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Manners Award


Steven D. Manners Research Development Awards

Recipients  ·  Announcement

2023 Manners Awardees
Bain · Reed

"Toxic Metal Soil Pollution Near Coking Facilities: Information Gaps in Public Health Policymaking."

Daniel J. Bain, PhD
Daniel J. Bain, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Geology and Environmental Science
University of Pittsburgh

ABSTRACT: Relict industrial facilities that rely on grandparented emission control systems pose substantial challenges to the protection of public and environmental health. Moreover, these facilities impact conditions across environmental media and these impacts are not necessarily evaluated comprehensively during efforts to ameliorate emissions of specific substances. This study focuses on the Clairton Coke Works, a substantial source of well-documented particulate matter pollution, where exposures are often intensified and prolonged by interactions between emissions and atmospheric inversions. Despite this considerable attention, there is surprisingly little metal soil content data in this non-attainment area, despite the possible additive and accumulative consequences for human health. This study aims to fill this gap by characterizing metal distribution patterns both near the facility and in paired samples of valley and ridge locations up and down the Monongahela River valley. Ultimately, these characterizations provide a means for a more comprehensive assessment of relict facility impacts and further, provide a model for evaluations of these facilities anywhere they exist.

"Life Course Socioeconomic Factors and Later Life Health."

Rebecca G. Reed, PhD
Rebecca G. Reed, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh

ABSTRACT: Health is not equally distributed across people or space: it tracks a socioeconomic gradient that extends from individuals to the communities in which they grow up and reside. Increasingly, research has emphasized the role of broader community level socioeconomic factors, independent of individual level factors, in shaping later-life health. However, what remains unclear is when in the life course community socioeconomic factors affect older adults' health, including cognitive and physical function and levels of inflammation. The proposed study leverages the Stress, Immunity, and Emotion Regulation in Aging (SIERA) sample of community-dwelling older adults with existing health data to obtain new data to assess life course community factors. The aims of this study are to 1) characterize the SIERA sample in terms of life course community socioeconomic factors, and 2) to apply four life course models (Sensitive Period; Cumulative; Pathways; Social Mobility models) to determine when in the life course community socioeconomic disadvantage predicts poorer cognitive and physical function and higher levels of inflammation, independent of individual level factors. Life course exposures are vital to understanding the origins of health inequities and how to mitigate them through future targeted research and prevention/intervention efforts. This work will generate preliminary data for follow-on funding strategies that include examining longitudinal associations between life course community socioeconomic factors and changes/declines in health over time.

Manners Award

Award Overview

Each year, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) awards the Steven D. Manners Research Development Awards to promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. These awards honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the Center in 1974 and served as its Assistant Director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the Center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

Steven MannersSteven D. Manners

We will make two awards of up to $20,000 each, contingent upon the quality of applications and availability of funds. The proposed research must align with UCSUR's mission of working collaboratively to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves communities and addresses social, economic, health, and policy issues most relevant to society. Full-time faculty, post docs, and research associates from all University of Pittsburgh campuses may apply.

Manners Award Summary List

University Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260   ·   412-624-5442