Environmental & Public Health Leadership Stories

By providing a feminist history of the National School Lunch Program, Jennifer Gaddis recasts the humble school lunch as an important and often overlooked form of public care. Through vivid narration and moral heft, her new book, The Labor of Lunch, offers a stirring call to action and a blueprint for school lunch reforms capable of delivering a healthier, more equitable, caring, and sustainable future.Read more >
Is it possible to identify and stop a climate change disaster before it happens? Kimberley Rain Miner, a National Science Foundation Fellow and Department of Defense SMART Scholar, believes it might be with the proper predictions and preparations in a broad range of scenarios. With her dissertation...Read more >
“Climate change will increase the global burden of infectious diseases such as malaria, Zika and Lyme disease,” says 2017 Fellow Dev Vashishtha. “We are also seeing changes in pollen patterns and increases in asthma diagnoses. We know that the poor and people of color will be the hardest hit. My interest in climate change is closely tied to my interest in public health and disease prevention.”Read more >
2016 Fellow Kimberley Rain Miner is developing a framework to assess the threat of pesticides — including DDT — that for years have been trapped in glacial ice and now are entering watersheds as the glaciers melt. She seeks to quantify effects of pollutants downstream for her doctorate at the University of Maine.Read more >
Among her many accomplishments bridging her love of science and public service, Fellow Karen Levy's most recent is her selection as a fellow of the AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute (LLI) for Public Engagement with Science. “The best way to maintain public support for science is for people to understand it,” Levy says, “to understand the underlying scientific process, to learn about exciting discoveries, and to understand how it affects their own lives.”Read more >
Dr. Asa Bradman is an environmental health scientist and expert in exposure assessment and epidemiology focusing on occupational and environmental exposures to pregnant women and children. He co-founded the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH) in the UC Berkeley School of...Read more >
Fellow Jason Delborne served on the committee that recently released a report on the state of gene drive science and discuss next steps for scientists, stakeholders, regulatory agencies and the public. In this interview, he explains more about the report and its recommendations.Read more >
Friends of the Earth is celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing the contributions and careers of several women on Friends of the Earth’s staff. We discussed their inspirations, interests, the importance of women in the environmental movement and each shared advice for the next generation looking to be a part of the movement.Read more >
Nail salons offering “manis” and “pedis” have become a booming business in the United States, setting up shop on seemingly every corner and approaching $8 billion in annual sales. “You have numerous chemicals being mixed, new products coming out all the time, limited available data on health effects and weak accountability for the manufacturers,” says 2008 Fellow Thu Quach, who is a research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and research director for Asian Health Services. “That would make it difficult for the workers to protect themselves even if there weren’t language barriers.” She is part of a grassroots effort that empowers low-wage, Vietnamese immigrant-dominated nail salon workers to fight for healthier conditions.Read more >
Before routine childhood vaccinations large numbers of people used to contract diseases like TB and polio with often devastating consequences. Now vaccinations are standardized and have virtually eradicated many of the health problems that used to run rife through populations. However, there is one problem. Despite a concerted effort on the part of health workers and decent supply of vaccinations, power issues in emerging regions often means these vaccinations - which require refrigeration - get spoiled. This is where ColdTrace from Nexleaf Analytics offers a solution.Read more >

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