The Our Soil team and NATURE Lab are seeking residents of North Troy, NY who would like to learn, think, and act with us about local urban soils through a series of collaborative workshops in Summer 2021. All participants will be paid a stipend for completing the series of workshops.

Listen to a radio interview about the project.

Please apply to participate by June 30, 2021. The application form is below.

Why Become a Soil Justice Fellow?

Although we may not always realize it, soils support and provide many benefits to the environment, our lives, and our health. We also may not always realize that soils can accumulate pollutants from industrial activities and products, which negatively impact our health. Soil Justice Fellows will learn to test soils for three heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and copper) that may be found in urban soils and to use this knowledge to prevent exposures.

Relatives of small children may be interested in testing soil in their yards or local play areas. Daycare workers may be interested in testing soil at their facilities. Gardeners may be interested in testing soil in their gardens. Residents may be interested in testing soil around an industrial site. High school and middle school students and teachers may be interested in testing soil as part of their science curriculum.

What Will We Do?

Workshop topics include (1) identifying locations to test soils by learning about neighborhood history and ecology, (2) testing soils for lead, arsenic, and copper, (3) analyzing, organizing, and communicating soil data, and (4) developing and executing a plan of action for addressing any found contamination. We also hope to connect Soil Justice Fellows in Troy with our parallel project in Arica, Chile using video conferencing.

After completing the workshops, the Our Soil team hopes that participants will be curious about urban soils and feel inspired to conduct expanded soil studies with NATURE Lab, knowledgeable to engage and train their neighbors, and confident to address soil contamination by acting directly at the neighborhood level to protect health as well as mobilizing more broadly for environmental, racial, and economic justice.

Health will be the priority in conducting these workshops. In light of COVID-19, safety measures such as physical distancing and mask wearing will be taken to protect health.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the project, please contact Dan Walls at wallsd@rpi.edu and Abby Kinchy at kincha@rpi.edu. To apply, fill out this form: