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Environmental Health Sciences Courses

View current course offerings at the Office of the Registrar.

Learn about the school's Foundational Curriculum requirements for professional master's programs. 

Please visit the challenge Challenge Exam for SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health for info on registering and taking the exam. 

GEHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health (3) This course is designed as a survey course which introduces students to basic environmental health topics and it fulfills the school core requirement. The course focuses on environmental factors impacting human health and the environment. Sources of these factors, methods of identification, recognition, evaluation and regulatory framework control are discussed. Factors might include health hazards associated with contaminated water, food and air, vectors of disease, exposure to toxic chemicals, environmental justice, regulations, and safety in the work place. Faculty: M. Wilson. Offered: Every Semester. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6110 Global Climate Change Issues in Public Health Policy & Governance (3) The objective of the course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of global climate change phenomenon, the public heath issues associated with it, and the role of policy and governance in tackling this problem. In line with this objective, the course examines the scientific, political and socio economic factors influencing public health policy development, adaptation and compliance in response to the global climate change problem. The course also analyzes the current policy and governance intervention models, and sheds light on direction for the future. Faculty: K. Orie. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6420 Global Food Safety and Public Health (3) This course is designed for students who are interested in local, national, and international food safety. Food resources, production, biological, chemical and radiological contaminants are discussed. Focus will be on health effects resulting from exposure to contaminated food. Sanitary regulations/codes addressing food safety including inspection of food establishments, investigation of food outbreak diseases will also be discussed. Genetically modified foods will also be addressed. Site visit(s) to food establishments could be arranged (when possible) with Louisiana Sanitarian Services. Faculty: A. Abdelghani. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6430 Disaster and Emergency Communication (3) This course is a fast-paced, interactive course that focuses on the essential knowledge and tools needed to navigate the harsh realities of communicating to the public, media, and stakeholders during an intense public emergency, including terrorism. The course content will meet the crisis communication training needs of distinct groups (e.g., public health professionals, medical and health professionals, emergency response officials, community and civic leaders, the private business sector and volunteer organizations) at the community, regional and national and international level. Faculty: M. Lichtveld, L. Brown. Offered: Summer. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6450 Climate and Public Health (3) Future public health professionals should be aware of and understand the impact of climate on the health and wellbeing of populations around the world. In this introductory level course, students will examine what climate is, the environmental factors it influences, how those environmental factors impact health, who are the most vulnerable, how to deal with climate change from a public health perspective, and how we might answer future questions through evidence-based research. Current literature, reports, and relevant case studies inform class lectures, student-directed dialogue, and final presentations. The course will utilize experts on various topics in addition the primary instructor. This course is an elective for all SPHTM students. Faculty: Charles (Chuck) Miller. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6510 Water Quality Management (3) The course presents the basic concepts concerning policy, evaluation, and implementation of pertinent water quality management issues. Topics of focus include: water quality standards and criteria; principles of water quality management; regulatory considerations; immunological aspects; eutrophication; ecotoxicology; diffuse pollution and global aspects of sustainable water quality control strategies. Faculty: S. Sherchan. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6550 Environental Health Management  (3) This course explains the fundamentals of environmental health and how they fit into the larger context of public health security. It highlights the elementary science of environmental exposure of humans to toxic chemicals and microbes, and in this way provides a context and basis for preventative policy and management responses to issues, policy development processes, policy tools and environmental laws-their weaknesses and strengths. It also introduces students to environmental management systems and practices. Students are given case-study based assignments to encourage their skill development in applied environmental health management. Faculty: K. Orie. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6560 Environmental Health Microbiology (3) This course is designed to provide understanding about microbial pathogens of public health concern and the role of the environment, including water, waste, air and food, in the transmission of infectious diseases. We will explore specific pathogens that cause environmentally transmitted diseases, their detection using both conventional and advanced molecular methods, their prevention and control by technological and other measures, and how the health risks posed by these pathogens are assessed. This course focuses on emerging issues of pathogens in the environment at both local and global levels. Faculty: T. Aw. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): GEHS 6030.

GEHS 6600 Principles of Toxicology (3) This course focuses on the fundamentals of toxicology and the mechanisms by which environmental and occupational chemical agents affect human health. The principles and mechanisms will be approached in three areas: 1) General principles: Route of exposure; dose response; absorption, distribution, storage, metabolism and excretion; 2) Effects on target organs: liver, kidney, blood, respiratory system and nervous system; and 3) Application of the principles of toxicology using: solvents, pesticides and metals. At the end of this course, the student will be able to apply the principles of toxicology for compounds found in the environment and workplace. Faculty: C. Miller. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6610 Toxicology of Environmental Agents (3) The classes of toxicants and their actions are studied in detail in Toxicology of Environmental Agents. Mechanisms and targets of the general classes of toxicants are emphasized. Students are expected to demonstrate ability to use and interpret the current toxicological literature in this course. Faculty: C. Miller. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): GEHS 6600.

