You are here: Home Get Involved Spring Break Volunteers Needed!

Spring Break Volunteers Needed!

Information about the Appalachian Community Health Survey Project

Are you (or do you know) a college student, recent graduate, or professor interested in experiencing authentic Appalachia by taking part in important community health research?

Restoring Eden still has spots to fill for its third Appalachian Community Health Survey Project in the coal communities of Appalachia.



People in the hills and hollers of Appalachia have long lived on top of valuable coal deposits. Despite promises of prosperity, poverty is rampant in these communities and they have some of the highest cancer and disease rates in the country. Locals find themselves living under clouds of silica dust and next to leaking slurry ponds filled with arsenic-laced sludge, yet there has been almost no primary research done on the health impacts of coal mining in these communities.


Over the past two years, Restoring Eden student volunteers have knocked on 9,000 doors and gathered over 1,300 health surveys during their Spring Break. With the data collected, researchers at West Virginia University found that cancer rates were twice as high in mountaintop removal coal mining communities compared to non-coal mining communities, and their study was subsequently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health. This year, Restoring Eden is hosting a final round of community health surveys, gathering further research that measures the link between mountaintop removal coal mining and the health of Appalachians.


You and other students and professors from around the country! College students and recent grads are encouraged to apply, especially those with nursing, social work, or environmental science interests.


During your spring break: March 3rd - 9th, 10th -16th , or 17th-23rd.


Eastern Appalachia (location will be given upon applying)


The cost for the week is $250.00 and includes lodging, food and training. A $50 deposit is due when the student receives their acceptance email and the remainder is due by February 15th. It is the responsibility of the student or school to provide their own transportation to the lodging site. If cost is a barrier, please contact us. If you're interested in carpooling with others from your area we can put students in contact with one another.

Ready for a different kind of spring break?  APPLY HERE



Please contact Nick Campbell at or (507) 382-1375 with any questions or concerns.

View Info Sheet (pdf)

View Student Poster (pdf)

Document Actions