Master of Science in Climate and Health

The Master of Science in Climate and Health (MSCH) degree is offered in partnership with the Department of Public Health Sciences (Miller School of Medicine) and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences).  The MSCH program will prepare future generations of professionals, research analysts, planners, decision-makers and leaders, who will have a deep understanding of the intricate relationship between human health and climate change, weather and weather anomalies (C2W2), and the ability to decipher and quantify this relationship at multiple scales ranging from gene-expression, to individual’s susceptibility to community response to region-wide morbidity and mortality burden.  

The MSCH program has three specific aims.  First, to provide students with conceptual, theoretical and applied understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of C2W2on human health.  Second, to train students in understanding, evaluating, and assessing short- and long-term climate and weather changes, and their direct and indirect impact on disease and disability burden across different communities.  And third, to prepare students to develop adaptation, mitigation, healthcare and communication strategies in the light of adaptation and infrastructure capacity of different communities to manage the health effects of C2W2.  

Curriculum Requirements

Core Courses
EPH 646Climate and Health3
EPH 657Toxicology: Climate and Health3
ATM 614Introduction to Weather and Climate3
ATM 653Climate Change3
EPH 727Climate, Environment, and Health: Data Integration and Management3
EPH 633Policy & Management of the Health Effects of Climate3
EPH 658Analysis of the Health Effects of Climate3
Elective Coursework9
Thesis
EPH 698MSPH Thesis Proposal3
EPH 699MSPH Thesis3
TOTAL36

Mission

As global warming intensifies, not only will it result in a shifting burden of disease and disability, but it will also result in unprecedented changes in the physical and biochemical characteristics of the environment. The MSCH graduate program will prepare future generations of research analysts, planners, decision-makers and leaders who will have deep understanding of the intricate relationship between climate and health, and ability to decipher this relationship.

Goals

The MSCH program will have three specific aims:

  • Provide students conceptual and theoretical understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of short- and long-term climate changes on health and well-being;
  • Train students in evaluating and assessing short- and long-term climate changes and their direct impact, in tum, on the burden of disease and disability, and indirect impact on burden of disease and disability through the physical and biochemical changes in the environmental characteristics due to climate changes, and
  • Prepare students to evaluate (existing) and develop adaptation, mitigation, communication and healthcare strategies to manage the health effect of C2W2 across different populations with respect to their differential health risks, infrastructure and adaptation capacity.

Student Learning Outcomes

This program will train students in:

  • Understanding the basic physical processes that control global and regional climate, and global and regional weather patterns and extreme weather patterns;
  • Understanding the interplay between health and C2W2, the burden of disease/disability different communities and populations associated with weather and climate, and weather and climate ­mediated changes in the environment;
  • Understanding the biophysiological responses with respect to short- and long-term climate changes and weather patterns;
  • Developing skills in collecting, managing and analyzing health, climate and associated data sets to quantify the health effects of climate incorporating hierarchical (including individual, community and region-specific) socio-physical environmental characteristics;
  • Understanding the structure and administration of public health organizations and the policies that impact health programs and health services for different communities, and identifying direct and indirect roles of different stakeholders in the surveillance and management of the health effects of climate, and develop skills in evaluating the role strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and associated health effects; and
  • Understanding disparities in the health outcomes in communities and the attribution of climate change effects on vulnerable populations, and individual responses (from various socio-economic backgrounds) to different warning and surveillance of weather conditions that pose threat to health and well-being.