Environmental Health Sciences Breadth Course
Public Health (PB HLTH) 200C2 [2 units]
Course Format: Two hours of lecture per week.
Description: This course will give an introduction to the major human and natural activities that lead to release of hazardous materials into the environment as well as the causal links between chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment and their impact on human health, including those related to climate change. The basic principles of toxicology, exposure assessment, risk assessment, risk perception, and environmental health policy will be presented. The overall role of environmental risks in the pattern of human disease, both nationally and internationally, will be covered.
(F) KR Smith, E Seto
Global Burden of Disease and Comparative Risk Assessment
Public Health (PB HLTH) 271D [3 units]
Course Format: Three hours of lecture/discussion per week.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Introductory epidemiology (250A or equivalent) is recommended.
Description: The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) database utilized by who provides estimates of illness, injury, and death by disease type, age, sex, and world region in a consistent and coherent manner. The course will explore the ways such a detailed database makes possible a wide range of new types of analysis of health priorities and the relationship of database will also be introduced. This seminar will also provide an opportunity for reading and discussion of the basic assumptions, data limitations, critiques, and methodological difficulties of the GBD. It is intended to be a true seminar relying heavy on class participation. The homework assignments will be greatly facilitated by use of computer spreadsheets.
(SP) KR Smith
Environmental Disasters in Post-apocalyptic Fiction
(PB HLTH) 84, Section 1 (1 unit, P/NP)
Format: This seminar will meet every other week for two hours beginning the first week of the semester.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
Description: Environmental disasters, human caused and otherwise, have been featured in many novels and other media since the dawn of the industrial era and even before. In this seminar, we focus on post-apocalyptic literature with three core readings and one elective. First, we read the non-fictional assessment The World Without Us (Alan Weisman, 2007), which lays a scientific foundation for how the natural world would change without pressure from humanity. Then we read the short novel, Scarlet Plague, by Jack London (1912), which takes place in the Bay Area and describes the world after plague kills most of the human race in 2013, and finally selected chapters of Earth Abides (1949) by George Stewart, former UCB Professor, which is a novel about Berkeley in a post-apocalyptic world. Each student will also read a book of his or her choosing or from a list provided of historical and contemporary novels dealing with post-apocalyptic worlds. [A rule on these books is no VAZ - vampires, aliens, or zombies]. Each student will be evaluated on an oral report on his or her book and participation in discussions on the core books. (SP) KR Smith
Health Implications of Climate Change
Public Health (PB HLTH) 271G [2 units]
Course Format: Two hours of lecture/discussion per week
Prerequisites: An introductory course in epidemiology is strongly suggested.
Description: The course will first provide a basic foundation in the physical and societal basis of climate change, including atmospheric structure and feedbacks, carbon cycling, and the sources and trends of human and natural greenhouse pollutant emissions. Forecasts of future climate, and their uncertainties, will be discussed, emphasizing parameters of potential relevance to human health. We will explore epidemiologic, risk assessment, and statistical methods appropriate for understanding the impact of climate on health in different populations, including reviews of current burden of disease estimates of avoidable and attributable risk. The public health implications, positive and negative, of society's efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change will be elaborated, including discussions of ethical, political, and economic aspects. Students will be responsible for formal class presentations summarizing and critiquing the evidence based on a health outcome related to climate change and a final presentation in poster format.
(SP) KR Smith