GEHS 6720 Principles of Industrial Hygiene (3) This course provides the student with an introduction into the field of Industrial Hygiene. Topics covered include an overview and historical perspective of Industrial Hygiene, anatomy and physiology of the skin and lungs, occupational diseases and inhalation toxicology, chemical agents, biohazards, ergonomics, indoor air quality, ventilation systems, lab safety, personal protective equipment, Hazard Communication and other OSHA standards. Examples from case studies work experience will be discussed. The course also allows for discussion of topics of interest to the class. Faculty: M. Wilson, R. Rando. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6900 Public Health Threats in Suriname: From ecosystem to Human Health (3) The course examines key public health issues affecting the health of Suriname's ecosystem and its population.  Through a series of lectures and fieldtrips, students will learn about the role of the ecosystem as a vital component of community health.  Special area of focus will be the medicinal characteristics of plants.  The course examines the risks posed by environmental contamination, specifically those risks related to mercury released from some small-scale gold mining operations.  Students will employ community-based participatory research strategies to assess, manage, and communicate those risks.  The course will also examine the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Suriname. Faculty: M. Lichtveld. Offered: Summer. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6910 Environmental Aspects of Disaster Response (3) This course examines the fundamentals of the environmental health and consequence management infrastructure through the lens of a disaster situation. Environmental health challenges that arise during emergencies are explored and operational models unique to disasters are developed. Faculty: M. Lichtveld, D. Jani. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6920 Environmental Monitoring, Sampling and Analysis in a Disaster (3) This course is deigned to provide students with necessary knowledge and tools for sampling and monitoring of the environment following a disaster such as floods, hurricanes, earth quakes, explosions ect. During this course, students will also be exposed to field sampling and become familiar with laboratory instruments used for chemical, biological and physical sample analysis. Faculty: A. Abdelghani, C.P. Lo. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6930 Planning & Implementation in Disaster Management (3) The United States is among other global communities that attempt to prepare its citizens for potential mass casualty events such as natural disasters, terrorism, or a pandemic flu outbreak. This course introduces disaster theory and overviews the United States' National Response Framework. Core population health issues that present during the management of disasters are examined. Developing preparedness at the local level is emphasized. Fundamental concepts of emergency management and leadership are discussed. Faculty: M. Lichtveld, D. Jani. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6950 Psychosocial Aspects of Disasters (3) The course covers the theoretical development, history, and empirical studies of the psychosocial dynamics and sequence of disasters. Characteristics of environmental health disasters, reactions and risk factors, as well as trends in disaster mental health are examined. Emphasis is placed on inclusion of psychosocial considerations in the planning, preparation and very early intervention phases of a disaster. Vulnerable populations are of particular interest in highly interactive case-base learning through reflection labs for application in situations such as natural disaster, environmental health crises, pandemic illness, or threats to national security. Baseline resilience planning is required of all students planning to work in disaster or emergency response fields. Faculty: J. Parker. Offered: Summer. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 6960 Public Health Law (3) Population-based preventative health intervention is a major focus of public health. Public health law speaks to the legal aspects of delivering this intervention to the society. This course introduces students to the functions and outcomes of public health protection and practice. It covers a variety of topics such as the public health powers of the federal, state and local governments; civil liberties in matters such as quarantine, isolation and mandated medical testing; access to healthcare; liability of healthcare workers; and international law on the duties and rights of countries to control the spread of infectious diseases. Faculty: K. Orie. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 7000 Department Seminar (0 or 1) Students will present seminars and receive instruction on literature searches, outlining, preparing and presenting seminar. Members of the department and invited speakers meet weekly to discuss current research in environmental health sciences. Attendance at seminars by outside speakers is required of all students enrolled in ENHS degree programs. This course must be taken for credit the first semester in residence or study for the degree program. Faculty: M. Lichtveld, Faculty. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 7100 Community Reseillience (3) This course examines community resilience (CR) in terms of a community's ability to absorb, recover from, and adapt to natural, technological, and man-made disasters. Community resilience is analyzed across four major dimensions of environmental, social, political, and economic factors. Students are expected to integrate and discuss the intersecting nature of the four dimensions in articulating and writing about their knowledge of CR. The primary focus is that of being able to locate and analyze CR indicators in collaboration with EM personnel, community citizens, and other leaders in emergency planning, preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Faculty: J. Parker. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): GEHS 6030.

