Greetings to all IES students, alumni, faculty, affiliates, staff and friends,
I was recently asked to compile a list of ways that IES is involved in Human Health.
By the time I finished, I had about three pages of connections falling into many different categories including the work of the IES Institute for Food and its sustainable farm, work with the Global Health Research Innovation Center and participation in the Global Health minor, the focus of our recent Willeke lectures, our work in Zambia, our professional service projects, our Sustainability in Practice (IES 474) projects, our classes on water, energy, climate and environmental law and policy. Basically of course, everything we do has connections to human health.
Environmental protection, restoration and sustainability are all about improving conditions and quality of life for human beings, which also must include social justice, working towards the equitable distribution of environmental resources and risks.
Our last three Willeke lectures were directly linked to the themes of social justice and human health:
- In 2016, Dr. Gabe Filippelli, Director of the Center for Urban Health at IUPUI, spoke on the limits of human sustainability and urban geochemistry and human health.
- In 2017, it was Dr. Elizabeth Hoover from Brown University spoke on “Settler Colonialism and Environmental Reproductive Justice in a Mohawk Community.”
- In 2018, Mr. Gary Cohen, cofounder of Health Care Without Harm, spoke about building a more sustainable health care system that pollutes less and promotes good health and healthy food.
I’m very happy to announce our 2019 Willeke Lecturer: Dr. Denise Breitburg from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and University of Maryland. Dr. Breitburg will be focusing on ecosystem health with her February 7, 2019 talk on “Our threatened oceans – cause for concern, but opportunity for change.” I hope to see many of you there, 6:00 pm in 152 Shideler.
2019 brings many other exciting events, particularly with the IES 50th anniversary! IES was founded in 1969 and we will be celebrating 50 years of environmental education, research, projects and training of over 800 environmental professionals. We are in the midst of planning for this auspicious occasion and we’ll be sending out many more details.
My warmest regards and thanks to all of you for your contributions to IES and to the health of our ecosystems and society.
Happy New Year,