Adaíl Alicea-Martínez

Curriculum Vitae.pdf


Main Advisor: Dr. Rafael A. Rios

Co-Advisor: Dr. Joseph Vogel

Dissertation Research Topic/questions:

What are the perceptions of Non-PRASA communities toward their water quality? Do the residents from these rural areas consider their communities as a victim of environmental injustice in relation to access to clean and safe water? What are their recommendations, if any, based on community participation to improve their systems and comply with the SDWA?

Are there any correlations between the results in the Evaluation Form from the capacity development program and with the organizations of the communities with better water quality?

Education Background

I have a bachelor in biology from the Pontifical Catholic University in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 2005, I completed my Master Degree on Environmental Health at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. My Master Thesis was entitled Evaluation and Time Comparison of the Functioning of Slow Sand Filters in the Island of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. The main objective of the thesis was to evaluate and compare the performance of Cayo Santiago’s slow sand filters that provide potable water to 1,200 monkeys (Macaca mulatta), with the performance of the water system used in 1994, year when the filters were built. The island of Cayo Santiago belongs to the Caribbean Primate Research Center. The second objective was to study the efficiency of slow sand filters and determine the conditions that can affect them. As result of this investigation, I was co-author of a paper titled Performance Evaluation of Three Slow Sand Filters that was published on the book titled Recent Progress in Slow Sand and Alternative Biofiltration Processes, 2006. This was presented on the 4th International Slow Sand and Alternative Biological Filtration Conference in Mülheim on der Ruhr, Germany. I have also worked on a manual to prepare vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans for Non-PRASA systems; evaluated Non-PRASA systems using the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation prepared by the Department of Health so these systems can comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act regulations; and prepared training materials related to emergency response plans and vulnerability assessment in potable water treatment plants.

Research Interest

My goal is to finish my doctoral studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Environmental Science Program and specialize in an interdisciplinary area that includes environmental justice for small communities and natural sciences, especially potable water systems. My interests in these areas arose because after I finished my master’s studies, I worked with community water systems developing a manual to prepare vulnerability assessments and emergency responses plans to their systems. Since then, I have been in contact with people that live in these areas and I have observed deficiencies and conditions in their lifestyles that are common to many of them, even when these systems are very different form one another. Therefore, my interest has increased upon time and also my questions about the perceptions of these communities to their lifestyles, to their community water systems and the decision-making process related to the access of clean water and environmental justice. The final objective for my proposed research is to develop a management plan with community-based participation to address issues like environmental justice and the access to, not just water, but to clean and safe water. With this, I think that I can offer new insights in environmental sciences and social sciences and help people, their health, the society and its environment, which should be the ultimate goal of an environmental professional and scientist.