County||Population 1||Median Household Income 2||Predominant Races/Ethnicities Represented 1||% Spanish-Speaking Households 2||Sources of Environmental Health Risk Recognized by Community 5||Prior/Current Partnerships|
|Tucson, Pima||520,116||$37,973||White, not Hispanic/Latino: 47.2%|
|28.8||Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site , where aircraft and electronics manufacturing, fire drill training, and an unlined landfill have contributed trichloroethylene (TCE) and other contaminants observed in soil, groundwater, and municipal water [30,31]||Prior collaboration with non-profit organization Sonoran Environmental Research Institute (SERI), a community participatory research institute with extensive experience working with low-income Tucsonans around environmental health issues|
(of any race): 84.4%
|61.8||ASARCO Hayden Plant Alternative Superfund Site, which includes the ASARCO smelter, concentrator, former Kennecott smelter and all associated tailings facilities |
In 2016, ASARCO was involved in a $150 million settlement with the US Department of Justice and US Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the Clean Air Act 
|National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program partnership|
School superintendent enthusiastic about gardening and rainwater harvesting served as local “champion”  to involve teachers and students in environmental health learning
|Winkelman 3, Gila||353||$45,000||Hispanic/Latino|
(of any race): 84.2%
|Globe 4, Gila||7532||$42,557||White, not Hispanic/Latino: 55.3%|
Hispanic/Latino (of any race): 36.8%
|14.9||Active copper smelter, rod mill, and open pit mine in Miami |
The Mountain View Mobile Home Estates in Globe, AZ, sits on the site of a former chrysotile asbestos mill. This site was on the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL) due to asbestos contamination of soil and groundwater until clean-up activities were completed in 1988 
|Gila County Cooperative Extension agent became a local “champion” for environmental health learning , and successfully spread the enthusiasm to the Globe-Miami community|
|Miami 4, Gila||1837||$36,298||Hispanic/Latino (of any race): 56%|
White, not Hispanic/Latino: 40.6%
|Dewey-Humboldt, Yavapai||3894||$50,173||White, not Hispanic/Latino: 85.5%||5.2||Iron King Mine—Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site, which includes approximately four million cubic meters of mine tailings from legacy mine and smelter |
2012–2013 analyses of drinking water in local homes demonstrated arsenic above the US EPA drinking water standard (10 µg/L) 
|Community members participated in past UA research projects:|
1. Citizen science project Gardenroots related to soil contamination and backyard food gardens [11,39,40,41]
2. Biomonitoring project related to metal exposure in homes 
|Federal Superfund Site Meetings||X||X||X|
|Community Advisory Boards||X||X||X|
|School Superintendent & Teachers||X||X||X|
|City of Tucson Water program participants||X|
|Research goal: Gain understanding about training participants’ (1) initial motivation to learn about environmental health, and (2) attitude towards the environment.|
|Assessment Category||Data||Survey Responses Coded for:|
|1. Motivation to learn||Four short-answer questions|
|2. Attitude towards the environment||Two multiple choice questions|
(pre- and post-survey)
|Level of pro-environmental attitude (quantitative)|
|Research goal: Measure change in training participant EHL, as comprised of (3) environmental science knowledge, (4) skills and (5) motivation for environmental health action, (6) self-efficacy, and (7) community action for systemic change.|
|Assessment Category||Data||Survey Responses Coded for:|
|3. Environmental science knowledge||Four multiple choice questions, one matching question, one rank order question, seven short answer questions|
(pre- and post-survey)
|Level of understanding (quantitative), and for themes in specific knowledge concepts (qualitative)|
|4. Skills for environmental health||One multiple choice question, three short answer questions (pre- and post-survey)||Level of knowledge (quantitative), and for themes in specific knowledge concepts (qualitative)|
|5. Motivation for environmental action||Eleven Likert-scale items|
(pre- and post-survey)
|Level of motivation (quantitative)|
|6. Self-efficacy (SE)||Six Likert-scale items measure SE for learning science, four items measure SE for doing science, twelve items measure SE for environmental action (pre- and post-survey)||Level of self-efficacy (quantitative)|
|7. Community change||Two short answer questions|
(pre- and post-survey)
one short answer question
facilitator-scientist survey responses
|Themes of political advocacy, teaching others, meeting/talking/networking with others, or other collective strategies. 1|
|Research goal: Gain understanding of (8) training participants’ experiences in the training, and (9) facilitator-scientists’ experiences in the training.|
|Assessment Category||Data||Survey Responses Coded for:|
|8. Participant experience||Three short answer questions|
|9. Facilitator-scientist experience||Open-ended survey conducted via email with a subset of the facilitator-scientists||Themes (qualitative)|
|Code||0—No Knowledge||1—Partial Knowledge||2—Baseline Knowledge||3—Advanced Knowledge|
|Coding Rule||Response is blank or reflects no knowledge of key concepts.||Response suggests some correct knowledge of topic but does not identify key concept.||Response describes key concept and is otherwise correct.||Response describes key concept with higher complexity or details.|
|Example question: How is the use of energy derived from coal (electricity) and climate change related?|
|Example Response||“Climate Change is the Glaciers melting, Didn’t understand!”||“Dirty air and chemicals from burning coal”||“Increase in CO2 green house gases”||“Burning of fossil fuels is the main contributor of rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2”|
|Survey Question # and Content||Mean Pre-Training Score 1||Mean Post-Training Score 1|
|1. Greenhouse gases||1.37||1.45|
|2–4. Impacts of climate change||1.79||2.42 *|
|6. Fossil fuel use impacts||1.00||1.74 *|
|8. Scientific method 2||0.84||0.87|
|9. Contaminant transport 2||0.92||0.97|
|10. Soil composition 2||0.95||0.97|
|14–16. Soil/water contamination||1.87||2.23|
|17a. Chemical concentrations||1.45||2.32 *|
|17b. Chemical concentrations||0.92||2.05 *|
|Survey Question # and Content||Below- Baseline Participant n||Mean Pre-Training Score 1||Mean Post-Training Score 1|
|1. Greenhouse gases||20||0.80||1.10|
|2–4. Impacts of climate change||13||0.77||1.92 *|
|6. Fossil fuel use impacts||27||0.37||1.44 *|
|14–16. Soil/water contamination||13||0.31||1.85 *|
|17a. Chemical concentrations||21||0.24||2.10 *|
|17b. Chemical concentrations||32||0.22||1.88 *|
|Self-Efficacy (SE) Type||Mean Pre||Mean Post|
|SE for learning science||2.70||3.76 *|
|SE for doing science||2.63||3.47 *|
|SE for environmental action||3.53||4.00 *|
|Type of Community Action||Examples|
|Political/Social Advocacy||“Learn, listen, and organize with people & neighborhood”|
“f possible share emails to be able to get in touch with others”
“Call political representatives to let them know we need to keep the EPA intact”—Globe/Miami participant
|Teach Others||“Networking, collaboration and information to help educate others in our community including in our school garden program” |
“So much info! Shared with grandparents who already harvest water”
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