Environmental Inventory and Analysis Resources
Andrews’ environmental education initiatives featured practical guides that enable individuals to identify problems and solutions for topics that interest them. While this approach was applied throughout her work, resources created for these three topics exemplify this strategy of self-education and empowerment. Details follow.
Community Environmental Assessment Fact Sheets
The Community Environmental Assessment Fact Sheet series offers communities a starting point for local environmental decision-making, as it relates to land use planning. Worksheets enable a community task force to conduct a preliminary analysis of local land use needs and priorities that can contribute to guidance for municipal actions. Fact sheets suggest concepts and strategies to evaluate local priorities, preferences, and proposed actions. The series also provides background materials and inventories for specific topics.
COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT FACT SHEET SERIES
#1 – Overview of Community Environmental Assessment
#2 – Taking Stock
#3 – Information in Land Use Planning
#4 – The Environmental Resources Inventory
#5 – Inventory Worksheets
#6 – Development Impact Analysis
#7 – Potential Impacts from Development Practices
#8 – How to Set Up the Impact Process
#9 – Support Resources
Elaine lead a project team including one additional Extension Specialist and five county agents, who proposed and won an innovative grant to design and test a systematic approach to community decision-making on environmental issues. The research revealed a need for a process that Extension agents could use to guide communities through a resource inventory and to help them make sound decisions for the future. Content was developed through a multi-year writing and outreach effort, in cooperation with 15 UW Departments and Centers from throughout the UW system. An advisory committee consisting of County Extension educators from around the State provided oversight on the process of converting expert content into a useful format, including introductory checklists and resources.
Content was eventually integrated into two UWEX publications.
Indoor Air Quality
As part of Elaine’s work on household hazardous waste, Elaine worked in partnership with John Merrill, housing specialist at the UWEX School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences, to develop environmental education resources about indoor air quality. Following Elaine’s principals of developing resources that enable participants to build skills, Elaine and John created an Indoor Air Quality Checklist, and a related publication with additional details about house dust. These resources were developed with review by the UW Department of Preventive Medicine, and the Division of Health at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services.
Households may have hidden hazards that can impact the health of all occupants.
Healthy Homes resources are aimed at residents, home owners, those selling or purchasing homes, and health professionals. Andrews served as the Principal Investigator for the development of original Healthy Homes materials, provided regional trainings, and worked with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to make these self-training resources available nationally.
Healthy Homes education resources introduce topics under the broad categories of drinking water, clean and contaminant free air, safe access, home safety, energy efficiency, pest free, and regular maintenance, and provide suggestions and checklists to guide learning about what to do.
Healthy Homes is an outgrowth of work at the UW Environmental Resources Center to promote indoor and outdoor environmental health. Earlier resources included a factsheet series on Indoor Air Quality (Andrews and Merrill), and the Farm*A*Syst factsheet series (Jackson et al) assessing the potential impact of farming practices on local water quality. These UW Extension initiatives were designed to provide households, property managers, and landowners with the ability to implement their own initial assessment of indoor or outdoor environmental health.
The program is currently sponsored by the University of Missouri; US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes