Environment & Human Health Committee
The health of people and the health of our communities are intrinsically, intricately, and intimately interrelated. In order to fully understand health and wellness—and by corollary, both disease and health disparities—we must explore the connections between the built environment, the chemical environment, the natural environment and the social environments in which we live, work and recreate. Unfortunately, the education and the professional fields and practice of health science and environmental science have grown increasingly apart over the last century.
There has been an increased interest in the interplay of environment and human health in the past years by practitioners from both fields, and increasingly by those trained at this interdisciplinary nexus. The thematic focus of NCSE’s 2007 National Conference, Integrating Environment and Human Health, demonstrated that while the fields of environment and health science have grown increasingly apart, effective strategies do exist to help rejoin them. Much work is still needed to integrate these fields in education and in practice, but the challenges facing our society and the planet cannot be addressed effectively without such an interdisciplinary approach.
Over the past three years, as CEDD has witnessed growing interest mount in issues that align at the intersection of human health and the environment, we recognized the need to support efforts to integrate these fields through research and funding for research, policies, and classroom education. CEDD established the Environment and Human Health Committee in 2008 to evaluate how we can affect the greatest impact for our members in this area.
Environmental Health Faculty Development Workshops
We have partnered with the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine (IOM)—part of the National Academies, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to offer a series of faculty development workshops to enhance the capacity of faculty from a variety of disciplines to teach courses that address environmental health in whole or as a segment of existing or proposed courses. It is our intention that this initiative will create a more educated citizenry, and also inform more students about the urgent need and wide range of environmental health professional opportunities available.
We are currently offering a workshop for faculty interested in teaching at the undergraduate level and are considering other types of workshops as well, ranging from regional locations, thematic approaches, to targeted educational institutions. We are also exploring the possibility of offering workshops to help institutions build greater capacity and partner with other programs and schools, such as business, law, engineering, public health, nursing, K-12, etc.
Creating a Learning Community for Faculty
We have just agreed to develop and host a website that will provide a common community location for resources related to teaching at the intersection of environmental science and human health. We are exploring what format and resources will be most appropriate in the long term to serve this community most effectively.
We are currently exploring other opportunities that would highlight issues at the intersection of the environment and human health, ranging from the development of a white paper on the civic necessity to enhance this area of education and research, to an exploration of the environmental and ecological principals that are essential in the study of issues at this nexus, to surveying CEDD members and others across the country for a range of models of best practices that can be used to share with others. Some of these opportunities will require additional funding to support, so we are exploring various sources that might be appropriate at this time as well.
PRESENTATIONS, PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES
Healthy People in a Healthy Environment
National Environmental Public Health Conference, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (Atlanta GA: October 2009)
Caryl Waggett, Richard Gragg, Katrina Korfmacher: Roundtable Presentation “Undergraduate Programs in Environmental Public Health”
Environment: The Interdisciplinary Challenge
Association of Environmental Science and Studies Annual Conference (Madison WI: October 2009)
William Sullivan, Caryl Waggett, Robert Goble, Dave Hassenzahl, Gary Silverman. Roundtable: “Bridging Environmental Science and Public Health Education.”
Environmental Health Faculty Development Workshop
Institute of Medicine / Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine; Council of Environmental Deans and Directors; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta GA, July 2009)
Caryl Waggett, meeting coordinator; William Sullivan, meeting coordinator; Bernie Goldstein, speaker; Richard Gragg, activity facilitator; Daryl Moorhead, activity facilitator
- Workshop Announcement : http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4897/67026.aspx
- Workshop Agenda : http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4897/67026/67099/71588.aspx
Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between Health and the Environment
American Museum of Natural History (New York City NY: April 2009)
William Sullivan, speaker
On Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases
American Institute of Biological Sciences Annual Meeting (Arlington VA: May 2008)
David Blockstein, moderator; Bernie Goldstein, panelist; Dave Hassenzahl, panelist; Caryl Waggett, panelist "Climate Change and Human Health: Developing Collaborations with the Public Health Community”
Integrating Human Health and the Environment
National Council on Science and the Environment 2007 National Conference (Washington DC: January 2007)
David Blockstein, meeting convener; Dave Hassenzahl, steering committee; Richard Gragg, steering committee; William Sullivan, steering committee; Caryl Waggett, presenter
- Conference website
- Recommendations stemming from conference
ENVIRONMENT & HUMAN HEALTH COMMITTEE
Caryl Waggett, Allegheny College, Co-Chair
William Sullivan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Co-Chair
David Blockstein, NCSE
Richard Gragg, Florida A&M University
David Hassenzahl, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Katrina Korfmacher, University of Rochester
Daryl Moorhead, University of Toledo
Barry Benedict, University of Texas, El Paso
Michael Berger, Simmons College / Colleges of the Fenway
Antje Danielson, Tufts University
Martha Henderson, Evergreen State College
Robert Jonas, George Mason University
Jay Jones, University of La Verne
Robin Sears, School for Field Studies
Robert Wingfield, Fisk University
Webpage last updated August 2009