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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.

Coursework
Students are required to complete 44 semester units in several departments across campus encompassing environmental health sciencesbiostatistics and epidemiology; and a choice between two tracks: international development or environmental health policy.

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.

Faculty
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

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

The Contribution of Household Heating to Ambient PM2.5 In Peri-urban Beijing and its Population Exposure Implications – Jiawen Liao, 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

Effects of Occupational Heat Exposure on Traffic Police Workers in Ahmedabad, India – Amee Raval, 2016

– Kate Vavra-Musser, 2015

The Biofuel Autoclave: A Medical Waste Solution for the Developing World? – Sarina Arnold, 2015

Association between Small-Scale Fishery Participation and Severe Household Food
Insecurity: The case of Kenyan fishing communities on Lake Victoria
– Erika Gavenus, 2014

Environmental Determinants of Human Liver Fluke Transmission in Aquaculture Systems in China and Thailand – Tomás León, 2014

Small shot, big deal: Unrecognized perceptions of the use of injectable contraception in India – Anne Berg Villumsen, 2013

The Contribution of Household Solid Fuel Use to Ambient Particulate Pollution in a Village in Peri-Urban Beijing – Anna Zimmermann, 2013

Association between food insecurity and child cognitive development in Kenyan community on Lake Victoria – Erin Milner, 2013

Social and cultural factors modifying the transmission of Schistosomiasis in Yi communities of Sichuan Province of China – Qianyi Jessica Li, 2012

Lead content of retail jewelry: an analysis of products sold in California and the performance of state and federal lead regulations – Vanessa Coffman, 2011

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

Chronic Early Life Exposure to Carbon Monoxide in Woodsmoke and Children’s Neurodevelopment in Rural Guatemala: A Pilot Study – Linda Dix-Cooper, 2010

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

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

Comparison of Nine Co-located PM2.5 and CO Monitors and Characterization of Airborne Particle Size in Wood-Burning Kitchens – David Dauphine

Monitoring Fuel Savings to Generate Voluntary Carbon Offsets from Household Energy Projects; Implementing the Kitchen Performance Test in Kampala, Uganda, as a Case Study – Evan Haigler

The Effects of Physical Space and Social Connections on Health Status in a Rural Ecuadorian Study Site, February 2005 – Sarah Bates

Impact of Improved Stoves on Indoor Air Quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia November 2005 – Shannon Cowlin

Assessment of Exposure to Indoor Wood-Smoke using Biomarkers in Urine, February 2005 – Michael C. Clark

Exposure to Smoke from Household Cooking Fuel and Risk of Cataract Formation in Women: A Case Control Study, May 2004 – Amod Pokhrel, 2004

US involvement in foreign affairs: A media analysis, May 2003 – Elena Conis

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

Evaluation of The Management of Bioaccumulative Fish Contaminants in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed: Lessons for Developing a More Integrated Model, May 2004 – Trina Mackie

Reemergence of Schistosomiasis Japonicum in Sichuan Province, China: A pilot study – Ryan D. Johnson

Assessment of Cement Dust Concentrations and Noise Levels in a Cement Plant in Nicaragua – Aneilka Gonzalez Webb

California Burden of Disease Study: An Analysis of Mortality and Morbidity in California across Ethnicities – Myfanwy Callahan

 

 

Photos

International Fieldwork

A kid looking Matias Tagle (GHE 17) installing a stove monitor in Paraguay.

A kid looking Matias Tagle (GHE 17) installing a stove monitor in Paraguay.

A woman in Paraguay burning wood and drinking mate.

A woman in Paraguay burning wood and drinking mate.

A woman in Alibag’s Koliwada neighborhood collecting her Point Of Use sample for bacterial testing. Swati Rayasam.

A woman in Alibag’s Koliwada neighborhood collecting her Point Of Use sample for bacterial testing. Swati Rayasam.

GHE second year Swati Rayasam pictured with her translator Harsheila Mahimtura in Alibag where she collected water samples and conducted interviews about drinking water quality and menstrual hygiene.

GHE second year Swati Rayasam pictured with her translator Harsheila Mahimtura in Alibag where she collected water samples and conducted interviews about drinking water quality and menstrual hygiene.

Jiawen Liao (GHE ’16) doing research on electronic cigarette in the lab at California Department of Public Health, USA.

Jiawen Liao (GHE ’16) doing research on electronic cigarette in the lab at California Department of Public Health, USA.

Swati Rayasam (GHE 17). Local women in Alibag, Maharashtra fill water in the afternoon in Siddhartha Nagar near the coast.

Swati Rayasam (GHE 17). Local women in Alibag, Maharashtra fill water in the afternoon in Siddhartha Nagar near the coast.

Andrew Mertens (GHE ’16) with local researcher investigating water and sanitation issues in Bangladesh. 

Andrew Mertens (GHE ’16) with local researcher investigating water and sanitation issues in Bangladesh. 

Amee Raval (GHE ’16) (left) and Dr. Priya Dutta, from Indian Institute of Public Health, (right) were administering a baseline questionnaire to a study participant at Lal Darwaza Traffic Junction in Ahmedabad, India.

Amee Raval (GHE ’16) (left) and Dr. Priya Dutta, from Indian Institute of Public Health, (right) were administering a baseline questionnaire to a study participant at Lal Darwaza Traffic Junction in Ahmedabad, India.

Graham Flitz (GHE ’16) together with local researchers were giving instructions to grandmother about the program and spirometry testing in Malawi.

