Meet former ORAU Employee Amanda Haddock. Amanda started her career as an ORAU National Student Services Contractor working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Digital Research Librarian. Her role involved supporting the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) project.
The HERO database provides an easy way to access and influence the scientific literature behind E PA science assessments. The database includes more than 3 million scientific references and data from the peer-reviewed literature used by EPA to develop its regulations for the following: Integrated Science Assessments (ISA) that feed into the NAAQS review, Provisional Peer Reviewed Toxicity Values (PPRTV) that represent human health toxicity values for the Superfund, and the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a database that supports critical agency policymaking for chemical regulation. These assessments supported by HERO characterize the nature and magnitude of health risks to humans and the ecosystem from pollutants and chemicals in the environment.
Amanda provided literature search, data curation, and document acquisition for the project. An integral part of her work was presenting data in a manner that anyone could understand, regardless of background. In an effort to remain transparent, the public can access HERO to view the information and studies that inform EPA decisions. “I believe that data integrity is even more important today to avoid bias interpretations and manipulative reporting,” Amanda said.
Recently, Amanda was hired as Technical Information Specialist with the EPA’s Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment.
Prior to joining ORAU, Amanda received a B.S. in Mathematics from James Madison University and a M.S. in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her master’s program, she focused on using research metrics and statistics to help medical researchers have a better understanding of the current topics in their field and find potential collaborators.
Amanda had the opportunity to present her work in research network visualization at the Medical Librarian Association 2018 conference and delivered a talk on her experience as a research assistant at a medical library at the Library Association at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill annual meeting in 2019.
When she is not participating in research, Amanda is perfecting her home preservation and fermentation methods. She became familiar with food preservation as a child when her parents canned food grown in their garden. After mastering jam production, Amanda recently decided to venture into home-brewing kombucha, a fermented tea drink. As the fermentation process can take several weeks, she has been enjoying testing different temperatures and fermentation lengths to create the perfect version.