Integrating Innovative Climate Education into Curriculum

In commemoration of Earth Day, students enrolled in the Health Promotion 448: Global Environmental Changes and Health course, wrote op-eds about the intersectionality of various public health issues in relation to climate change.

Earth Day provides an opportunity to evaluate climate action and benchmark sustainability efforts—a core value and mission for USC. It serves as a reminder to take stock of our responsibility to addressing the implications of climate change, and this includes integrating sustainability and climate health equity instruction into public health teaching.

This semester, Ans Irfan, MD, EdD, DrPH, MPH, MRPL, faculty in the Division of Environmental Health, explored social dimensions of climate change with his undergraduate scholars. This included climate justice, environmental health inequities, the political economy of climate action, climate storytelling, and effective climate communications.

“We want to train the next generation of climate and health equity thought leaders to perform rigorous analyses and become effective science communicators, with the competency to mobilize the public through profound applied scholarship,” affirmed Irfan.  All the assignments in this class, were designed to equip students with practical tools needed to form a robust climate-competent public health workforce to address major challenges of our time.

Students designed their own independent projects, that focused on cultivating their unique interests, passions, as well as skills relevant to their career aspirations. These resulted in a rich array of final projects ranging from climate policy memos and presentations for high-schools to climate poetry and stories.

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