Graham Flitz (GHE ’16) together with local researchers were giving instructions to grandmother about the program and spirometry testing in Malawi.

Sarina Arnold (GHE ’15) was conducting a Biofuel Autoclave testing in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sarina Arnold (GHE ’15) was conducting a Biofuel Autoclave testing in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Jenny Eav (GHE ’14) and a colleague from INCLEN placing stove use monitors on a traditional mud chullah. Jenny’s research project focuses on evaluating a new platform for monitoring stove use.

Jenny Eav (GHE ’14) and a colleague from INCLEN placing stove use monitors on a traditional mud chullah. Jenny’s research project focuses on evaluating a new platform for monitoring stove use.

Local woman preparing chapatis using a traditional mud chullah in Haryana, India. Jenny Eav’s(GHE ’14) research project involved field testing a new platform for monitoring stove use.

Local woman preparing chapatis using a traditional mud chullah in Haryana, India. Jenny Eav’s(GHE ’14) research project involved field testing a new platform for monitoring stove use.

Tomás León (GHE ’14) and a local student from Khon Kaen University take environmental samples from ponds and lakes in northeast Thailand to study liver flukes. Tomás is interested in how environmental factors influence the transmission cycle of the parasite.

Tomás León (GHE ’14) and a local student from Khon Kaen University take environmental samples from ponds and lakes in northeast Thailand to study liver flukes. Tomás is interested in how environmental factors influence the transmission cycle of the parasite.

Local fishermen beach seining for Nile perch on Mfangano Island, Kenya. Erika Gavenus’s (GHE ’14) project focuses on the relationships between fishery dynamics and health outcomes among rural communities of Lake Victoria.

Local fishermen beach seining for Nile perch on Mfangano Island, Kenya. Erika Gavenus’s (GHE ’14) project focuses on the relationships between fishery dynamics and health outcomes among rural communities of Lake Victoria.

In Uttar Pradesh, India, a doctor operates a local tele-medicine health center operated using web-camera consultations with doctors in Delhi – a strategy to reach remote areas with quality reproductive health care, from Anne Berg Villumsen‘s (GHE ’13) project improving access to contraception throughout India.

In Uttar Pradesh, India, a doctor operates a local tele-medicine health center operated using web-camera consultations with doctors in Delhi – a strategy to reach remote areas with quality reproductive health care, from Anne Berg Villumsen‘s (GHE ’13) project improving access to contraception throughout India.

Coal stove in peri-urban Chinese community monitored as part of Anna Zimmermann’s (GHE ’13) research evaluating how household biomass and coal use contributes to outdoor air pollution.

Coal stove in peri-urban Chinese community monitored as part of Anna Zimmermann’s (GHE ’13) research evaluating how household biomass and coal use contributes to outdoor air pollution.

Fisherman catching undersized Nile perch on Mfangano Island, Kenya from Erin Milner’s (GHE ’13) research assessing the impacts of ecological changes in Lake Victoria on livelihoods and child nutrition.

Fisherman catching undersized Nile perch on Mfangano Island, Kenya from Erin Milner’s (GHE ’13) research assessing the impacts of ecological changes in Lake Victoria on livelihoods and child nutrition.

Fieldwork photo by Qianyi Li (GHE ’12) for the project “Social and cultural factors modifying the transmission of Schistosomiasis in Yi communities of Sichuan Province of China”

Fieldwork photo by Qianyi Li (GHE ’12) for the project “Social and cultural factors modifying the transmission of Schistosomiasis in Yi communities of Sichuan Province of China”

Computer repairman soldering a circuit board on his lap — from Georgia Green‘s (GHE ’11) fieldwork on electronic waste workers in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Computer repairman soldering a circuit board on his lap — from Georgia Green‘s (GHE ’11) fieldwork on electronic waste workers in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Courtney Smith (GHE ’11) stands in front of mines on the outskirts of Langzhou, the capital of Gansu Province in China, touted as one of the most polluted cities in the world. In 2010, Smith met with NGOs, government officials, and academics throughout China to discuss environmental health and justice issues as part of the Vermont Law School Chinese Environment Justice Fellowship.

Courtney Smith (GHE ’11) stands in front of mines on the outskirts of Langzhou, the capital of Gansu Province in China, touted as one of the most polluted cities in the world. In 2010, Smith met with NGOs, government officials, and academics throughout China to discuss environmental health and justice issues as part of the Vermont Law School Chinese Environment Justice Fellowship.

Map depicting Courtney Smith‘s (GHE ’11) research on heat vulnerability in San Francisco, commissioned by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Map depicting Courtney Smith‘s (GHE ’11) research on heat vulnerability in San Francisco, commissioned by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Linda Dix-Cooper (GHE ’10) with Guatemalan study team members.

Linda Dix-Cooper (GHE ’10) with Guatemalan study team members.

6-year-old Guatemalan girl taking a seeing eye exam before her neurobehavioral interview – as part of Linda Dix-Cooper‘s (GHE ’10) fieldwork in Guatemala.

6-year-old Guatemalan girl taking a seeing eye exam before her neurobehavioral interview – as part of Linda Dix-Cooper‘s (GHE ’10) fieldwork in Guatemala.

A view of the Guatemalan countryside while visiting schools to recruit participants and transport them to the clinic. – Linda Dix-Cooper (GHE ’10).

A view of the Guatemalan countryside while visiting schools to recruit participants and transport them to the clinic. – Linda Dix-Cooper (GHE ’10).