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About Us

The Lab

The Curl Agricultural Health Lab is located in the Environmental Health and Research Building, Room 3106, and is a part of the School of Allied Health Sciences, within the College of Health Sciences. The laboratory is approximately 600 square feet, equipped with a 6 ft fume hood, two sinks, laboratory-grade tables, piped-in compressed air, lockable storage cabinets, and a typical complement of laboratory equipment infrastructure and safety devices.

The People

Cynthia Curl, PhD, MS

“The goal of our research is to develop evidence-based public health messages about how various agricultural systems affect the health of both workers and consumers.”

Cynthia Curl in grocery produce aisle

Cynthia Curl earned her PhD (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) from the University of Washington in 2014, and her MS from the same program in 2000. She earned her BA (Chemistry) from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania in 1998.

Dr. Curl’s research interests are focused on environmental health and exposure science, with a particular emphasis on understanding exposures to agricultural chemicals and their effects on farmworkers, agricultural communities and the general public. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications on this topic, describing studies of the effectiveness of various agricultural re-entry periods on worker exposures, research on the “take-home” pathway of exposure on families of agricultural workers, and investigations of the effect of organic diets on pesticide exposures to the general public.

Dr. Curl joined Boise State University in the spring of 2015 as an Assistant Professor after earning her doctoral degree in environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington (UW). Dr. Curl also worked for several years as a researcher for the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center at UW. She also spent time working in both the private and non-profit sectors as an environmental consultant and as a researcher.


Jessica Porter – Research Coordinator

Jessica Porter moved from Kailua, Hawaii to pursue her college career at Boise State University in the fall of 2010. Jessica graduated with a B.S. in Environmental and Occupational Health in the spring of 2015 and currently serves as Research Coordinator for the Curl Agricultural Health Lab. Her job tasks include aiding in the development of pilot proposals and manuscripts, creating presentation material, collecting fieldwork data and samples, and assisting with analyzing and interpreting data.

unnamedMakaela Bournazian – Student Volunteer

Makaela Bournazian is from the agricultural town of Tracy, CA. She moved to Boise, ID to study Health Science and Pre-Medical Studies at Boise State University. She wants attend medical school to pursue her career goal of becoming an OB/GYN. Makaela is volunteering in the Curl Agricultural Health lab by helping with sample pick up, analysis of samples and data collecting.


Dana Kerins – Student Intern

Dana Kerins grew up in California’s surf city of Huntington Beach. Dana is attending Boise State University to pursue a degree in Health Education and Promotion with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is working as an intern for Dr. Curl’s lab to achieve credits for her major by collecting samples and analyzing data.

Justin Nelson BIO PictureJustin Nelson – Student Volunteer

Justin Nelson is a health science major at Boise State University and hopes to attend medical school after graduation. He enjoys volunteering both in the community and in Dr. Curl’s lab. Justin’s volunteer work in the lab includes sample collection and data management.

Ian Penwell Replacement

Ian Penwell – Fellow

Ian is an undergraduate Health Science major at Boise State University.  Since 2003, he has worked with various global health organizations on maternal/child survival projects and disaster response. Ian was recently awarded a Higher Education Research Council (HERC) Fellowship to support his efforts in the Curl Agricultural Health Lab.  Ian’s responsibilities include working with study participants, collecting and analyzing data, and creating presentations and reports.

RachelFinalRachel Phinney – Independent Study Intern

Rachel graduated from Pendleton High School in 2014 before deciding to attend Boise State to pursue a degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Gerontology. She will graduate in the Spring of 2017 and hopes to get her Masters in Epidemiology. Rachel is completing an internship in Dr. Curl’s lab for graduate credit.

Corinne Pic

Corinne Stinnette – Alumna Volunteer

Originally from the California Bay Area, Corinne Stinnette graduated with honors from Boise State University earning a B.S in Health Science Studies in the spring of 2015. Corinne is currently in the process of applying to medical school, while working as an ER medical scribe assisting in the lab. Her responsibilities include biological sample analysis and data management.


AbbyFINALAbigail Thomas – Student Volunteer

Born in the deserts of Southern California, Abigail moved to Idaho in 2013 to pursue a Health Science Studies with an Emphasis in Science BS at Boise State University. She plans to attend medical school to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon. Abigail is volunteering in the Curl Agricultural Health Lab to aid with biological sample testing, data collection and analysis.



Jonathon Wheatley

Jonathan Wheatley – Student Volunteer

Born and raised here in Boise, Jonathan began studying at Boise State University in the Spring of 2014. He is pursuing his undergraduate degree in Health Policy and Leadership and plans to continue his education by seeking a Masters in Health Administration. Aside from school, Jonathan works full time for St. Luke’s where he is attempting to gain a better understanding of administrative procedure. He is completing a for-credit internship in Dr. Curl’s lab, which is focused on database design and management.