Graham Sustainability Institute

Climate Change & Human Health


This course will explore the relationship between our planet?s changing climate and human health. Students will receive introduction to the topic of climate change and other threatened planetary boundaries, an understanding of the current and predicted impact on human health, and opportunities for mitigation and adaptation to these changes. Examples of topics of focus include the impact of air pollution and ground-ozone on respiratory health, the changing distribution of vector and water-borne infections including Lyme disease and Vibrio-species, the contribution of healthcare systems to global emissions, and opportunities for clinical and public health interventions to minimize human health impact. It will consist of didactic lectures, group discussions, guest speakers, and experiential learning activities. During this course, students will design a project engaging these topics in a healthcare or community setting. The final project will consist of a literature review, development of an actionable proposal and presentation to fellow students at the conclusion of the course. Examples of relevant projects include conducting a quality improvement project to improve sustainability in the hospital or clinic, hosting an educational event for medical students or community members, or developing a campaign for specific local, state or national policy

Winter 2021