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Center of Attention - Yale Center on Climate Change and Health

February 11, 2022

The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health (YCCCH) is an academic leader in understanding the impact of climate change on health. It is dedicated to educating students and professionals, and utilizing public health science to support governmental and civil society efforts to mitigate climate change and to achieve climate justice.

The Center was the first in the country to offer an online climate change and health certificate program for working public health and other professionals and the program has been adapted for Coursera. In 2021, the Center, along with Caribbean and international partners, sponsored a four-day virtual conference on the impact of climate change on health in the Caribbean. It is currently working with the state of Connecticut in developing a new statewide Office of Climate Change and Public Health. The executive of the Executive MPH Program, Martin Klein, was a co-founder of the initiative that became the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health and he currently serves as the Center’s executive director. Dr. Robert Dubrow is the faculty director and leads the center.

Research is critical to understanding the impact of climate change on health and necessary for creating strategies to reduce its adverse health effects. The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health conducts research in the following areas:

  1. interactive effects on human health of ambient temperature, air pollution, extreme weather events, demographic factors and social determinants;
  2. future climate change impacts as determined by modeling of alternative scenarios;
  3. health co-benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and related policies;
  4. effects of mitigation and adaptation policies on reducing disparities in environmental exposures and their adverse health effects;
  5. adaptation strategies, especially to extreme heat.

Students can engage with the center’s work in several ways. A summer internship program matches Yale students with meaningful internships related to climate change and health research and practice. YCCCH also offers a Student Associates program for students who share a passion for understanding the interface between climate change and health. The program provides a stimulating academic environment where students from across Yale University can come to discuss ideas in an interdisciplinary setting, learn from some of the top climate and health experts in the country, engage with research and support novel interventions in the field of climate and health. Opportunities for Student Associates include event funding, enrollment in YCCCH’s Mentor Program and more.

Executive MPH student Matthew Mcgarrity, currently a YCCCH Student Associate, said he finds the experience both informative and enjoyable.

“I've really enjoyed being a YCCH Student Associate,” Mcgarrity said. “I interface with interdisciplinary health experts and attend in-person seminars where I exchange with fellow student associates passionate about climate change and health. As a hybrid student, this opportunity to be part of the social fabric and experience campus life means a lot.”

Upcoming events sponsored by the Center include the climate change and health seminar series and the Yale Global Initiative on Climate Change and Public Health Ethics seminars. Also, in February 2022, the center will feature Advocacy Training for Climate Action programming. For a complete list of events, go to the center’s calendar, which is updated regularly. The center’s monthly newsletter is a great way to keep up to date on its work and offerings; you can go here to learn about the center’s work and subscribe.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on February 11, 2022