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TIFO Field Notes

Subscribe to email updates from TIFO. We'll send you the latest news about our projects a few times throughout the year.


Find past issues of TIFO Field Notes here.


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Casey Bartrem Listed as a Social Impact Woman to Watch in 2024

Casey was selected as on of several women across North America for recognition during Women's History Month for their significant contributions to nonprofits, associations, social enterprises, and the communities they serve.

Read Here >>

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Lead Poisoning: Fear Grips Zamfara Communities As Aid Body Leaves

People in many communities in Zamfara State are expressing fear following the recent decision of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Read Here >>

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EPA Awards $435,000 to Idaho’s Duck Valley Indian Reservation and TerraGraphics International Foundation for Environmental Justice Project

Funds will advance the Tribe’s participation in determining when and how mining should occur on their lands.

Read Here >>

Environmental Protection Agency awards $770,000 to Idaho environmental justice projects

TerraGraphics International Foundation and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation received $435,000 to adapt the National Incident Management System for emergency response to achieve input on mining.

Fund provide financial assistance to organization's working to address local environmental or public health issues in their communities.

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Prevention is key to stop children from dying of lead poisoning

More than 11 years after environmental contamination began causing the death of hundreds of children in Zamfara, northern Nigeria, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has handed over its lead poisoning project to state authorities, as children are no longer dying of lead poisoning in the area.

One of the key factors for the successful reduction of exposure to lead poisoning was the involvement of international organisations with expertise in environmental health. (2022)

TIFO honored with award

TIFO was honored with the 2021 Outstanding Nonprofit Award. The award is given annually by Idaho Nonprofit Center and Idaho Community Foundation. 

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TIFO Executive Director Named Senior Research Fellow

Norwich University’s Center for Global Resilience and Security (CGRS) has named Dr. Casey Bartrem as a senior fellow for 2020-21. "Dr. Bartrem is a true role model and inspiration in how thoughtfully she engages in difficult fieldwork, how skillfully she navigates hard discussions, and how articulate she is in weaving the narrative around her Envrionmental Security work and its intersections with multiple sectors.”

TIFO honored with service award

TIFO was honored to receive The Distinction in International Service Award (DISA). DISA was first awarded by the students and staff of the Martin Institute, University of Idaho in 2011. It recognizes particularly noteworthy accomplishments of internationally-focused nongovernmental organizations based in the Pacific Northwest. 

TIFO honored with achievement award

TIFO was honored to receive the AEHS Achievement Award at the 29th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air in San Diego, California. The award recognizes individuals and organizations making important contributions to the field of environmental health.


More information , photos and press release.

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TIFO e-lecture available online

TIFO Executive Director Casey Bartrem gave an introductory lecture on Risk Assessment as part of the International Institute for Environmental Studies (II-ES) e-lecture series on Environmental Health Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication.

The mission of II-ES is to foster research and policy for the management of international environmental issues. II-ES brings together world class scientists and policy analysts from institutions from around the globe to collaborate, sharing expertise, facilities, and research programs.

Ian von Lindern Senegal Lead Poisoning
Ian von Lindern Senegal Lead Poisoning
Twenty-Third Granville H. Sewell Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Health Sciences

Encephalopathy, Death, or IQ: Disparity in Environmental Remediation Response Criteria for Childhood Lead Poisoning in Low- and High-Income Countries


April 20, 2016 

Ian H. von Lindern, Ph.D., Co-Founder, TIFO

View a live recording of the lecture here.

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8th European Public Health Conference - Milan, Italy

Health in Europe - From Global to Local Policies, Methods and Practices

14 - 17 October 2015


TIFO is proud to present Global Health Workshop 1A:

Exporting Pollution - The Path of Least Resistance Leads to Poisoned Communities

15 October 2015 13:50 - 15:20

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New Lead Poisoning Outbreak in Niger State, Nigeria


TIFO, in collaboration with MSF, is investigating a new lead poisoning outbreak in Niger State, Nigeria. See story for more information (May 2015).


Nigeria: 28 kids killed, dozens more sickened by lead poisoning from illegal gold mining

After 2-year delay, doctors treat Nigerian children hard hit by lead poisoning

TIFO, in collaboration with MSF, advised Nigeria's northern Zamfara state government and oversaw the 5 1/2-month cleanup and remediation of Bagega (August 2013).


The Nigerian village that suffered one of the world's worst recorded incidents of lead poisoning is now habitable.

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How a Gold Mining Boom is Killing the Children of Nigeria


It is a pattern seen in various parts of the world — children being sickened from exposure to lead from mining activities. But the scale of the problem in Nigeria’s gold-mining region of Zamfara is unprecedented: More than 400 children have died and thousands more have been severely poisoned by exposure to lead dust. . . Read more 

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What was killing the children?


In Nigeria, a dedicated team of University of Idaho researchers works to solve a mystery claiming hundreds of lives.


When Doctors Without Borders began visiting remote, far-flung Nigerian villages to immunize residents last year, what they found was heartbreaking, unprecedented and mysterious. By the time they’d made their rounds, they’d discovered 400 infants and children in seven separate villages had died. In each case, it was the same scenario: the children would begin convulsing, fall into a coma and eventually die.  . . . Read more 

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Lead clean-up in Nigerian village is life-or-death race against time

In remote northern Nigeria, it is now a race against time to prevent a catastrophe in the world's worst-ever recorded outbreak of lead poisoning (June, 2010).


. . . Read more or click on photo to see video

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African Gold Rush Kills Children as Miners Discover Lead Dust


When prices rise, no matter the commodity, people start pushing into places that otherwise wouldn’t be economical, said Ian von Lindern, the chief executive officer of TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering Inc., a Moscow, Idaho-based consulting company that is providing the technical direction for the cleanup (December 2010).


. . . Read more 

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Students Help Apply Idaho Expertise to Senegal Lead Contamination Cleanup


The tragic deaths of more than 30 Senegalese children near Dakar first posed a mystery in 2008. 

“When it first started, they thought it was a biological epidemic, something like meningitis,” said Margrit von Braun, University of Idaho College of Graduate Studies dean. 

Then the awful reality of lead’s toxic shadow emerged as scientists identified the cause and began taking action to remediate the health threat (May 2009).


. . . Read more 

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