Environmental Health

Food growing from the soil

Food systems synergy

Exploring sustainable food systems with an interdisciplinary approach

The introductory course Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems explores the complexities and nuances of this topic, offering students all across the University of Michigan the ability to explore some of the interrelationships between core concepts within a food system, looking through the lenses of public health, environmental sustainability and the food policy process.

Kris Sarri scuba diving

Kris Sarri: Combating climate change with a policy pen

Kris Sarri, MPH ’97, exemplifies the University of Michigan mission of becoming leaders and best through her lifelong dedication to bettering the earth’s health through policy and action. Today, Sarri’s storied career is built upon two decades of work in Washington, DC, at the highest levels of the federal government.

Louise Merriman

Louise Merriman's lifelong dedication to nutrition culminates in planned gift to Nutritional Sciences

Culinary medicine is something Louise Merriman holds “near and dear to her heart”—a concept she has incorporated in her career as a Registered Dietitian for nearly 40 years. Merriman is supporting the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutritional Sciences through a new, seven-figure planned gift, the Drs. Kenneth Scott and Amherst Merriman Culinary Medicine Fund.

Interstate 75 shown cutting through downtown Detroit

Tackling noise closer to home

In addition to the work on e-waste, Rick Neitzel and the Exposure Research Lab continue to study how noise affects health. In Detroit and throughout the United States, interstate freeways were historically built through African American communities often with the goal of breaking them up or segregating them from white communities.

A pile of old cell phones

Exposure Research Lab helps informal e-waste recyclers, communities in other countries

The Exposure Research Lab at the University of Michigan School of Public Health has been studying how to make this informal recycling work safer. Rick Neitzel founded the lab when he arrived at Michigan Public Health in 2011. The lab studies how to keep workers safe and healthy throughout their careers, with particular focus on noise exposure and injury risks.

Jennifer Smith checks readings on a meter

'The point is human health'

Doctoral student feels compelled to help others

When Jennifer Smith considers the role researchers should play as environmental disasters devastate communities across the map, she is guided by her concern for the individuals connected to the countless personal stories, and an awareness of the immeasurable pain involved in places such as Flint, Michigan, and East Palestine, Ohio.