Denise Moreno Ramírez

Denise is a doctoral student within Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science with an accommodating minor in Medical Anthropology. 

Denise is exploring how National Priority List Superfund sites are federally designated lands that pose a risk to human and environmental health due to the presences of hazardous contamination. Each of these sites has a unique history consisting of the experiences of those who have lived in an area of environmental risk, and those who have documented and challenged practices that have led to environmental degradation. However, as time passes, the memory of community members is lost as they age and/or leave the area. An oral history method was selected to preserve this knowledge by community members living near two Superfund sites in Arizona. 

Archival work has been completed on both sites to establish a historical framework. Need assessment interviews and surveys have also been conducted with key community members to explore the importance of undertaking such a project, how it should be developed, who should be interviewed, and what the outcomes should be. The next steps include: 1) the capture of oral history interviews using audio and video recordings and personal photographs; 2) the collaboration with community members to identify ways to share their histories with a broader audience, and 3) the development of an Arizona Superfund site archive. Overall, the study will inform the fields of environmental communication and social justice by capturing the real world experiences of those residing near contamination and who are engaged in environmental justice advocacy. 

More information on Denise can be found on her linkedin or through her UA SWES Department profile


Shana Sandhaus

Shana is a graduate Student, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science. Currently, she is working on evaluating the changes in efficacy, knowledge, and motivation before and after and between two citizen science programs, the Gardenroots program and a Promotora Program. Shana is using a mixed-methods approach for both, including pre- and post-surveys, drawings, mind maps, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. She is interested in seeing why people participate in citizen science programs, how their expectations are met or not met, if there is an increase in knowledge as a result of participation, if they believe they can make a positive impact on their environment as a result of the program, whether they are likely to do participate in another citizen science program, and how these programs can be improved.

Shana attended the University of Arizona for my undergraduate career as well, graduating in May of 2016 as Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Environmental Science. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a UA Honors College Biosphere2 Intern, and a student researcher for the Undergraduate Biology Research Program. She was accepted to the Accelerated Master’s Program my Senior year, and took graduate-level courses as an undergraduate student. As a result, Shana will graduate with a Master’s degree after one year of graduate school. 


Hanna G. Hard

Hanna is a Graduate student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science. Currently, she is conducting a study at a closed Tucson landfill site to assess the feasibility for its use as agricultural graze land. Her study involves a site history assessment, soil chemistry analysis, and a greenhouse study to determine if the land is in healthy condition to support grazing animals. Hanna received the Outstanding Senior Award for Environmental Science in the department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science in May 2016. 


Tawfiq Alfaifi 

Tawfiq is a Ph.D. student from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continuing his studies within Environmental Science. Tawfiq graduated from King Khalid University in 2009 and received
a scholarship to continue furthering his education which brought him to the United States in 2009. Upon completing his English courses at the University of Washington in Seattle Tawfiq received his Master's Degree from Chatham University completed by 2013. In 2015, He received acceptance to the SWES department at Universtiy of Arizona. Concurrently Tawfiq is working with Dr. Ramírez-Andreotta on heavy metals and culturally relevant crops in the greenhouse.



Dorsey Kaufmann

Dorsey Kaufmann is Graphic Designer pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Illustration and Design. Dorsey is responsible for designing the ADHS risk assessment materials, examining the most effective and purposeful means of risk communication, evaluating the ways in which people receive and understand information about environmental quality and the potential exposure to contaminants near hazardous waste sites, and how design incites more informed citizens and behavioral changes.  Dorsey is also involved in the report-back data visualization for the Gardenroots program, which provides personalized results, estimated risks, and an overview of the community results to allow individual participants to make educated choices.Dorsey received the Perry Family Award, voted by UNL Faculty for best piece in Senior CAPSTONE show.

Some of Dorsey’s work can be found through her portfolio or her LinkedIn


Mely Bohlman

Mely is a third-year undergraduate who is pursuing two majors within Environmental Science and Spanish accompanied by a minor in Sustainable Plant Systems. Concurrently, Mely is working with Dr. Ramirez-Andreotta's Gardenroots and has been with the project since its early stages of training and planning, in the summer of 2015. Specifically, Mely has been processing soils and vegetable samples and continues to archive them. Upon her presentation about her involvement with Gardenroots, Mely received runner-up for SWESx of 2016. Mely is interested in community outreach and participation in citizen science, as well as the various aspects of gardening. Mely has been Dean's List since her first year of college. 

More information can be found on Mely on her Linkedin


Iliana Manjon

Iliana is currently a UA/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Intern. She is currently pursuing a BS in Physiology with a minor in 2D Study Art. Iliana’s current project involves analyzing elemental concentrations in
deposited dust on various garden leaves to assess the soil and air quality in the garden. I also work with the UA Dust Group to examine toxic metals in dust collected from different mining operation throughout Arizona. In addition, she is working with the group to implement an environmental health community engagement program at Hayden High School. In her academic career, Iliana has been awarded The 2016 UA/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Internship and The 2015 Galileo Circle Scholarship Recipient.

More information on Iliana can be found on her LinkedIn or her University of Arizona Space Grant Profile


Garrett M. Obermeyer 

Garrett is a first-year undergraduate pursuing a BFA in Design accompanied by two minors in Computer Science and Information Science. Garrett is interested in further exploration of computational sustainability and user experience design.