Jean Mclain

Breaking Down Scientific Silos: Using One Health to Address the World’s Wicked Problems -
11:00 am 10/14/2019
Graham, Tucson Convention Center

One Health is not a single field in health or environmental sciences, but rather an acknowledgement of the interconnectedness between humans, animals, and their environment. With this understanding, scientists from across a wide variety of expertise step away from their silos to work collaboratively. By linking their skill sets and data, they are able to address the biggest issues facing our world today. These ‘wicked problems’ include issues such as impacts of climate change on human, animal, and environmental health, development and transfer of antibiotic resistance, production of a safe and sustainable food supply, and ensuring continued biodiversity for a healthy planet.

I joined the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) in November 2011 after a 10-year career with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. I worked as Associate Director of the WRRC, I contributed to human resource management, including supervision of staff and leading committees for staff searches; additional duties included planning and execution of fundraising; long-term strategic planning and reporting of metrics; and chairing committees for organizing the WRRC Annual Conferences and other events involving water management professionals, elected officials, and WRRC stakeholders. My research program is directed towards establishing impacts of anthropogenic stressors on microbiological presence and function in soil and water and identifying linkages between microbes in the natural environment and human health. Recent studies include examining the potential for trace contaminants in degraded irrigation water and biosolids to induce development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria; and performing molecular and cultural analyses of bacterial regrowth, survival, and transport in irrigation water and soils to establish links to fresh produce safety.

Since 2017 I have been teaching a formal technical writing course, “Technical Writing for the Environmental, Agricultural, and Life Sciences.” This course, traditionally taught in the fall, expanded to include a spring session in 2019.

In 2018, I left my administrative role at the WRRC to assume a position as Assistant Dean for Faculty Advancement in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.