Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

One Health: A Ten-Thousand-Year-Old View into the Future

University of Alaska Fairbanks via edX


Are you interested in understanding how global climate change will alter human society, animal health, and the environment? Are you curious about how these three things are interconnected?

This course focuses on what is happening right now in the Arctic, where climate change is accelerating twice as fast as the rest of the world. Understanding how Arctic ecosystems are adapting and collapsing can give us insight into future changes across the globe. While this course is focused on the Arctic, the principles and concepts in this course can be applied anywhere in the world.

Finding deep solutions to new challenges caused by climate change can’t be accomplished using only traditional fields of science, such as medicine or biology.

Addressing these issues effectively requires a novel approach, one that integrates knowledge across disciplines and cultures and recognizes the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. This concept, always central to the Indigenous worldview, has recently been recognized in Western science as One Health.

One Health was originally developed as a means of understanding how zoonotic diseases, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, arise.

  • Between 65% and 70% of emerging diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin. The way we impact our environment and how this influences human-animal interactions play a significant role in how these diseases develop and spread.

  • Health is more than the absence of disease and can be defined as a state of well-being for individuals and their communities. Under this definition, well-being encompasses physical, mental, behavioral, cultural, and spiritual health.

  • Applying this holistic approach to the One Health paradigm allows us to bring in expertise across natural and social sciences and connect Western science with traditional Indigenous ways of knowing.

  • Such a broad and deep integration of knowledge and experience provides opportunities for understanding large issues like food safety, security, and sovereignty at their roots, and for engaging stakeholders to build effective solutions.


Week 1: One Health Overview

  • Welcome to the Course

  • One Health Concepts

  • Indigenous Worldview

  • The Zen Venn Approach

Week 2: Human Health and Animal Health

  • Animal Health Introduction

  • Why Animal Health Matters

  • Human Health Introduction

  • Human Health - More than just the Absence of Disease

Week 3: Environmental Health - Our Role in the Ecosystem

  • Environmental Health

  • One Health and Climate Change

  • Biodiversity

  • Biocontaminants and Contaminant Monitoring

Week 4: Social Sciences in One Health

  • Social Sciences Introduction

  • One Health Paradigm

  • Role of Team Science in One Health

  • Collaboration in One Health

Taught by

Arleigh Reynolds, Tuula Hollmen, Hannah Robinson, Kelsey Nicholson and Laurie Meythaler-Mullins


Start your review of One Health: A Ten-Thousand-Year-Old View into the Future

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.