My teaching is motivated by a fundamental belief that everything can be environmental (reflecting my own biases). This grew out of experiences as an instructor and graduate teaching assistant for large, required Environmental Health Breadth courses at multiple institutions. Put another way, environmental health is a dynamic and evolving realm that, with proper framing, can be linked to individual interests in economics, history, infectious disease, policy, health promotion, business, maternal and child health, etc. In these broad survey courses, I try to create opportunities to foster interest among students who may reflexively undervalue a required EHS course - the same way I may have mistakenly undervalued a policy or behavior-related course years ago. Second, environmental health issues are a common presence in daily life. From wildfires, to lead, to natural gas leaks, to flooding, the news is replete with chemical, physical, and biological harms. Using media coverage to highlight EH can bring an engaging immediacy to courses and enables in case- or problem-based learning. Finally, drawing on student experiences can help create an active, engaged, and inclusive learning environment – an area of my teaching I continue to try to improve.
EH 500 is a survey course designed to introduce public health students to basic concepts of environmental sciences, to the methods used to study the interface of health and the environment, to the health impacts of various environmental processes and exposures, and to the public health approach to controlling or eliminating environmental health risks. To address these concepts, basic environmental health principles (exposure assessment, environmental toxicology, environmental epidemiology, risk assessment), as well as specific environmental health issues – including water and air pollution, hazardous chemical/waste exposures, climate change, and environmental drivers of disease ecology – will be covered. Syllabus | Sample Lecture
This course offers in-person and online training on data access, processing and modeling techniques commonly used in environmental health research. The goal is to prepare first year MPH students for conducting quantitative data analysis in the summer and during their second year. Topics include household/ambient air quality, environmental epidemiology, climate change, metabolomics, and epigenomics. Basic knowledge in each subject area will be provided via reading materials and pre-recorded lectures. Instructors will lead a discussion to the typical datasets in their actual research projects in an hour lecture, then work with the students on these datasets during a two-hour computer lab session. After this course, the students will be able to (1) perform data extraction and preprocessing, (2) conduct common data analysis, and (3) generate preliminary results. All coding will be taught in R. Standard class computer codes will be archived on Github.
Globally, between 5.5 and 7 million deaths per year are attributed to air pollution, making it one of the most prominent contributors to the global burden of disease. This survey course will provide an overview of global ambient and household air pollution, a brief background on atmospheric processes relevant to air pollution; the implications of air pollution on public health, with a focus on recent clinical, toxicological, and epidemiological evidence, and emergent issues in air pollution epidemiology, measurement, and policies. Health impacts and policy implications of exposures to household and ambient pollution as well as occupational exposures and exposures to environmental tobacco smoke will be examined.
Lecture 1 – Introductions + Overview | Lecture 2 – Pollutants | Lecture 4 – Air Pollution Measurement 2 | Lecture 5 – Air Pollution Measurement 1