Public Health

Polluted air and rivers have acute local health effects and changing rainfall and temperature patterns cause global disruptions in supplies of food and clean water. Learn what is being done to mitigate the impact.

Garden bed with green sprouts covered by a dome of plastic sheeting.

A hoop house composed with plastic sheeting and tubes provides cover for a raised garden in Washington, DC. (Lance Cheung/USDA (Public Domain Mark 1.0))

University of Maryland
University of Maryland international Ph.D. student Krisztina Christmon launched her award-winning idea of repurposing farm plastic as part of a university innovation challenge in 2020. One year later, she serves as CEO of Repurpose Farm Plastic LLC.
Columbia University
Approximately 5.5 million people ride the New York City subway everyday making subway cars prime real estate for advertising and public service announcements –– like these about the benefits of street trees.
Two individuals perched contemplatively on a rocky pier.

Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, Connecticut (2021) (Zoey England/University of Connecticut).

University of Connecticut
Although ecoanxiety impacts all ages, its influences are disproportionately felt among young people. These feelings, compounded in many by COP26’s resolution, make prioritizing mental well-being as a climate activist paramount.
Several neutral toned skyscrapers sit under a blue sky on the edge of a body of water.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York (massmatt/Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/). 

George Washington University
Climate Hits Home | I’ll probably never know if climate change caused all that extra pollen that sent me to the emergency room that day, but the science is definitive. Warming temperatures usher in way more pollen.
Tractor in a lush field at sunset
Northwestern University
According to The Nature Conservancy, intense weather will transform hydrology, health, economics, and ecosystems in Illinois, as reported by Eva Herscowitz for Medill.
George Washington University
In this short film, Planet Forward Comcast Sustainable Storytelling Fellow Francesca Edralin explores how classroom gardening can be used as a tool to address food insecurity.

California farmworkers have had to endure heatwaves, wildfires and a pandemic that continues to spread during peak harvest season for almonds and wine grapes. (Photo courtesy of UFW/United Farm Workers)

Arizona State University
The race to deliver fresh foods during peak harvest season means farmworkers are facing the threats of climate change acceleration and COVID-19.
Arizona State University
Water is a precious commodity that’s scarce in many places across the U.S. but even more so in rural Native American communities like the Navajo Nation, where a virus that requires hand-washing has taken a heavy toll.

Cremated remains lie in the incineration chamber at the Paradise Memorial Crematory in Scottsdale, one of the state’s largest. Partly fueled by the pandemic, the U.S. cremation rate reached 56% in 2020; it was 67% in Arizona. (Kevin Pirehpour/Cronkite News)

Arizona State University
In Arizona, where 16,842 have died in the pandemic, the smoke and the hum of crematoriums working overtime have left some neighbors desperate for relief from the odor and pollution.
Columbia University
The pandemic should be a golden opportunity to change the way we think about mental illness. So far, it hasn’t been.

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