Course description

Human activity is changing the atmosphere and altering terrestrial and marine ecosystems on a global scale. Evidence is mounting that these changes may already be having serious effects on human health, and there is growing concern that in coming decades the effects could be catastrophic. This course was developed because the practice of public health in this century requires an understanding of the relationship between human health and the global environment. It provides an overview of climate change and biodiversity loss, two key examples of global environmental change, and the potential consequences for human health. It also explores solutions to these problems and the challenges inherent in realizing those solutions.


  • Associate Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Research Associate, Environmental Health, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
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