Jessica Nelson


Jessica is a doctoral student in environmental health sciences at the BU School of Public Health. She found her way to public health through environmental advocacy and the realization that talking about health is a good way to engage people in environmental issues. Her commitment to the field is rooted in the desire to make our society healthier and more environmentally sustainable and to improve social and environmental justice. In the future, Jessica plans to work as an environmental epidemiologist with a government agency or non-profit organization. She hopes to help establish and implement environmental health surveillance programs that use the information collected to prevent environmental contamination and harm to human health.

After graduating from Carleton College with a B.A., Jessica worked for a number of years for environmental non-profits in Minnesota, including the international coalition Health Care Without Harm. Her doctoral research centers on biomonitoring, the practice of measuring chemicals in peoples’ bodies and an important tool for environmental health surveillance. Her work is interdisciplinary, and uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to study its scientific applications as well as its social implications. Jessica was the coordinator of the 2006 Boston Consensus Conference on Biomonitoring, an effort that brought together 14 Boston-area lay people to gather their input on the complicated ethical and political questions associated with the technology.

Fellow Activity

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Boston University, Ph.D.
Current Position:
Environmental Epidemiologist
Minnesota Department of Health
Environmental & Public Health
Environmental Justice
22 Cranston St. #2, PO Box 64882
St Paul, Minnesota 55164
(651) 201-3610

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