Working with institutional stakeholders: Propositions for alternative approaches to community engagement

Jeffrey G. Cox, Minwoong Chung, Joseph A. Hamm, Adam Zwickle, Shannon M. Cruz, James W. Dearing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Community engagement is a vital aspect of addressing environmental contamination and remediation. In the United States, the Superfund Research Program (SRP) forms groups of academic researchers from the social and physical sciences into Community Engagement Cores (CECs) and Research Translation Cores (RTCs), which focus on various aspects of informing and working with communities during and through the resolution of environmental crises. While this work typically involves engaging directly with members of affected communities, no two situations are the same. In some cases, alternative approaches to community engagement can be more appropriate for community improvement than traditional approaches. In particular, when research teams become involved in contamination crises at a late point in the process, their contributions can be better directed at supporting and reinforcing the work of institutional stakeholders charged with remediating pollution. Relevant factors include issue fatigue among a local population, and contamination that is due to a major employer. Supported by literature and experience, we offer several propositions that we believe lay out conditions that warrant such an approach by academic teams, rather than their direct engagement with unaffiliated individuals in communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4010
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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