Environmental Health Sciences Course Descriptions
This survey of the major environmental determinants of human health covers physical, chemical and biological sources of exposure; routes of exposure in humans; etiology of environmental disease and mortality; and the complexities of environmental public policy. Topics include airborne pollution, contaminated water and food, solid and hazardous waste, and risk assessment as a tool for regulation. Students have the opportunity to tour a local public works facility.
This course explores the historical background of work and health, recognition and prevention of occupational disease and injury, hazardous exposures at the workplace, including chemicals, ionizing radiation, noise, stress and shift work, injuries and disorders by organ system, and considers selected groups of workers such as agricultural and construction workers.
Designed to familiarize professionals with the methods used by industrial hygienists in the prevention of occupational diseases, this course covers such topics as the physical form of air contaminants, air sampling and analysis, engineering controls, and the preparation of survey protocols.
ENV 6006 Public Health Engineering
Environmental, sanitation, and engineering problems are explored. Topics include communicable and non-infectious diseases, water and waste water treatment, solid waste, food protection, vector control, and noise.
This course explores air pollution in terms of measurements and control, pollutant dispersion, air quality standards and health effects. The legal and enforcement aspects of air pollution control and the nature and quantity of atmospheric emission from vehicles, incinerators and specific industries are reviewed.
The course explains what safe food is and how to provide it; the classes supply information on the FDA Food Code, and public health related aspects of food safety. Students will learn to determine and define safe food handling practices. Included in the course will be HACCP & Sanitation techniques, which provide information on safe and regulatory compliant practices ranging from purchasing and receiving food to properly washing the dishes. This course also provides insights into common regulatory compliance issues such as correcting time and temperature abuses, cross-contamination, personal hygiene practices, biological, chemical and physical hazards; proper cleaning and sanitizing; waste and pest management; and the basic principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points).
ENV 6013 Safety Engineering and Occupational Health
This course focuses on current aspects of safety engineering and occupational health, with emphasis on safety program management and evaluation. Course content is directed toward areas covered by the Certified Safety Professional Board examination.
ENV 6014 Ergonomics
This course focuses on ergonomics as a multidisciplinary preventive science concerned with the design and redesign of work environments, work stations, machines, tooling, office organization, selection of equipment and methods of material handling based upon human characteristics and capabilities, and training employees in using equipment and performing tasks in a more healthful and comfortable manner. The course also focuses on the investigation of environmental factors such as light, acoustics, temperature, humidity, and air quality, which affect employees and the manner in which they conduct their work.
ENV 6015 Safety Assessment and Monitoring
This course employs a case analysis method in examining advanced ergonomic topics, safety design, disaster planning, safety performance evaluation, accident investigation and analysis, and safety analytical methodology. Professional practice modules are included.
Principal man-made contaminants of air, water, and soil stemming from habitats, transportation, industry, and agriculture are examined. Also reviewed are water and sewage treatment, recycling of resources, methods of treatment and disposal of solid waste, and control and preventive measures designed to alleviate the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals.
This course stresses basic concepts essential to the understanding of the action of exogenous chemical agents on biological systems. Principles underlying the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of chemicals are discussed. Toxic kinetics, specific classes of toxic responses, and experimental methods used to assess toxicity are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on developing the skills necessary to approach toxicology as a quantitative science.
ENV 6025 Environmental Epidemiology and Risk Assessment
This course features the population approach to environmental and occupational health problems. Epidemiologic research methods and study design issues are explored, focusing on disease clusters, surveillance activity characterizing human exposure, biomarkers, summary risk assessment, and communication. Public awareness, policy implications, and impact upon legislation are also addressed.
This course addresses drinking water and waste water systems from a public health perspective and closely examines the water quality regulations impacting these two public works areas. The course provides an historical overview and includes discussion of the health effects of water-related diseases. Water quality criteria, water standards, regulations and physical-chemical technologies are examined, along with regulatory monitoring and reporting, through the review of case studies. Watershed and reservoir management, protection and storage, and household plumbing are also examined. Field trips are arranged.
ENV 6027 Environmental Law and Management
This course focuses on the process by which environmental laws and regulations are enacted and applied to the work place and other areas. Case studies and current legislative and regulatory proposals are examined to equip students with the knowledge needed to interact with regulatory agencies and to impact the legislative processes at the federal and state levels.
ENV 6028 Radiation Hazards and Protection
This course provides the student with the principles of radiation safety and health. Radiation safety is that area of environmental health science that addresses the protection of the individual and population groups from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation, both in the community and at the workplace. Course lectures cover fundamental topics in radiation safety and exposure control, including physics of radiation production,
atomic and nuclear structure, interaction of radiation with matter, and the health effects of chronic and acute radiation exposure.
ENV6029: Food Safety Policy
The course provides an overview of policy approaches to ensure the safety of food. Recent cases and stories, including tainted strawberries, infected chickens, E. coli and Salmonella infections, and mad cow disease have added to these concerns. Both nationally and globally, people are not only demanding more food, but also a safe supply of food. Globalization of the food supply has increased the risk of spreading food-borne diseases internationally. Food safety issues are thus increasingly tied to global trade agreements and are the most important cause of non-tariff trade barriers. Public concern towards the residues of pesticides used in agriculture and food production has led to changes in pesticide use and environmental policies worldwide. Safety issues also drive these policy changes. For example, recently passed Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in the U.S. demands new standards for pesticide residue tolerances in raw and processed foods. Food Safety issues is also controversial for the products developed through genetic engineering and biotechnology. In addition, new safety standards are being considered for the food produced through organic agriculture.
