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Texas A&M Health Science Center

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Environmental and Occupational Health

Department Head: Thomas McDonald, PhD

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health is concerned with the health effects of exposures to air and water pollution, pesticides, organic solvents, dusts and physical hazards, which occur in the environment, the home or the workplace. The department draws from the knowledge generated from disciplines that contribute to recognizing, assessing, and controlling these risks that include epidemiology, toxicology, microbiology, safety engineering, industrial hygiene, medicine, nursing, law and labor economics.

The department includes a multidisciplinary core faculty and a large adjunct faculty. Major interests of the core faculty include environmental carcinogenesis, occupational safety and health, molecular and cellular toxicology, endocrine disruption, exposure assessment and genotoxicity. The adjunct faculty includes scientists from other academic units. The M.P.H. training program reflects a commitment to education, research and service in public health. The core of the program is a set of required and elective courses. The Department also offers an M.S.P.H. program for students interested in a research track.

Applicants range from recent college graduates to experienced physicians. Criteria for selection include background and experience relevant to environmental and occupational health, potential to make a contribution to the field, academic excellence and recommendations. All applicants should have completed college-level biology, chemistry (both general and organic) and mathematics (through calculus).

Mission

The mission of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health is to enhance population health and well-being, especially among rural and vulnerable populations, through research, collaboration, and dissemination of knowledge regarding environmental and workplace factors affecting health and safety.

Vision

To be a leader in:

  • Advancing knowledge about environmental and occupational health with particular emphasis on rural and underserved populations as well as various occupational and industrial settings.
  • Translating existing knowledge and knowledge gained through research into effective interventions.
  • Building stron linkages between stakeholders to disseminate and implement effective intervention techniques.
  • Educating the next generation of leaders in the fields of Environmental and Occupational Health.


Learning Objectives

Educational and research activities within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health focus on the health effects of exposures to air and water pollution, pesticides, organic solvents, and dusts and physical hazards, which occur in the environment, the home or the workplace. Degree program concentrations offered within the department focus on basic principles of environmental toxicology, methods of human and ecological health risk assessment, and specific diseases associated with environmental or occupational exposures. In addition, coursework on industrial hygiene and occupational safety provide information on exposure assessment, workplace monitoring, and disease and injury prevention. The concentrations in the M.P.H. and M.S.P.H. degree programs within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health reflect a commitment to education, scientific research, and service. In addition to acquiring an understanding of the principals of environmental and occupational health, students within the department also develop an appreciation of the integral relationship between environmental and occupational health and other core disciplines within public health.

Last edited by: tarpley 04/11/2014

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