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Regional Science Workshop

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Biodiversity/Landscape Change and Lyme Disease: Science and Application

Regional Science Workshop
22-23 September 2009
EPA-New England Regional Laboratory, Chelmsford, MA

In partnership with the EPA Office of the Science Advisor, the EPA New England (EPA-NE) Regional Science Council convened the first interdisciplinary forum of researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers in ecology, public health, and land use planning, to present emerging science linking land use, biodiversity, and Lyme disease transmission and to consider applications of this new science in Lyme disease management. The forum was an outreach effort to researchers, decision-makers, practitioners, and managers to increase awareness of the emerging science; to learn stakeholders’ needs and priorities; to consider management options; and, to begin developing a multidisciplinary Community of Practice to facilitate collaboration to address and manage Lyme disease as an integrated and cross-sectoral issue.

The workshop brought together researchers and practitioners from academia, federal, state, and tribal environmental/natural resource management and health programs, public health agencies and health centers, local/regional and state land use planning and management agencies, among others. It consisted of presentations on various topics related to changes in biodiversity, land use, and impacts on human disease.  Experts shared knowledge on Lyme disease epidemiology, tick management, environmental and landscape factors affecting Lyme disease transmission, and green infrastructure and land use planning approaches that could serve as vehicles for implementing environmentally-based tools for Lyme disease prevention and control.  The presentations informed four diverse breakout/discussion groups of attendees which were charged with identifying:

  • information needs for integrated decision-making;
  • how to integrate information sharing and decision-making;
  • research most useful for decision-making and management; and,
  • environmental strategies and models to manage public health risks. 

The multidisciplinary breakout discussions were aimed at building a Community of Practice on biodiversity/landscape change and Lyme disease: they fostered sharing of knowledge and diverse perspectives among workshop attendees (community) and identified next steps towards applying emerging science to improve decision-making and management of risks to public health and the environment (practice).

For more detailed information on this workshop see:

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