Mr. Richard Pepino is the Deputy Director of the Community Engagement Core of CEET and the Coordinator of the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center’s Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
When Mr. Pepino joined the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology in the early 2000s, lead poisoning was not a top news story in Philadelphia like it is today.
In Mr. Pepino’s ABCS course, Urban Environments: Speaking about Lead in West Philadelphia, Penn undergraduates learn about the epidemiology of lead poisoning, the pathways of exposure, and methods for community outreach and education. Penn students collaborate with middle school and high school teachers in West Philadelphia to engage students in exercises that apply environmental research relating to lead poisoning to their homes and neighborhoods, including the collection and testing of soil samples in Philadelphia. We currently have over 3,000 samples collected, tested, and mapped due to the collaborative effort of Mr. Pepino, the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science, and the Philadelphia Public School District.
To learn more about the work we are doing with lead in Philadelphia, visit our webpage: https://ceet.upenn.edu/leadsoilmap/.