Building Sustainable Urban Communities from the Ground Up University Park campus of Penn State University. June 7, 2018.

The objectives of this workshop are to convene key speakers on urban soil-water quality and community health in order to facilitate regional collaboration and information sharing. Three afternoon sessions following the morning talks are designed to identify emerging issues and potential collaborative projects focused on promoting human and environmental health through sustainable, urban communities.

Four keynote speakers will present in the morning to help set the stage for afternoon discussions:

Dr. Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Boston University. Dr. Heiger-Bernays is a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health where she applies her training in molecular toxicology to practical questions about the impact of industrial chemicals, consumer products and pharmaceuticals in waste streams on people's health.

Dr. William Shuster, USEPA. Dr. Shuster is a research hydrologist conducting interdisciplinary studies that integrate elements of hydrology, soil science, ecology, economics, and law to develop stormwater and wastewater management techniques.

Dr. Nick Basta, The Ohio State University. Dr. Basta is a Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry who examines fundamental biogeochemical processes that affect heavy metal and trace element bioavailability, human health, and ecological risk in soil-water systems.

Ms. Wendy Ruderman, Investigative reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Ms. Ruderman has covered numerous soil pollution related events across Philadelphia, most notably in the Fishtown neighborhood

This one day workshop will take place on June 7, 2018, in the Forest Resources Building (FRB) at Penn State University, University Park. Morning sessions will take place in the first-floor auditorium (room 112 FRB).,+State+College,+PA+16803/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x89cea623e05d9b33:0x239245982fa3091d?hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjk0uS-sKbaAhVEyYMKHcoFCGwQ8gEIJjAA

Parking is available next to the building in the East Parking Deck)(see above map).

Please RSVP to Ms. Melissa Miller at by June 1st.

Registration is free, but required. A continental breakfast (available starting at 8am) and lunch will be served.

If staying overnight, the Days Inn or Hyatt are in walking distance of the event.

For more information please contact Drs. Patrick Drohan ( or Mary Ann Bruns (, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

Tentative Schedule

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast

8:30 start opening remarks (Drohan)

8:45 Bill Shuster

9:30 Break

9:45 - 1030 Nick Basta

10:35 - 11:20 Wendy Heiger-Bernays

11:20 - 12:00 Wendy Ruderman

12:30 PM Lunch

Afternoon sessions are designed as one hour segments with 30 minutes of "brainstorming" key issues pertinent to the topic that could be built into a collaborative team project, while the latter 30 minutes will consist of "next steps" to make potential projects a reality..

1:15 PM Session 1: Green Infrastructure: water to carbon, next steps in building urban ecosystem services

2:15 break

2:30 Session 2: Building healthy communities from the soil up

3:30 Break

3:45 Session 3: A proposal for a multistate gradient study across temporally and economically distinct urban areas from Ohio to Massachusetts.

4:45 closing remarks

5:00 adjourn

All talks and sessions will be recorded. Talks will be put up online on the Penn State College of Agriculture Soil Health page.

There will be a transcription of Sessions 1-3 and these will be uploaded too.

This workshop is supported by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences' Strategic Networks and Initiatives Program (SNIP), Soil Health for One Health,

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600