About NR 107 A

Offers an introduction to environmental health. Topics include: methods (toxicology, epidemiology), environmental health hazards (physical, biological, chemical) and supports (nature contact), risk analysis, communication and management, health and climate change, food production and access, energy production, and water. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Cross-listed with: ENVS 107, HLTH 107.


Open to Degree and CDE students; Cross listed with ENVS 107 A & HLTH 107 A; Maximum combined enrollment: 75

Section Description

This course offers an introduction to the field of “environmental health.” We will begin our collective work by situating environmental health within the context of sustainability—specifically, the idea that sustainability is achieved by creating a balance between ecological flourishing and human well-being, and that health is a primary component of well-being. Building upon this foundation, we will next cover a range of traditional environmental health topics including the methods of environmental health science (toxicology and epidemiology), environmental hazards (physical, biological, and chemical), risk analysis, communication and management, vulnerable populations, precautionary approaches, and environmental health regulations. Finally, we will apply the knowledge gained during the first half of the semester to understanding and identifying opportunities for mitigating a variety of current environmental health challenges including climate change, food production and access, energy production, water quality and access, and waste management. We will conclude the semester with a discussion of how we, as a society, may best achieve healthy lifestyles and healthy communities that are supportive of the ecological systems upon which our health depends. Logistics: This course uses a "flipped" model where students first watch a recorded lecture and complete readings and assignments in Blackboard before meeting weekly on Monday afternoons. During class meetings, students will work in small groups for guided discussion and dialog about the weekly topic, and share their work in the full class.

Section Expectation

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to: 1. Discuss current environmental health challenges occurring at local, regional, and global scales. 2. Describe several environmental health hazards, routes of exposure, health effects, and mitigation options. 3. Critically examine environmental health-related news. 4. Engage sustainability science approaches and systems thinking to describe the interplay between human behaviors, environmental challenges, and human health and well-being. Materials: 1. Required textbook: Maxwell's Understanding environmental health: how we live in the world (2021, third edition). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett. 2. Required readings, podcasts, videos, etc. will be posted on the course Blackboard site each week.


Student learning will be assessed using a variety of methods including but not limited to attendance and participation, weekly reading and reflection assignments, group work including current news critiques, and mid-term and final exams.

Course Dates



L/L Commons 315 (View Campus Map)


to on Monday

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

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