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University of Michigan

Climate Change, Sustainability, and Global Public Health

University of Michigan via Coursera

Overview

The third course of the Impacts of the Environment on Global Public Health specialization will introduce you to two major environmental health challenges facing the world today. The first is climate change –the preeminent threat to public health today, and a threat that will impact every human and ecosystem on the planet. We will evaluate the causes and impacts of climate change, as well as policies and approaches that can be used to reduce the impacts of climate change on human health. The second is sustainability, a concept that can be applied to reduce the impacts of human activities on the environment as well as human health. We will explore different sustainability frameworks, as well as the effects of different energy generation sources on the environment and public health.

Syllabus

  • Week 1: Impacts of Climate Change
    • Welcome to Week 1! We start this week with an orientation to the course and our learning community. Then, we start our course by covering what is arguably the most important challenge facing humankind today: climate change. Let’s find out how climate change impacts our environment and what we can do about it in the Week 1 module.
  • Week 2: Responding to Climate Change
    • Climate change is not a hoax or just a theory. Despite the different political views on the subject, the scientific evidence is conclusive: our climate is changing, and not for the better. The real challenge is identifying and implementing responses to climate change. In other words, what could be done today, what can be done tomorrow, and what can be done in the future? Let’s find out how we can mitigate and adapt to climate change, and more, in the Week 2 module.
  • Week 3: Sustainability
    • Energy use and consumption have adverse impacts on climate change. The golden solution is to develop sustainable energy resources and incorporate sustainable practices into our daily lives. Let’s find out how to do so, and more, in the Week 3 module.
  • Week 4: Climate Change Case Peer-Review Assignment
    • We have seen throughout this course that climate change is the preeminent threat to public health, with substantial impacts at all levels, and that we need to increase sustainability in our lives. Now, with your peers, it is your opportunity to develop the skill of evaluating policies or regulations intended to reduce environmental impacts on human health from climate change, or to increase sustainability. Let’s find out more about this in the Week 4 module - the last of the course.

Taught by

Richard Neitzel

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