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Other U.S. Government
Risk and Decision Making
Basic level training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
This course provides an overview of the principles, policies, and limitations of the chronic human health risk assessment process used by EPA. It includes a brief overview of public participation and communicating with the public regarding the concept of “risk.”  Participants also gain introductory experience in applying risk management.

Who should take this course?

This course is recommended for EPA and EPA-affiliated non-toxicologist staff and managers, including Remedial Project Managers (RPMs), On-Scene Coordinators (OSC), Site Assessment Managers (SAMs), Community Involvement Coordinators (CICs), and public involvement staff. This course is also appropriate for EPA and EPA-affiliated technical staff, including toxicologists, and public involvement staffers who wish to refresh their understanding of risk assessment, management, and decision making from a public involvement lens. There are no suggested prerequisites.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Discuss and differentiate risk assessment and risk management;
  • Differentiate which risk principles are based on science, science policy or policy;
  • Evaluate the decision process that leads to “who you are trying to protect”; and
  • Apply the risk management framework with a community that does not trust the government.
  • (Third-day option includes: Discuss public perception and trust of government organizations and government employees based on the their past experiences and develop approaches to modify those negative perceptions)

What are the logistics?
This two-day training course focuses on a case study involving toxic air, water and soil contamination where no regulatory standard exists and where the public is concerned about their health. More specifically, the course style focuses on facilitated discussions, led by the trainer, which draw on participant’s expertise and professional experiences. An optional third-day can be added to include additional work on public involvement and risk communications. Recommended course size is 15-25 participants.

Arnold Den, a retired EPA Region 9 Senior Science Advisor, teaches this course. Arnold joined EPA during its first year and had over 39 years of experience dealing with health, risk and risk communication issues. As part of that experience he offered workshops in risk assessment or risk communications (with Alvin Chun) both nationally and internationally since the late 1980s.

The third-day option would be co-taught by Alvin Chun, a retired U.S. Public Health Service Officer. Captain Alvin Chun is the former Director of EPA’s National Center for Risk Communication and Public Involvement. Captain Chun provides workshops and consultation nationally and internationally to a host of organizations.

Is there available background material?

  • Course materials include a participant manual and other relevant handouts.
For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

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Previous Events (click to view/hide)
Bullet  Denver, CO
  June 26, 2013 - June 27, 2013
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