Mercury, the Community, and Me LogoThe “Mercury, the Community, and Me” Project is a compilation of educational activities about mercury and the nearby Black Butte Mine Site that begins with a solid foundation of environmental health science. While educating students in interdisciplinary science, they are exposed to careers, problem solving, decision-making, teamwork and social responsibility.

Go to the Teacher Resource Page for the Educational Packet and Activities

This project was developed for London School as part of the EPA Partners in Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). Learn more 

Project Videos

Careers in Environmental Health

The video “Careers in Environmental Health” was created to introduce students to various careers in science. Environmental Health includes chemists, biologists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and many more careers. Scientists from Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency were interviewed about their job, as well as how they ended up becoming a scientist. The video is 13 minutes long. Go directly to YouTube.

Teacher Guide | Student Worksheet. There are shorter versions of the video for the younger students - Elementary |  Secondary


The Black Butte Mine

The Black Butte Mine Superfund Site is located near Cottage Grove, Oregon in Lane County. Mercury and other contamination from tailing piles at the abandoned mine site affect the Coast Fork Willamette River and creeks that flow into Cottage Grove Reservoir.

This video was created for students to learn about the history of their community.  Many people have no knowledge of the Black Butte Mine or the role it played in local and national history. The history of the Black Butte Mine is fascinating and important for the current environmental health of the surrounding community.  The video is about 9:45 minutes long and includes interviews with local people sharing their first-hand experience at a Cottage Grove Historical Society event. Go directly to YouTube.

Teacher Guide | Worksheet | Map of Black Butte Mine Watershed

Other Videos

Mercury in the San Francisco Bay

Video Story by Sarah Kass for QUEST Northern California on Oct 06, 2009 provides a nice introduction to mercury and mining history - issues and impact. Direct link to video.

There's a hidden danger in San Francisco Bay: mercury. A potent neurotoxin that can cause serious illness, mercury has been flowing into the bay since the mining days of the Gold Rush Era. It has settled in the bay's mud and made its way up the food chain, endangering wildlife and making many fish unsafe to eat. Now a multi-billion-dollar plan aims to clean it up. But will it work?

We developed a Student Worksheet with Teacher Key so this video expands learning in the classroom.


Mercury and Your Health

This informal, easy-to-follow animation from the National Library of Medicine introduces middle school students to elemental mercury. The animation discusses where mercury can be found within the earth’s crust, its many uses, and potential human health risks associated with exposure. For more information, visit the Environmental Health Student Portal. See it on YouTube






Mercury: From Source to Seafood

A ten minute web-based film explaining how mercury gets into the seafood we eat, why it is important to eat low-mercury fish for good health, and the need to keep mercury out of the environment from the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program