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2022 Annual Retreat

Overexposed and Underprotected

October 3 & 4, 2022

Location: UC Davis Conference Center and Zoom Webinar

Registration & Agenda

Join us to learn about disparities in environmental exposures and protections among different populations across California. Explore recent academic, policy and community advocacy work around environmental justice, health equity, climate change and worker protections. 




Day 1 | Featured Speakers & Panels

Dr. Rachel Morello-Frosch (Keynote) 

From the Cell to the Street:  Addressing Structural Determinants to Advance the Science of Environmental Justice

Dr. Rachel Morello-Frosch is an Environmental Health Scientist and Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and the School of Public Health at the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Morello-Frosch has over 20 years of research examining the social determinants of environmental health disparities. Much of her work focuses on social determinants of environmental health among diverse communities with a focus on inequality, psychosocial stress and how these factors interact with environmental chemical exposures to produce health inequalities.

Film Premiere & Panel Discussion: Dignidad: California Domestic Workers’ Journey for Justice 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s domestic workers fought for legislation that would give them health and safety protections on the job. The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center funded research and a film project to document their struggle for justice. We are honored to welcome: Kimberly Alvarenga (Director, California Domestic Workers Coalition), Paige Bierma (Director and Editor), Jennifer Biddle (Producer),  Mirna Arana (Domestic Worker Leader, Mujeres Unidad y Activas), and Rock Delgado (Domestic Worker Member, Pilipino Worker Center).

Mitchell McCartney

Mobile Devices for Personalized Exposure Monitoring

Mitchell McCarney is the Director of Research for the BioMEMS Laboratory at UC Davis. At the BioMEMS Laboratory headed by Dr. Cristina Davis, McCarney directs a team of researchers in the development of new chemical sensing platforms designed specifically for disease diagnostics in humans, animals and plants.  

Dr. George Thompson 

Pandemics, Endemics, and Drought – When they Intersect

Dr. George Thompson is the Co-Director of the UC Davis Center for Valley Fever and a Professor of Medicine with a joint appointment to the Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on the development of new antifungal agents, fungal mechanisms of resistance and the molecular causes of adverse side effects. View Dr. Thompson's recent article on wildfire smoke and infectious agents here.

Dr. Nicholas J. Spada 

Developing a Community-Driven Air Monitoring Network in the Age of IoT

Dr. Nicholas Spada is a project scientist with the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center and a Co-Director of the Citizen Air Monitoring Network based in Vallejo, California. Dr. Spada’s research focuses on developing characterization methods of size-resolved aerosols and low-cost monitoring solutions for frontline communities. The goal of the community-driven efforts is to produce an air quality monitoring framework that is accessible to communities and provides actionable results.

Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Vulnerable Populations in California’s Wildfires 

Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto is an environmental epidemiologist and the Director of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto is committed to furthering our understanding of how both specific exposures and global climate or planetary changes harm health. Her work has tackled the effects of substances like metals, pesticides, air pollutants, organic compounds, and endocrine disruptors on cancer, pregnancy, perinatal outcomes, respiratory health, immune markers and neurodevelopment. 

New Research from EHS Awardees 

  • Dr. Sanchita Bhatnagar: Epigenetics and environmental associations in neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Dr. Beth-Rose Middleton: Identifying and Addressing Rural and Indigenous Exposures

  • Dr. Jasquelin Peña: Monitoring the Cosumnes River Watershed after the Caldor Fire: Implications for Ecosystem and Human Health

  • Dr. Shaina Willen: Environmental Impact of Disease-Related Complications of Sickle Cell Disease 

Day 2 | Featured Speakers & Panels

Perspectives on Environmental Justice

  • Dr. David Pellow | Dehlsen Chair and Distinguished Professor Environmental Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara. View Dr. Pellow's paper on environmental justice within United States prisons here.
  • Lisa Fu | Executive Director, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. Learn more about current research on advancing worker health and safety in the nail and hair salon communities here.
  • Joe Hostler | Director, Yurok Tribe Environmental Program (YTEP). Learn more about how YTEP utilizes science, traditional knowledge and environmental regulation for the purposes of enhancing tribal sovereignty and expanding the regulatory authority of the Tribe to promote and protect environmental health here.
  • Heather Riden | Program Director, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS). Learn more about how WCAHS research, training, and outreach efforts support the health and safety of agricultural workers here.

Dr. Kathryn Conlon 

Mitigative and Adaptive Climate and Health Interventions

Dr. Conlon is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the UC Davis Schools of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Medicine and Epidemiology. Conlon’s research focuses on how climate change influences the health of humans, animals and the environment. 

Daniel (Dan) Woo 

Climate Action for Health, Equity, and Community Resilience

Daniel Woo is the Team Lead for the Climate Change & Health Equity Section (CCHES) of the California Department of Public Health. CCHES embeds health and equity in California’s climate change planning and embeds climate change and equity in public health planning. By working with local, state and national partners, CCHES ensures that climate mitigation and adaptation measures have beneficial effects on health while preventing the exacerbation of health inequities.

Inigo Verduzco Gallo

ORALE: A Community Collaboration Model for Responding to the Public Health Effects of a Changing Environment

Inigo Verduzco Gallo is the Program Manager for ÓRALE COVID-19 (Organizaciones para Reducir, Avanzar y Lograr Equidad contra el COVID-19). ÓRALE COVID-19 was funded by an NIH grant awarded to the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center, UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.  ÓRALE COVID-19 offered two mobile health vans staffed with a clinical coordinator and lab tech located in convenient locations for farmworkers and their families to provide rapid antigen testing. 

Dr. Robert Wiener

Imagining Sustainable, Resilient, and Healthy Affordable Housing in Rural California

Dr. Wiener is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Human Ecology and the Department of Community and Regional Development at UC Davis. As the Executive Director of the California Coalition for Rural Housing since 1981, Dr. Wiener has played a substantial role in federal and state housing policy and program efforts. His efforts with CCRH also include land use support for new rental housing, self-help housing, farm labor housing, housing preservation and other areas of housing provision

Dr. Steven Wheeler

Yes we Can: Toward a Fossil-Free UCD

Dr. Wheeler is a Professor in the Landscape Architecture Program in the Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis. Wheeler’s research focuses on the theory and practice of sustainable development, climate change and regional planning, the theory of social change and urban morphology and the evolution of built landscapes in metropolitan regions.

Contact Ruth Williams ( if you have questions or need more information.