NEHA Announces the 2018 Joe Beck Educational Contribution Award Recipient

NEHA News Release


Release Date: 
May 18, 2018

Leif Albertson with caribouDenver– The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is pleased to announce that Leif Albertson, REHS, HHS is the recipient of the 2018 Joe Beck Educational Contribution Award. This award is given annually to a NEHA member for an educational contribution designed for the advancement, and professional development, of environmental health professionals. Albertson’s project educates both public and private agency professionals about the health risks associated with the use of lead rifle ammunition when harvesting large game animals.

Of his work, Albertson says, “In recent years we've come to know that lead is toxic at much lower levels than we previously understood. This has raised questions about the human health risks of lead rifle ammunition. Fortunately, over a similar period, copper hunting ammunition has improved in efficacy, price and availability. This offers a simple  solution to a  human health  risk. As a health educator in remote Alaska, this a very exciting area for outreach. While guns and hunting may feel like a politically fraught subject, my experience has been that consumers of game meat are interested in these messages and receptive to trying new things.”

Leif Albertson is the Department Chair of Youth Family and Community Development at University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. His areas of environmental health expertise include nutrition, agriculture, residential energy issues, indoor air quality, food policy and safety, and water fluoridation. Albertson has been a NEHA member since 2009. He is also a member of the Alaska Environmental Health Association, and the Alaska Public Health Association, where he has served on the board of directors.

The selection committee said of Albertson’s project, “The committee was so impressed by Mr. Albertson's innovative recognition of a lead exposure hazard that was unique to Alaska's population and the educational response to mitigate the hazard that he developed. His educational focus impacted hunters, meat consumers, public health professionals, and the medical community's lead assessment process. The metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational effort demonstrated game consumers became aware of the health hazard associated with lead ammunition and that the participants would consider safer alternatives.”

Leif Albertson will receive the Joe Beck Educational Contribution Award at the NEHA 2018 Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition and HUD Healthy Homes Conference in Anaheim, CA. The award will be presented by NEHA President, Adam London during the NEHA Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 27.

About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is professional society with more than 5,000 members in the public and private sectors as well as in universities and uniformed services. NEHA's mission, "To advance the environmental health professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all" is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA to advance the environmental health professional through credentialing, training, education, networking, professional development, and policy involvement opportunities. Learn more about NEHA at