New collaboration between UW Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) and EarthLab will accelerate climate research, action and resilience.

Today, EarthLab announced that The Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), an initiative within the Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and Global Health in the University of Washington School of Public Health, has joined EarthLab as its eighth member organization. CHanGE will receive strategic operational and communications support from EarthLab staff as it enhances EarthLab’s increased focus on addressing the climate crisis and increases EarthLab’s global scope.

CHanGE is a community of researchers, teachers, practitioners and students working together to highlight the connections between climate change and human health, with a focus on supporting interventions to reduce risks; training the next generation of climate and health practitioners; and working with community and practice partners to support healthy climate action.

ChanGE’s diverse membership includes 34 faculty from across the UW and around the country as well as practice partners throughout the region and world. CHanGE invites new members to join from the UW, other colleges and universities, and community and governmental organizations by visiting here. The center was founded by UW Professor Dr. Kristie Ebi in 2014. 

 “Public health is about partnership. CHanGE’s home is in public health, but our partners are in a wide range of other disciplines, particularly the environmental sciences,” said Dr. Jeremy Hess, CHanGE’s director. 

“Joining EarthLab strengthens CHanGE’s connection with other UW organizations focused on climate change and makes it easier to integrate health into their work. The partnership also facilitates broad engagement and programming, allowing us to fulfill our mission of highlighting the connections between climate change and health in a wide range of settings,” said Hess, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, global health and emergency medicine and adjunct professor of atmospheric science.

EarthLab provides each member organization with critical administrative and communications support to amplify their work addressing significant environmental challenges. These challenges range from ocean acidification, ocean equity, sea level rise and freshwater ecosystems to forest fires, the connection between nature and health, and increasing diversity in the conservation field. Current members include: Climate Impacts Group, Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Future Rivers, Nature and Health, The Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center, Northwest Climate Adaptation Center and Washington Ocean Acidification Center. Learn more about EarthLab member organizations

“We know that addressing complex environmental problems means pushing against boundaries and EarthLab member organizations do this in many innovative ways,” said Ben Packard, executive director of EarthLab.

“We are eager to help Jeremy and his team bring their research to practice in order to protect people’s health in our changing environment,” Packard said. “This new partnership with CHanGE paves the way for greater impact on our shared desire for action in the face of climate change.”

This is the first member organization led by UW faculty from outside of the College of the Environment, signaling new potential for EarthLab collaborations across the breadth of UW’s schools and colleges. Although EarthLab was founded within the College of the Environment, it exists to connect University of Washington units with each other, as well as connect the university with the wider community, under a vision of creating an equitable, just and sustainable world where people and planet thrive. Learn more about EarthLab.

See original article on the UW EarthLab website.