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Grad Students Take Research to the Internet

Glasshouse-environmental healthSo, you want to get into environmental health. Now you can get a taste of what environmental scientists study –the risks of roof harvested rainwater, the huge potential of the tiny nanoparticle, how to protect yourself from foodborne illness, and controversial energy practices like fracking and coal, and more – and even jump into the conversation.

The Environmental Health Blog, a project of Lok Pokhrel’s graduate environmental health class (ENVH 5103), came about this semester to give students a more public forum for presenting and discussing the course content. Working in pairs, MPH students research a given topic and blog about what they’ve turned up in peer-reviewed literature. Students comment and cite additional literature or other resources to back up their views. Five posts are up, and three more will be published through the end of April.  

“In-class discussion is desirable and valuable, and with online classes we needed a component that facilitated that discussion,” says Pokhrel, an assistant professor of instruction in epidemiology and biostatistics. “Overall, it’s been a good exercise and I see a lot of learning happening.”

The blog introduces an element of accountability, too, as the posts and comments are (at least in theory) visible to the world. “The presentations and discussions have been more thorough, and students tend to feel a strong sense of responsibility for what they write,” Pokhrel says. 

Learn more about the Master of Public Health program in Environmental Health.

Posted:  April 18, 2017