The Environment, Health, Equity and Sustainability Program (EHES) was created to address the shortage of public health professionals with the background to address climate change as a public health issue. Climate inequity and environmental injustice are the twin policy and management challenges of our time. Today’s public health leaders must confront the challenges posed by societal and racial inequities that communities of color face in solving climate and environmental issues. No solutions or strategies will be successful without ensuring high vulnerability populations have the institutional, technical and financial resources they need to adapt.

This program prepares students for jobs as countries around the world work to build adaptive capacity and a new green economy.

Students will be introduced to:  historical practices and policies which created environmental injustice, climate inequity, and health disparities; and explore the science of climate change, its impacts on ecosystem services and public health.

Students will acquire skills in: climate adaptation planning, cumulative risk assessment and communication, environmental and health impact assessment, environmental justice analysis, systems thinking, and policy evaluation.

Students will be able to use these skills to evaluate the impact of climate and environmental policies and practices on public health, social justice, and economic opportunity; propose sustainable solutions and strategies for climate adaptation and mitigation that promote environmental stewardship and community resilience; and advocate for more equitable policies and practices on behalf of disadvantaged and underserved communities.

Job skills acquired in the EHES program prepare students to work as: policy and environmental analysts; program or project managers; risk assessors and managers; research and data analysts; environmental planners; environmental health educators; community advocates; sustainability, resilience and adaptation consultants; public health officials; environmental regulators, and environmental health and safety officers.

Using an interdisciplinary curriculum that students can tailor according to their interests, specific areas that students can pursue include: Occupational Health & Disaster Planning; Global Public Health, Water and Sanitation; Surveillance and Research; Management and Evaluation; Policy, Advocacy & Communications; Data Science and Behavioral and Community Health.

Research opportunities exist for students to acquire experiences in the field. Program faculty conduct research evaluating water, air, and soil quality; water and wastewater treatment solutions; flood-, storm-, and heat-associated climate impacts, preparedness and response; community engagement, risk communication and education approaches; and policy and intervention efficacy. Students can work on projects engaging underserved communities; conducting environmental monitoring and health impact assessment; evaluating policies, practices and interventions; and communicating and facilitating the management of risks with evidence-based technologies, policies, approaches and solutions.

Katner, Adrienne Associate Professor & Program Director
Brisolara, Kari Professor & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Diaz, James Professor
Harrington, Daniel Assistant Professor
Hu, Chih-yang Associate Professor
Program contact:

Adrienne Katner, DEnv, MS
Program Director and Associate Professor
Phone: 504-568-5942; Email:

Admissions contact:

James Diaz, MD, DrPH
Phone: 504-568-6052; Email: