We study the impact of our surroundings, both natural and built, on health.
What we do
The field of environmental and occupational health covers everything from the air we breathe and the water we drink to the injuries and mental health challenges we may face at work. We strive to improve health by promoting practices and policies that reduce harmful exposures and protect vulnerable populations. From improving worker health and safety, to promoting healthy housing, to creating new tools to monitor air and water quality, we work to make our homes, our workplaces, and our communities healthier places for all.
A graduate degree in environmental & occupational health prepares you to think critically about complex challenges and to design solutions that improve public health. When you leave one of our programs, you’ll be ready to address emerging environmental and workplace issues in a way that builds on science while prioritizing real people. Our graduates work in environmental health and safety, emergency management, environmental epidemiology, and workplace safety and health in private, nonprofit, and government organizations.
Research Day reflections
Apr 8, 2020
Written by Sarah Levine, a Master’s in Public Health candidate from the Colorado School of Public Health’s Environmental and Occupational Health program and a student employee at the Center for Health, Work & Environment.
A wave of emotions swept over me as I read the University’s notice that we would no longer be able to hold in-person events larger than 75 people due to COVID-19. This news would inevitably threaten the long-anticipated 12th annual Research Day Symposium, an event that the Center for Health, Work & Environment had been planning for an entire year. Although disappointment swept the office, Center Director Lee Newman remained positive. Knowing the importance of this event to students, instructors, and environmental and occupational health professionals, Lee encouraged us to hold the event in an online format. Our team huddled together every day for two weeks to figure out how to make the event happen, using it as an opportunity to hold the first virtual Research Day which turned out to be a great success!
Dr. John Howard, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) began the day with a keynote presentation on the future of work and technology, an apt subject for a virtual conference. Students from each of the five Mountain and Plains Education & Research Center (MAP ERC) programs presented platform presentations, posters, and 5-minute ignite sessions. The 100 virtual attendees were highly engaged, listening and participating in interactive Q&A discussions.
The following students were awarded by a panel of judges made up of academics and professionals for the best poster presentation in each of the five MAP ERC program categories and environmental and occupational health, as well as an award for the best platform presentation:
Environmental and Occupational Health:Lauren Zell-Baran, Engineered stone silicosis: An emerging global outbreak with impacts in Colorado
Ergonomics and Safety:Molly Hischke, Quantifying trunk postures in vegetable and fruit pickers in Colorado and Sardinia
Health Physics:Anna Deak, Radiocesium size categorization of suspended particles in Fukushima contaminated water
Industrial Hygiene:Grant Erlandson, Hypertonic saline rinse and its effect on nasal inflammation and microbiome in dairy workers
Occupational Health Psychology:Kelly Cave, A work-life balance training intervention: Motivating training transfer
Occupational Medicine:Stephanie Stewart, Association of Marijuana, mental health, and tobacco in Colorado
Platform:Colleen Brents, Occupational Injuries in the Colorado Brewing Industry: An assessment of accident narratives & Joshua Hayes, Establishing pseudo Pelger-Huet anomalies as biodosimeters in mammalian apecies
The theme of the event, “Assessing the changing nature of work, climate change and emerging diseases in the 21st century,” was reflected on given the current pandemic. I was able to tie the new conference format into my presentation that day, which analyzed the carbon impact of academic travel and provided recommendations for ways organizations can reduce their carbon footprint. Based on polls taken by participants, holding the conference virtually instead of in-person resulted in eliminating 6,000 miles of car and air travel, which would have created 4,000 pounds of CO2. Holding a virtual conference was one of my recommendations to organizations and Research Day 2020 was a prime example of how doable and successful a virtual conference can be.
Categories:Center for Health, Work & EnvironmentColorado School of Public Health
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