About the Program
GHE Student will receive a master of science degree in Environmental Health Sciences through the Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Graduate Group at UC Berkeley.
Students are required to complete 44 semester units in several departments across campus encompassing environmental health sciences; biostatistics and epidemiology; and a choice between two tracks: international development or environmental health policy.
- New GHE Requirements Checksheet – updated 9/15/15
- Old GHE Requirements Checksheet
- UC Berkeley General Catalog – search for course descriptions
Masters Project Guidelines and Timetable (2015 revision)
Every GHE student is required to conduct a research project as part of their degree requirements. Past MS project abstracts are available in the Student Research portion of the website.
International Fieldwork Opportunities
The GHE research project may be done using secondary data sources without the need to do fieldwork. Most GHE students, however, take advantage of the many opportunities available within the UCB School of Public Health to conduct fieldwork during the summer between their two academic years to investigate an environmental health problem in a developing country.
In recent years, GHE students have gone to Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Paraguay, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malawi, Mongolia, China, Kenya, Uganda, and Côte d’Ivoire. To make this possible, requires that students start working with their advisor toward developing a project by the middle of their first academic year, as it takes time to secure funding, obtain human subjects approval, and develop a good research protocol.
Many Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) faculty are involved with GHE student work. Click above to view names and research areas of interest. Additionally, GHE students may work with faculty outside of EHS and the School of Public Health to develop their research interests and thesis project.
Students can look forward to gaining valuable skills. Among the most critical are:
- An understanding of the sources, pathways, exposures, health impacts, and control measures for environmental pollutants and environmentally mediated infectious and parasitic diseases at the household, community, regional, and global levels;
- An appreciation of the statistical and epidemiological techniques used to establish causal links between environmental contaminants and ill-health;
- An ability to link environmental and health outcomes with population and economic development issues;
- The capability to forge concise, analytically robust, and practical policy recommendations;
- Field research methods (for those electing to do field research for their GHE project)
Past Student Research
GHE students pursue research in a variety of areas, including indoor air pollution (particulate matter and carbon monoxide) in Guatemala, India, China and Mongolia; pesticides in the San Francisco Bay area; food security in Kenya; and chemical regulation in California. See below for recent student research abstracts.
View GHE Project Map in a larger map
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Research Summaries and Publications from Recent Graduates of the GHE Program
– Graham Flitz, 2016
Field Emissions of the TurboPatsari Insert: Can the Popular Be Made Clean– David Molmen, 2016
Temperature, Rainfall, and Diarrheal Disease in South India Children- Andrew Mertens, 2016
– Kate Vavra-Musser, 2015
The Biofuel Autoclave: A Medical Waste Solution for the Developing World? – Sarina Arnold, 2015
- “The Biofuel Autoclave: A low cost, non-electric solution to infectious medical waste” – Health Care Without Harm
Small shot, big deal: Unrecognized perceptions of the use of injectable contraception in India – Anne Berg Villumsen, 2013
Assessing and mapping determinants of vulnerability to heat waves in San Francisco – Courtney Smith, 2011
Profile of Electronic Waste Workers in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Georgia Green, 2011
- “Spotlight Georgia Green: Effects of Exported E-Waste” – Berkeley Health Magazine, Fall 2011
- Dix-Cooper L, et al. “Neurodevelopmental performance among school age children in rural Guatemala is associated with prenatal and postnatal exposure to carbon monoxide, a marker for exposure to woodsmoke.” NeuroToxicology (2011), doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2011.09.004. Web published version with supplement.
- “Pneumonia linked to smoke from cooking fires; Prenatal maternal exposure to woodsmoke also hurts kids’ IQs” – CBC News, November 10, 2011
Coliform Bacteria in the Drinking Water of Highland Communities in Rural Guatemala – Andrew Slocombe, 2010
Research in the Genes and Environment Laboratory, concentrating on invitro genotoxic assays. – Michele Fromowitz, 2010
- Fromowitz M, et al. “Studies on the Genotoxicity of 2,5-Dimethylfuran, a Potential Biofuel” Poster presented as part of the Society of Toxicology Annual National Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010.
An Analysis of Black Carbon and Health Effects – Swati Sharma, 2010
Enhancing Exposure Assessment through Improved Markov Chain Indoor Air Pollution Models – Surakshya Dhakal, 2009
Ambient Air Quality Standards in Developing Countries – Candace Vahlsing
Air Pollution and Agricultural Burning – Rebecca Kehrer
- Cowlin S, Kaufmann RB, Edwards R, Smith KR. “Impact of Improved Stoves on Indoor Air Quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.” Energy Sector Management Assistance Program 2005.
- Pokhrel AK, Smith KR, Khalakdina A, Deuja A, Bates MN. “Case-control study of indoor cooking smoke exposure and cataract in Nepal and India.” International Journal of Epidemiology 2005; 34: 702-708. doi:10.1093/ije/dyi015
Pediatric respiratory health effects of ambient air pollution, May 2003 – Jennifer Slotnick
Assessing & modeling exposure to indoor air pollution among rural women in Guatemala, February 2003 – Lisa Thompson
Presented at the Global Health Council Conference, Washington, D.C., May 2003
An analysis of pesticide information systems, May 2003 – Rachel Turner Williams
Assessment of Cement Dust Concentrations and Noise Levels in a Cement Plant in Nicaragua – Aneilka Gonzalez Webb