About Us

Research Team and Community Advisors



Principal Investigator: Valerie B. Yerger, ND


Valerie B. Yerger, ND is the Principal Investigator of CleanRichAir, a project where she and her research team evaluated the implementation of Richmond, CA's citywide smokefree multiunit housing ordinance. Dr. Yerger is a licensed naturopathic doctor and Associate Professor of Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco. For more than a decade, Dr. Yerger's research program has framed the disproportionate burden of tobacco among marginalized communities as a social justice issue. The overarching goal of her work is to inform public health policies so they effectively reach these communities and help eliminate tobacco-related health disparities.

CleanRichAir is funded by the Tobacco Related Research Disease Program as "Evaluating a City's Smokefree Policy in Multi-Unit Housing" (Grant #20CA-0105).


Co-Investigator: Robynn S. Battle, EdD


Robynn Battle is an Associate Research Scientist and Study Director at PIRE's Prevention Research Center (PRC) in Oakland, California. She completed her EdD in Learning and Instruction at the University of San Francisco after conducting doctoral research on informal reasoning responses to cross-cultural situations in an urban medical setting. She has a Master's of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in the behavioral sciences. Dr. Battle also served as a pre-doctoral research fellow at the University of California San Francisco's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies from 1992-1996. Prior to coming to PRC, Dr. Battle spent years conducting evaluations for community level programs involving adolescent and adult health issues (e.g., pregnancy and HIV/AIDS prevention, smoking cessation, prostate cancer screenings, community mobilization), and programs working within the various communities. She is also the co-principal of CAMI Consulting, a research consulting group that provides strategic planning and evaluation services to non-profit and profit groups in the areas of public health, social justice and education. In addition to her work at PRC, she also is an adjunct professor at Holy Names University in the Department of Education, teaching in the area of evaluation for educational programs.


Co-Investigator: Roland S. Moore, PhD


Roland S. Moore, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist and Study Director at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's Prevention Research Center in Oakland. His PhD was awarded by the Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Moore's fieldwork sites include a Central Greek community, U.S. factories, restaurants, military bases, Alaska communities and a Southwestern American Indian reservation. His research topics have included gender differences in drinking patterns and hangovers in the workplace. More generally, he is interested in the relationship between employment and alcohol and tobacco consumption patterns and problems, especially among young adults. His most recent research concerns ethnographic evaluations of tobacco policy in California bars, multi-unit housing, and casinos and community level prevention of underage drinking in Native American reservations. Methodologically, he uses both ethnographic and survey analysis.


Investigator: Julie Waters, BA

Waters juliewaters99 at gmail dot com

Julie M. Waters is a Senior Field Representative at the Office of Assembly member Nancy Skinner. In this capacity, Ms. Waters represents the Assembly member at a variety of community events in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Ms. Waters is an Executive Board member of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), Oakland/Berkeley Chapter and is an Alternate member to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. She is also an Oversight Committee Member of the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) which oversees approximately $11 million of City of Oakland's youth program funding. Prior to her work in politics, Ms. Waters served as a Community Organizer in Oakland, Richmond and Hunters Point where she led alcohol and tobacco policy efforts. She is a 2010 recipient of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors "People who make a Difference" award and a 2012 graduate of the Emerge California program. Ms. Waters is an Oakland Native and graduate of Skyline High School. She received her BA in Psychology from San Diego State University


Research Associate: Phoenix Jackson, BA

Jackson pjackson at prev dot org

Phoenix Jackson is a Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award fellow for 2013-2014. Phoenix studies Somatic Counseling Psychotherapy at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill where an MA is expected in 2015 leading to licensure as an Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. As a Research Associate, Phoenix assists senior and associate scientists with NIH, NIAAA, and TRDRP-funded research in tobacco policy, alcohol-related environments, drug abuse, mental health, and health disparities. Phoenix has fifteen years experience with direct services, operational, and administrative capacities in the fields of homelessness, family crisis and with at-risk populations. Phoenix has been with PIRE/PRC for five years coordinating field research and assisting with production of high-quality deliverables. Phoenix has worked with diverse populations and people of many races, ethinicities, classes, places of origin, political beliefs, sexual orientations, genders, levels of ability, ages, health concerns, and lifestyle choices. Phoenix earned a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Law, Criminology, and Deviance from the University of Minnesota. She volunteers with Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies and online outreach to people in crisis and looks forward to continuing to explore the ways alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs intersect with priority populations and indepedent research on the efficacy of treatment modalities on functional subgroups.

CleanRichAir is funded by the Tobacco Related Research Disease Program as "Evaluating a City's Smokefree Policy in Multi-Unit Housing" (Grant #20CA-0105). | Studio7designsOpensourcetemplates | Contact us