Public Health Impacts of Climate Change and Steps Toward Protecting our Communities

PUB HLT 701

This course taught by Dr. Jonathan Fielding and guest speakers Diane Garcia Gonzales and Brian Cole will provide an overview of the adverse health effects of climate change, with a focus on effective solutions for protecting communities and helping people to adapt to the changing environment.   

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What you can learn.

  • Gain an overview of the health impacts of climate change
  • Explore the ways in which climate change amplifies existing health disparities
  • Learn about tested solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with benefits to the economy and people’s health
  • Gain a basic introduction to effective climate policies and opportunities for getting involved in advancing climate justice

About this course:

No longer a distant threat, human-caused climate change directly affects public health, and its effects are likely to worsen over time. This course taught by Dr. Jonathan Fielding and guest speakers Diane Garcia Gonzales and Brian Cole will provide an overview of the health implications of climate change, including the harmful physical and mental health impacts of various manifestations of climate change (for example, excessive heat, worsening air pollution, wildfires, and extreme weather events). We will explore the ways in which climate change amplifies existing health disparities so that certain populations are disproportionately exposed to climate stressors while also lacking adequate resources to prepare for and cope with adverse climate effects. Tested solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change will be discussed, with an emphasis on effective community-based efforts and climate policies. Each week, students will be invited to participate in a live session that includes a presentation, Q&A, and networking opportunity. Students will also be provided with suggested reading lists, optional short activities, and opportunities to discuss with peers online to help deepen their understanding.

Speaker Schedule:

Week 1 | July 13
Webinar led by: Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, MA
Topic: Overview of Health Impacts of Climate Change

Dr. Fielding is a Distinguished Professor in the Fielding School of Public Health and former Public Health Director for Los Angeles County. He is also a founder and co-director of the UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions, which focuses on protecting human health from the harmful effects of climate change. 

Week 2 | July 20
Webinar led by: Diane A. Garcia-Gonzales, PhD, MPH
Topic: Climate Change and Equity

Dr. Garcia-Gonzales is an air quality and climate change scientist who is interested in the intersection between the environment and human health. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA, where her research is focused on quantifying the impacts of climate change on California’s natural working lands.

Week 3 |July 27
Webinar led by: Brian Cole, DrPH
Topic: Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

Dr. Cole is an assistant professor in residence in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He earned his doctorate in public health, specializing in community health sciences.

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