Erica Wood is an environmental health scientist with the Center for Environmental Health, Risk and Sustainability at RTI International. Her current work at RTI focuses on drinking water quality and risk communication. In addition to data collection and analysis, she trains and supports citizen scientists in identifying and eliminating health hazards in drinking water. She has broad experience communicating about science with non-scientists, including through community-engaged research, risk communication research, synthesizing and summarizing evidence, and facilitating trainings. Ms. Wood works on outreach and citizen science engagement for the Clean Water for US Kids project portfolio, which requires frequent contact with people outside of RTI.
Immediately before coming to RTI in 2021, Ms. Wood worked as a contractor to the US EPA. Her extensive literature review about ecosystem services and health benefits from nature provided updates to the agency’s Eco-Health Relationship Browser. She also facilitated trainings, in-person and virtually, about the links between human health and features of nature.
In addition to her expertise in environmental health sciences, she also draws on her understanding of the learning sciences, developed through work as a learning specialist in both secondary school and university settings.
Ms. Wood is proud to have served as an AmeriCorps member with Massachusetts Community Water Watch. She expanded the water quality protection program to new geographic areas, developed educational programs and organized events. Later, as a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she worked to reduce racial disparities in access to safe drinking water. She coordinated a multi-institution team in community-based research in North Carolina, which included water quality testing, surveys of household experiences with well water, and in-depth interviews with community members. In a separate, but related project, she applied the mental models approach to risk communication to develop a mailer promoting water quality testing by private well users in majority African American neighborhoods on the edges of cities and towns.
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With increased lead poisoning risk during COVID-19, our award-winning program team can help improve access to quality drinking water in schools, child care centers, and homes nationwide. If you have questions visit our Clean Water for US Kids program.