ENV6030: Food, Bugs, and Poisons - The Science of Food Safety
The course provides an overview of the science underlying several key areas of food science and regulator concerns, including: contaminants, adulterations, spoilage, and chemical and biological threat. The curriculum includes a study of the scientific basis of food handling, regulatory law, regulatory inspection and enforcement. The interplay between science, regulatory decisions, and the interpretation of food law will he highlighted. Using case study analysis, students will be given the opportunity to examine approaches for determining best practices in food safety including addressing scientific, regulatory and administrative guidelines.
ENV 6041 Genetic and Environmental Factors in Human Disease
This course examines how environmental and behavioral factors influence disease by affecting genetic and molecular mechanisms. Basic genetic concepts and methods, such as heritability, family studies, and pedigree analysis are presented. These methods will be applied to examine the epidemiology of several chronic diseases such as obesity, colon and breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The research linking environmental exposures, such as radiation and chemical mutagens, to disease is critically reviewed.
ENV 6042 Public Health Risk Assessment
This course applies the fundamentals of health and environmental risk analysis to real world problems. Students will be required to draw upon their course knowledge and work expertise to assign degrees of risk and to identify risk reduction alternatives. They will be given the tools to develop a health risk assessment report.
This course explores the complex and frequently contentious process of environmental policy development and formulation. All levels of government are examined, but the primary focus is at the federal level and the role of the EPA in implementing policy. Topics include: stages of the policy life cycle; the political context of policy formation; economic aspects of environmental regulation; role of the judiciary in policymaking; and, case studies in policy.
ENV 6044 Exposure Assessment and Monitoring Metrics
Exposure assessment is an essential tool for understanding, managing, controlling, and reducing occupational health risks in large and small workplaces. Data from exposure assessments are used in improving conditions in the workplace as well as in toxicology, epidemiology, and engineering studies. While important gains have been made in creating new methods and detecting even lower exposures for some substances and agents, numerous important challenges remain. For example, the benefits of exposure assessment are still not realized in many workplaces. Many substances, agents, and stressors lack exposure methods. Exposure data are not currently aggregated on a national basis to support improved priority setting for occupational health. This course focuses on existing techniques as well as the development of new approaches for the measurement and control of the same four broad stressor categories, chemical, physical, biological and ergonomic stressors in public and private workplaces and environments.
ENV 6045 Industrial Toxicology
This course is designed to help prepare students to assume roles as industrial hygienists or toxicologists in industry. Basic principles of toxicology and methods of chemical product safety evaluation will be presented. Methods for monitoring toxic agents in the workplace, the use of contract research laboratories for safety evaluations of chemical products, and interpretation of toxicology testing data will be discussed. Various classes of industrial chemicals will be covered, with emphasis on specific agents known to cause disease. Industrial agents that are potential carcinogens or mutagens, and chemicals that pose significant reproductive hazards or effects on fetal development will be emphasized. Target organs for many of the major industrial toxicants will be identified. Regulations regarding limits of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals, steps in registration of products with EPA and other Federal/State agencies, and chemical waste disposal methods will be reviewed. Procedures for chemical risk assessment in the workplace will be discussed in some detail. The use of industrial exposure monitoring data and risk assessment information for the maintenance of worker and consumer safety will be demonstrated. In addition, the student will be required to orally present a remediation protocol for a simulated hazardous industrial work environment.
ENV 6092 Seminar in Environmental Health Science
This seminar explores new and novel areas relevant to environmental health science. The course also serves as a venue for responding to opportunities for engaging in notable speakers in the operational and policy areas of environmental and occupational health.
ENV 7090 Field Experience in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
An opportunity to apply theory by working in an approved public health organization or equivalent is provided to the student. Field work is supervised by a faculty member who serves as liaison to the health organization.
ENV 7091 Directed Research in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
This course provides advanced study and research in an area chosen by the student in consultation with the professor as well as opportunities for work on special problems.
ENV 7093 Tutorial in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
This course involves comprehensive individual study of a specific topic, guided by the professor.
Under special circumstances, and with prior approval of the department chair, Environmental Health students my write a thesis as an alternative to the Environmental Health capstone course
It is expected that the thesis will include some independent research and integration of skills acquired by the student through coursework. The thesis includes formulation of research questions, methods to carry out the inquiry and presentation of results of the research. Some theses may require approval of the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiation of any thesis work. Students should work through their department chair/program advisor to determine if their thesis will require IRB review. Students must maintain regular contact with their Program and Thesis Advisors during their thesis work.
The capstone is a culminating experience designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills they have acquired through their Masters in Public Health (MPH) education. Students will work cooperatively in groups on real-time public health issues appropriately applying, theory, methods and tools learned in the MPH program.
Note: Approval of the Department Chair or Advisor is required for enrollment
The Comprehensive Examination is the culminating experience for distance education students. This is a proctored comprehensive examination that covers all core areas of knowledge offered by the School of Health Sciences and Practice as well as the program areas of knowledge offered by the Environmental Health Science Department (see core and program requirements). Distance Education students must earn a minimum score of 80% to complete this degree requirement. More details regarding content and preparation will be available upon registration for this examination. This exam is offered in spring and fall semesters only. (Note: There is no credit awarded for the comprehensive examination. The cost of the exam is equivalent of 1 credit.)