Hannah has worked for the Cornell Waste Management Institute since 2008, after completing a M.S. degree in Natural Resources at Cornell University. Hannah's graduate research focused on the issue of mercury and fish consumption, and how data collection, risk assessment, and risk communication efforts can best protect human health. Prior to coming to Cornell, Hannah received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College in 2002, where she also worked for several years on projects related to science education, freshwater ecology, and algal taxonomy and biodiversity.
As an Extension Associate with CWMI, Hannah is leading an urban soils outreach program in response to concerns about contaminants in the soils of gardens, schools, residential properties, and other community spaces. Urban community garden sites are of particular interest because they are typically located on abandoned properties that might have a history of contamination. At the same time, increasing interest in creating green and food-producing spaces within cities means that we need to find ways to assess contamination and minimize the exposure to soil contaminants in residential and community areas. Together with CWMI Director Murray McBride, colleagues at Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension-NYC, and partners throughout the state, Hannah is working to provide science-based resources to foster informed decision making about soil testing and reducing possible hazards to human health and soil quality.