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Climate Change and Public Health Problem Solving Seminar: Global Challenges and Solutions for Mitigation, Adaptation, and Sustainability

1st Term
Environmental Health and Engineering
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
This course is intended for DrPH and other graduate students who want to understand, and learn how to address, what is perhaps the most important public health issue in the 21st Century. It is a well established fact that our planet is heating up, and that climate and weather patterns are changing in ways that disrupt health and challenge community well-being. Confronting climate change -- understanding how to evaluate its impacts, and adapt to, and mitigate its impacts is essential for every public health professional. By using a series of real world case studies, this course will teach students to employ a holistic, systems approach to meet the challenges of climate change.
Equips students with the skills to understand how to evaluate, assess, and design adaptation and mitigation strategies for global climate change impacts on public health. Features “real world” scenarios and case studies that are used to demonstrate the likely impacts of climate change on public health. Analyzes case studies and discusses how evidence-based science is deployed to combat the environmental health aspects of climate change. Gains a better understanding of the role that social justice and environmental equity play in the challenges that climate change brings. Emphasizes a systems-based approach, recognizing that climate change problem-solving methodology is multi-dimensional and multi-sectorial.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the complexity of climate change and public health and give illustrative examples from global public health practice about how different surveillance systems, modeling and methods can be applied to develop and assess the strengths and limitations of practices, programs and policies to mitigate climate change in local, state, national and international contexts
  2. Integrate scientific information, regulatory frameworks, ethical considerations and stakeholder interests in policy development, sustainability and analysis of climate change
  3. Identify the specific drivers of climate change that should optimally be addressed through practices/policies that will lead to gaining ground and prevention of public health consequences and improvement and/or elimination of health inequities
  4. Communicate public health science resulting from climate change practice, program methods, organization and policy assessment to diverse stakeholder groups and partners with diverse backgrounds and priorities in order to influence behavior and policy
  5. Explain the social, political and economic determinants of health and how climate change contributes those determinants and population health and health inequities
  6. Understand behavioral and psychosocial factors and cultural competencies that affect mobilization to mitigation, adaptation and sustainability to climate change and public health
  7. Develop a strategic resource plan that proposes human, fiscal, and other resources to implement climate change goals and achieve your strategic goals
  8. Use negotiation and consensus-building methods to facilitate shared decision making with national and international public health professionals in the design of a climate change program and for communicating evidence to advance public health knowledge
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 35% Group Project(s)
  • 35% Written Assignment(s)
  • 10% Discussion
  • 10% Participation
  • 5% Peer-feedback
  • 5% LiveTalks
Enrollment Restriction
Students in the DrPH program will be given preference