Pilot Research

The Pilot/Feasibility Program is a key component of the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS). This program provides seed funds to stimulate original projects relevant to health and safety in the agricultural, forestry, and fishery (AFF) industries. The Pilot Program awards high-quality research that promotes collaboration between the Center and the Southeast partner communities and builds a nexus for mentorship and development of new/early-stage investigators as they aspire to establish independent research. Projects may include basic/etiologic research, translational research, intervention studies, and surveillance.

The goal is to provide seed support projects asking innovative or important questions that lay the groundwork for subsequent research grant submissions or interventions. Successful implementation of the Pilot/Feasibility Program will ultimately expand research in health surveillance, air quality, respiratory health, pesticide exposure, mental health, and health disparities of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and fishers. Some of the projects selected will be “high risk, high reward” novel ideas and approaches with limited preliminary data, but with the potential for having a major impact.

Agro-ecological practices in the face of climate change: Resilience, sustainability, and preparedness in Puerto Rico
Antonio Tovar-Aguilar
Evaluate the comparative food production effects of Hurricane Maria in agro-ecological and industrial agricultural settings of Puerto Rico.   Describe the resilience, sustainability, and preparedness strategies adopted by each system.   Estimating the time and extent to which each system is rebounding.   ...
Developing an Integrated Decision Support Tool and Network for WPS Respirator Compliance in Florida Agricultural Industries
Maria Morera
Assess needs for outreach materials in respiratory protection (among farmers, pesticide applicators, agrochemical/PPE dealers, and primary care providers).    Develop and disseminate decision-support tools.    Evaluate audience response to socially-marketed decision-support tools. Reconvene with respirator working group to plan for scaling up...
Exploring mental health and natural disasters in agricultural communities in Puerto Rico
Rico Marysel Pagán-Santana
The overarching goal of this project is to adapt and pilot an assessment tool to explore mental health status using previously developed resources. The investigative team expects that the implementation and use of the developed tools will provide a pathway...
Field Evaluation of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators Against Airborne Dust and Microorganisms During Cotton Harvest
Atin Adhikari
Dr. Adhikari has collected control air samples from three cotton farm locations and analyzed them for PM and culturable microorganisms. Respiratory deposition modeling data for particulate matter (PM) was presented in the inhaled aerosol dosimetry conference in Irvine, CA. Air...
A Pilot Study to Assess Personal PM2.5 Exposure and Respiratory Virus Infection Among Farmworkers in the Southeast
Compare exposure to fine particulate matter among farmworkers.    Assess the presence and types of upper respiratory infections of farmworkers in the southeast U.S. and review medical records of farmworkers ages 15 and older diagnosed with upper and lower respiratory infections.   ...
A novel approach (sweat patches) to monitoring pesticide exposure in farmworkers
Gregg Stanwood
Develop and assess the accuracy and precision of laboratory techniques used to measure pesticides and their metabolites from sweat patches.   Document challenges and problems experienced by farmworkers in using sweat patches.   Determine the levels and variance in concentrations of pesticides...


Email: sccagsafety@gmail.com
Outreach: ashleynmcleod@ufl.edu

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