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Michigan Minds: Global Climate and Human Health


Things like hurricanes are going to
become more severe and more frequent. We mentioned my Puerto Rico study, we’ve had
two add-on studies to that due to some of the fallout we’re going to be seeing
more of with climate change. So one was hurricane Maria. We were in the middle of
our cohort recruitment we had a hundred pregnant women at the time that hit so
we’re looking at with a colleague of mine Deb Watkins we’re looking at what
were the impacts of that from an exposure to environmental standpoint but
also from a psychosocial and health impact standpoint. Another thing we had to deal with was the Zika outbreak. Infectious diseases
vector-borne diseases with more tropical warmer weather are going to be more
common in places where you didn’t use to see them, and outbreaks potentially more
difficult to control. So those are a couple of examples that just from doing
my work anyway we’ve been seeing, but then you have rising sea levels, extreme
weather, so a lot of people are going to be displaced. Whether it’s from extreme
weather events people are gonna have to leave places below sea level or on the
coast eventually so then you’re talking about a migrant health, access to health
care. In my area of research you know maternal child health people are moving
around being displaced and all these things have of downstream health
implications. So at Public Health you know we’re trying to think about anticipating
what those health effects are going to be, and then what can we do to be ready
for them and to try to change the tide if we can. Michigan is just a great place
to do research it’s extremely strong in so many areas we have public health or
we’re very strong but medicine, engineering, business, law you know
anything you need, social work, we’re a very interdisciplinary school here at
public health, so I can point to examples of virtually every other unit on campus
that we’re collaborating with. Undergrads, to master students, to PhD students all
been very strong, very passionate, and they really want to make a difference in
the world and that’s something that’s really kept the research going as well.

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