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Public Health Responses to Environmental Incidents and Disasters

East Baltimore
4th term
Environmental Health and Engineering
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  10:30 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Course Instructor:
Ellen Silbergeld

340.721 Epidemiologic Inference in Public Health Recommended: 187.610 Public Health Toxicology


Focuses on population exposures to and health impacts of non-infectious agents. Prepares students for applying methodologies for public health response and acquiring skills in developing standardized protocols to effectively recognize, evaluate and respond to public health emergencies and reported clusters of disease. Presents basic aspects of applied environmental health and policy frameworks for decision-making in environmental health. Provides competencies in finding and using web-based data sources, applying geospatial and other methodologies in analyzing information on exposures and health outcomes; identifying resources for coordinated response to environmental incidents; and communicating findings to decision-makers and the public. Equips students to participate in responding to disasters, reported outbreaks and apparent clusters. Provides experience in establishing exposure registries.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and assess population exposures to environmental exposures in the form of disasters, outbreaks, and apparent clusters
  2. Establish and access data systems that provide information on environmental exposures and health outcomes
  3. Utilize these systems and other information to evaluate associations between exposures and health outcomes
  4. Investigate reported outbreaks and clusters of environmentally associated health outcomes
  5. Establish registries for longer term follow-up
  6. Monitor trends in both environmental noninfectious exposures and disease
  7. Effectively communicate information and findings related to outbreaks to policymakers, health officials and the public
Methods of Assessment:

Contribution to class discussions (25%), bi-weekly project updates (25%), Final individual project report (25%), Final group project report (25%)

Enrollment Restriction:

No undergraduates

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for students without prerequisite courses.

For consent, contact: