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WE LIVE IN REMARKABLE TIMES, when technology has broken down barriers and made possible what once seemed unthinkable. And yet, the world we share – our air and water, oceans and soil, forests and cities, along with the climate governing it all – is threatened like never before. We are reminded with growing regularity of the need to be better stewards of our planet, and of the consequences of our actions on our long-term ecosystem, as well as on the health of current and future populations. The World Health Organization estimates that environmental conditions play a significant role in nearly one-fourth of all global deaths annually – 13 million each year. Unless we take positive steps, that number seems certain to rise.
Fielding School faculty, staff, and students are leading crucial efforts in the development and implementation of sustainable solutions to our shared challenges in the United States and around the world. We are extraordinarily fortunate to be in a state with a well-earned reputation for taking the lead in addressing environmental hazards, along with uniquely rich data sources to help us better understand the problems and investigate the real and potential effects of policies. A global leader in relevant fields from technology and innovation to agriculture and industry, California serves as a laboratory for testing environmental solutions that can be and are implemented by our national and international colleagues.
Our faculty, students, staff, and alumni work with community and government partners to eliminate dangerous environmental exposures and design healthier cities and countries. I hope you will join us in this vital effort. With your support, the Fielding School will continue to educate and train students who will become tomorrow’s leaders in finding alternatives to unsustainable practices. Yes, these are challenging times for our environment. But together, we can overcome many of the threats to human health.
Jody Heymann, MD, PhD