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Our Story

New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking

At New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking, we strive to elevate the important role environmental public health plays in our lives. Our program, also called NM EPHT and NM Tracking, is a source of environmental health communication, both epidemiological and educational. The primary mode of communication is this website which provides the data, information, and tools needed to help you learn and understand how the environment impacts human health.

Environmental public health tracking is the public health method that investigates possible associations between environmental exposure and resulting health effects. This helps us better understand how the environment affects human health. NM Tracking is a resource for prevention or health protection initiatives, interventions, and response situations.

Due to the variety and amount of information available on NM Tracking, our program and products often serve as an initial source of data and information for those working on environmental public health related activities or educating themselves about an environmental health topic. Our audiences include those from individual, family, community, school, government, and scholarly domains.

Meet Our Team

Srikanth Paladugu

Both our Principal Investigator for NM Tracking and the Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau Chief, Srikanth Paladugu has experience in epidemiology, environmental health, health education and clinical management. He holds a Master of Public Health Environmental Health Emphasis, Master of Business Administration, and MBBS (MD equivalent).

Chelsea Eastman Langer

As Program Manager, Chelsea Langer leads this environmental health program encompassing epidemiology, health promotion, informatics, and communications. She has extensive experience in occupational and environmental epidemiology. She holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Master of Public Health.

Renee Volker-Rector

Renee Volker-Rector is the Program Coordinator and Evaluator. As such, she leads projects relating to community health, communications, marketing, press releases and social media. Volker-Rector has held positions in DOH with Infectious Disease and Cancer Control. She holds a degree in Psychology.

Allen Thomas

Allen Thomas serves as our Environmental Health Epidemiologist and provides advanced epidemiologic support to the EPHT program. He manages national data submissions, monitors environmental health measures to identify vulnerable populations and areas, and recommends interventions and makes these data accessible to guide public health decision making. Allen holds a PhD in Health Education, MEd in Kinesiology, MS in Food Science, and BS in Microbiology.

Colin Hawkinson

As a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellow (CSTE AEF) Colin Hawkinson is principally occupied in the investigation of climatological patterns and their influence on coccidioidomycosis incidence throughout the state. Other projects under the purview of the fellowship include automating descriptive analysis of heat-related illnesses treated at emergency departments, evaluating the current NSSP ESSENCE system, and furthering data modernization initiatives. Colin previously worked as a research software engineer under Dr. Scott Hansen at the University of Oregon's Institute for Molecular Biology in the biophysics division, and as a consulting epidemiologist for the inter-institution employment precarity research group headed by Dr. Anjum Hajat at the University of Washington's school of public health. Colin has published in the field of occupational epidemiology focusing on working time arrangements and their influence on mental health. Colin holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as a Master of Public Health in epidemiology.

Jared Ellsworth

Jared Ellsworth is the Environmental Health Capacity program manager and water epidemiologist. Jared works with federal, state, local, and tribal stakeholders to promote safe and sustainable water throughout the State of New Mexico. This happens through data gathering, health promotion dissemination, and capacity building. Jared Ellsworth has his B.S. in Community Health Education, and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Leadership and Management, as well as a certificate in Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

Our Plan: Mission, Goals and Objectives


The mission of NM Tracking is to improve and expand the environmental public health surveillance capacity for the State of New Mexico and increase access to data and health education. Our goal and objectives are:


Our overarching goal is to help communities improve health outcomes by reducing their exposure to environmental hazards.


  • Health and environmental data are accessed and used by internal and external audiences.
  • Development of state-specific program activities based on generated evidence.
  • Work towards supporting health equity for all New Mexicans.
  • Efficient, accessible, and higher quality display of data.
  • Increased awareness of the Tracking Network and environmental health issues.
  • Engaged partners and users.
  • Skilled workforce able to collect and interpret data and translate information for action.


In line with these objectives, NM Tracking focuses on these areas:
  • Data collection, analysis, and dissemination
  • Environmental health epidemiology and response
  • Data portal quality, tools, and user experience
  • Health communications, environmental health education, and audience engagement
  • Environmental health partnerships, community engagement, and environmental public health workforce capacity
  • Program operations and sustainability
  • Program monitoring and evaluation
  • Climate and health adaptation and preparedness

Epidemiology and Response

Beyond our NM Tracking roles, each team member supports the larger epidemiology and response services of the Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau and Center for Health Protection.

We contribute to multiple public health responses and epidemiology projects and services such as:

  • Epidemiological investigations
  • Data gathering
  • Field methods
  • Delivering health and risk communication
  • Implementing health promotion methods for on-going topics of concern and urgent matters

Many of these occur through our bureau on-call service; our partnerships with agencies such as the New Mexico Tumor Registry and the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center; acute environmental exposures scenarios such as mercury spills or mass carbon monoxide poisonings; and vaping-related lung disease.

Work Groups and Environmental Health Collaborative Projects

Our work is collaborative and we serve on several workgroups, statewide and nationally.

New Mexico Workgroups

  • Cancer Concerns Work Group: Srikanth Paladugu, Chelsea Langer, Renee Volker-Rector, Colin Hawkinson
  • Climate and Health Adaptation Work Group (CHAWG): Chelsea Langer (Chair), Srikanth Paladugu, Renee Volker-Rector, Allen Thomas, Colin Hawkinson
  • Council on Asthma: Renee Volker-Rector, Allen Thomas
  • Interagency Smoke Response: Srikanth Paladugu, Chelsea Langer, Renee Volker-Rector
  • Produced Water Research Consortium: Jared Ellsworth
  • Interstate Stream Commission (NMISC): Jared Ellsworth
  • NMED PFAS Technical Group: Jared Ellsworth, Renee Volker-Rector

National CDC Tracking Work Groups

  • Principal Investigator and Program Manager (PI/PM): Srikanth Paladugu, Chelsea Langer
  • Content Work Group All Hands: Srikanth Paladugu, Chelsea Langer, Renee Volker-Rector, Allen Thomas
  • Data Modernization: Srikanth Paladugu
  • Data Visualization: Chelsea Langer, Allen Thomas
  • Evaluation: Renee Volker-Rector
  • Program Marketing and Outreach: Renee Volker-Rector
  • Western States Program Marketing and Outreach: Renee Volker-Rector
  • Standards and Network Development (SND): Chelsea Langer

How We Operate

New Mexico has a centralized health department system operated under the State of New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Health has several centers including the Center for Health Protection, under which the NM EPHT program operates within the Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau (EHEB).

Our work is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). New Mexico is among 33 CDC Grantees in the EPHT Network.