Area of Emphasis: Exposure SCIENCE

Berkeley faculty are global leaders in exposure science, making major contributions to research and teaching in environmental exposure assessment, the development and application of exposure biomarkers, and innovations in environmental chemistry and microbiology. EHS students learn the theory and practice of sampling and analyzing environmental and biological media for both chemical and microbiological contaminants.

EHS faculty -- including Profs. Steve Rappaport, Kathie Hammond, Nina Holland, Asa Bradman, Tom McKone, and Martyn Smith -- are at the forefront of characterizing exposure to air and water pollution, identifying sources of contamination, and developing control strategies for a range of hazards, including:

  • Toxic or carcinogenic chemicals
  • Biological pathogens like anthrax
  • Physical agents like radiation, noise, or heat

EHS students seeking the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), M.S., or Ph.D. degree are offered an innovative, flexible course of study that uniquely prepares them for a wide range of professional practice opportunities in exposure science. As environmental impacts are increasingly recognized as global, there is a growing demand for students and graduates who are trained in international settings to tackle global challenges in exposure science.

Career Opportunities

Careers that benefit from skills in exposure science include occupational and environmental safety and health positions; positions at regulatory agencies (such as CalOSHA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency); scientific roles at agencies (such as the California Department of Health Services and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) and universities that contribute to research and perform field studies involving exposure assessment and control; oversight of the development and implementation of health and safety plans for companies seeking to protect employees and ensure compliance with OSHA and other regulations; development of chemical safety and right-to-know programs that cover communities impacted by commercial and industrial operations; consulting in exposure assessment and the design of controls; and working as part of teams involving physicians, nurses, safety professionals, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and engineers to assess and limit exposures to health hazards, ensure compliance with standards, and carry out risk assessments and standards development.