GEHS 7270 Practical Applications in Environmental Health Sciences Research (3) This course is designed to provide students an approach to the conceptualization, design, and operational logistics for planning and implementing studies and responses to environmental health problems and field studies. The course will focus on applied public health problems and situations that may challenge an environmental health professional in determining studies that can be implemented. The course is applicable to environmental health students focusing on epidemiology, health education, environmental sciences, or other field application of environmental public health practice. Students are expected to develop and present a study proposal applicable to their specific area of environmental health. The methods described are the conceptual approach to problem solving in environmental health practice. Problems discussed will apply to many environmental health issues including environmental assessment and health studies. Faculty: M. Lichtveld, J. Lybarger. Offered: Summer. Prerequisite(s): EPID 6030, BIOS 6030, GEHS 6030.

GEHS 7430 Survey of Methods in Environmental Health Science Practice (4) Utilizing a practice-oriented case-study approach, students will apply public health skills and techniques such as environmental mapping, sampling, and analysis to investigate, evaluate, analyze, and resolve realistic environmental public health issues. Faculty: M. McCaskill. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 6030, GEHS 6030, GEHS 6600, BIOS 6300 (recommended).

GEHS 7500 Air Sampling and Analysis (3) The principles and techniques for measuring and evaluating airborne contaminants in the work and community environments are presented in lectures and practiced in laboratory sessions. Covered topics include air flow measurements, aerosol science, particulate sampling with and without size separation, optical microscopy, active and passive sampling of gases and vapors, direct reading instruments, stack sampling, atmospheric dispersion modeling and sampling strategy and statistical data analysis. Faculty: R. Rando. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 6030.

GEHS 7620 Health Risk Assessment (3) Principles of quantitative human health risk assessment.  This course develops the qualitative and quantitative skills necessary to evaluate the probability of health effects from exposure to environmental contaminants.  Basic concepts of qualitative and quantitative risk assessment are demonstrated with practical case studies.  Emphasis placed on hazard identification, dose-response evaluation, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.  Integration of risk assessment with risk management and communicating risks to the public are discussed.  Regulatory aspects of risk assessment in the promulgation of environmental standards are presented. Faculty: J. Wickliffe. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): GEHS 6600.

GEHS 7750 Environmental Policy (3) GEHS 7750 introduces students to the concepts of public health policy with an emphasis on environmental health. The course describes the relationship among public science, policy, and practice and demonstrates the application of this relationship through a series of real cases in environmental health laws, polices, regulations and statutes in the context of public health. Through "hands-on" experience, students examine the policy implications of contemporary environmental public health problems. Faculty: M. Lichtveld. Offered: Spring. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 7950 Psychosocial Interventions in Disaster or Crisis (3) The course covers the history, development, and application of both brief solution-focused and crisis intervention within the context of biopyschosocial resolution in healthy human development and social functioning. Emphasis is placed on practical application of techniques in situations such as natural disaster, death, traumatic injury or illness, PTSD, ATSD, violent crime, terrorism, suicide, chronic physical and mental conditions, and severe family dysfunction. The clinical-community approach is demonstrated through case-based learning and simulations. Faculty: J. Parker. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): Permission from instructor, GEHS 6950.

GEHS 7990 Independent Study (1-3) Masters students and advisor select a topic for independent study and develop learning objectives and the expected final product. Faculty: Faculty. Offered: Every Semester. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 8850 Methods in Toxicology Research (3) This course is made available for students pursuing doctoral studies. A suitable research problem is identified by the student after consultation with the mentor. This should be done prior to starting the course. Modern experimental techniques are used. Research methods are discussed, demonstrated, and then carried out by the student. The student prepares a research project report to successfully complete the course. Ideally this report will be published as a manuscript. Faculty: C. Miller. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): Permission from instructor, GEHS 6600, GEHS 6610, GEHS 7620.

GEHS 8860 Genetic Molecular Toxicology (3) Genetic and Molecular Toxicology is a doctoral level course that addresses the causes and effects of alterations to the hereditary material and the elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of toxicity. Spontaneous and chemically induced mutations are covered in depth in this course. The roles of cellular and genetic regulation in the induction of responses to DNA damage are explored. Merits of various experimental systems for the detection and analysis of DNA damage and mutations are examined. Effects of mutations, polymorphisms, and epigenetic factors on human disease (cancers, aging, and other chronic diseases) and health maintenance are discussed in this course. Faculty: C. Miller. Offered: Fall. Prerequisite(s): Permission from instructor, GEHS 6600, GEHS 6610, GEHS 7620.

GEHS 8990 Doctoral Independent Study (1-3) Doctoral students and advisor select a topic for independent study and develop learning objectives and the expected final product. Faculty: Faculty. Offered: Every Semester. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 9970 Dissertation (0) Doctoral candidates who have defended their prospectus and are engaged in research. Faculty: Faculty. Offered: Every Semester. Prerequisite(s): None.

GEHS 9990 Dissertation Research (2) Doctoral students who have completed course work but not defended their prospectus. Faculty: Faculty. Offered: Every Semester. Prerequisite(s): None.