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Environmental Factor, August 2015

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Help document NIEHS history

By Eddy Ball

In preparation for its 50th anniversary next year, NIEHS is calling on stakeholders to submit nominations for notable accomplishments and the people behind them.

NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., is urging all current and former employees, and those with knowledge of NIEHS’ past, to join in documenting the institute’s history, research highlights, public health impacts, milestones, and people who have shaped the institute over the past half century.

To this end, the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison created a special Web page at where nominations can be submitted. All submissions are due by Sept. 15, 2015.

Birnbaum also invites employees and others to send names and email addresses of people who may be interested in participating in the Nov. 1, 2016 anniversary event to Kathryn Lawrence or Devlin Sawyer, support personnel for the 50th anniversary planning committee.

NIEHS already has some historical information, including a list of scientific accomplishments published in the January 1996 issue of the Environmental Factor newsletter (see text box below). However, Birnbaum and the planning committee now want to hear from others, in order to integrate a variety of perspectives for a more broad and inclusive range of the institute’s basic research, community engagement, and public health initiatives.

If you have information you’d like to share towards this cause, please submit your nomination through the Web page above.

  • Steve McCaw

    Nestled in a forest of pines, the original NIEHS North Campus and its signage were a far cry from the gated security and grand signs of today’s campus. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

  • Aerial Shot of North Campus

    Seen from the air, the North Campus looked more like a high school than the place where NIEHS conducted research and other business for several decades before completion of its new, higher-tech facility. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

  • Personnel Office

    The advent of specialized human resources functions was not yet at hand, so it was still just plain personnel. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

  • NIEHS library

    Unlike working with today’s collection of electronic resources, the original NIEHS library research experience involved turning pages and making handwritten notes. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

  • NIEHS picnic

    With fewer employees, NIEHS staff more easily participated in division-wide and institute-wide activities, such as picnics. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

  • First Environments Early Learning Center

    One of the institute’s early work-life accomplishments was a quality employer-sponsored day care facility on campus. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The 50th anniversary list of scientific accomplishments will build upon this list from the January 1996 Environmental Factor.

NIEHS Scientific Accomplishments

Click to enlarge

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