Global Environmental Sustainability & Health
Meet our students
There is little doubt that challenges to environmental sustainability are among the most difficult that humanity has ever faced and these will shape all aspects of human endeavor in the decades to come.
The MPH concentration in Global Environmental Sustainability and Health provides students with an understanding of how human consumption and standards of living have exceeded the carrying capacity of the earth; how, as a result, the environmental resources upon which we depend have been severely compromised; and how this affects the health of individuals, communities, and the global population.
Specifically, students will learn how land use (including patterns of suburban sprawl), transportation patterns and systems, energy use, food production and distribution, water use, and population growth contribute to climate change, ecosystem degradation, and species extinctions and biodiversity losses, and how these, in turn, threaten human health on local, regional, and global scales.
The goal of this concentration is to provide students with the necessary knowledge about the drivers of global environmental change and the consequences for health. In addition, students will gain necessary skills to develop appropriate responses to these challenges for global environmental sustainability through qualitative research methods and behavioral change interventions.
- 1. Acquire key knowledge of the drivers of global environmental change and possible responses on local, regional, and global scales:
- Identify the five main drivers of global environmental change: land use, energy use, food use (i.e., food production and distribution), water use, and population growth.
- Explain how these drivers interact with each other to result in global environmental consequences such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, biodiversity loss, and species extinctions.
- Describe the complexities and interrelationships of these drivers and their environmental and public health consequences.
- Explain the implications of the consequences to individual, community, and global health.
- Compare and contrast potential solutions or responses to ensure global sustainability and improved health in the context of the complicating challenges of the coming era of energy scarcity, U.S. federal indebtedness, and myriad political obstacles.
- Describe the types of organizations and businesses working on addressing the problem of global environmental change, and the approaches each type is taking to producing change.
- Develop a set of intervention skills to change behavior.
- Present information on global environmental change and possible responses for a range of audiences (e.g., professional groups, community organizations, schools).
- Select models and theories relevant to the design of behavior change interventions for different groups and behaviors, and apply them in design of the intervention.
- Develop a plan for behavior change communication for behaviors related to sustainable use of the environment.
Course of Study
|Students are required to complete all of the following courses:|
|180.611||The Global Environment & Public Health||4 units||1st term|
|188.688||Global Environmental Sustainability & Health Seminar||1 unit||2nd term|
|180.651||Energy Policy Choices & Public Health||2 units||3rd term|
|188.682||Buildings, Land Use, Transportation, and Public Health||2 units||4th term|
|Students are required to take one of the following courses:|
|180.620||Food Production, Public Health & the Environment||4 units||2nd term, Internet Only|
|222.654||Food, Culture, and Nutrition||4 units||4th term|
|180.655||Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study of Urban Food Environments||4 units||3rd term|
|Students are required to take one of the following courses:|
|224.689||Health Behavior Change at the Individual, Household, and Community Levels*||4 units||2nd term|
|410.650||Introduction to Persuasive Communications: Theories and Practice*||4 units||2nd term|
|The following courses are recommended but not required.|
These courses do not fulfill credit requirements of the concentration but do contain relevant content or skills.
|221.611||Food/Nutrition and Livelihood in Humanitarian Emergencies||2 units||4th term|
|260.652||Principles of Public Health Ecology||4 units||2nd term|
|182.626||Issues for Water and Sanitation in Tropical Environmental Health||2 units||3rd term|
|221.624||Urban Health in Developing Countries||3 units||4th term, Internet Only|
|182.640||Food- & Water- borne Diseases*||3 units||3rd term|
* Also fulfills MPH core requirement.
The MPH capstone experience in Global Environmental Sustainability and Health provides students with the opportunity to apply the skills and competencies they have learned to a global environmental sustainability and public health problem that is of particular interest to them. During the 3rd term, students will register for 2 units of special studies research (XXX.840) for the capstone experience under the supervision of a growing list of concentration-affiliated faculty mentors. In the 4th term, students are required to register for the 2-unit MPH Capstone Course (XXX.800). The special studies research and informal lunchtime meetings of the concentration will take the place of the sustainability seminar during 3rd term.
The capstone can also involve participating in faculty research related to the global environmental and sustainability, working with the Center for a Livable Future or the Center for Water and Health, or collaborating with local organizations engaged in action to address these issues. The resulting paper from the capstone experience will satisfy MPH capstone requirements and will be of publishable quality.
The capstone projects will be presented at a specially-scheduled concentration capstone symposium, depending on the number of students.
Faculty Concentration Directors
Cindy Parker, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, 443-287-6734, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Schwartz, MD, MS, Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, 410-955-4158, email@example.com
Peter Winch, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, International Health, 410-955-9854, firstname.lastname@example.org