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University of Michigan

Environmental Health: the Foundation of Global Public Health

University of Michigan via Coursera


The first course of the Impacts of the Environment on Global Public Health specialization will provide you with a foundation in environmental health sciences (EHS). We will explore four main topics. The first is an introduction to EHS and the exposure-disease model – a very useful framework for understanding the influence of the environment on human health. The second topic is key concepts in EHS and environmental health policies that can be used to address and reduce the impacts of environmental health hazards. The third topic is the application of systems thinking to understand and analyze environmental health issues. The fourth and final topic is occupational health, which is a key environment that represents a major source of morbidity and mortality from a public health perspective.


  • Week 1: Welcome & Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences
    • 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 two main topics: Basic Concepts of Environmental Health Sciences, and Environmental Hazards. Let’s find out more about these topics, and more, in the Week 1 module.
  • Week 2: Environmental Health Policy
    • What laws and policies govern our actions toward our environment? Who is responsible for enacting these laws and policies? How do we assess the impacts of laws and policies on the environment? Let’s find out the answers to these questions, and more, in the Week 2 module.
  • Week 3: Exposure Pathways & Systems Thinking in Environmental Health
    • There are many ways of thinking about the world around us; design thinking, critical thinking, computational thinking, etc. But have you heard of systems thinking, and how it can be an effective approach to think about our environment? Let’s find out how we can use systems thinking for environmental health purposes, and more, in the Week 3 module.
  • Week 4: Occupational Health
    • Different jobs involved exposures to different hazards and varying levels of risk. A construction worker is far more likely to be injured than a store cashier, for example. But all jobs involve potential occupational hazards. Let’s find out about occupational health (OH for short) and how we can approach it in the Week 4 module - the last one of this course.

Taught by

Richard Neitzel


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 70 ratings

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