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Ecological Determinants of Health

Ecological Determinants of Health Domain
(63 credits including Core)

This Domain is open only to students in the BSc and BSc (Ag.Env.Sc.) Major in Environment Programs

There is a similar Domain offered in the Faculty of Arts in the Faculty Program Environment.

How is human health affected by environmental factors?

There are two streams available: Population and Cellular.

This Domain considers the interface between the environment and human well-being, with particular focus on the triad that ties human health to the environment through the elements of food and infectious agents. Each of these elements is influenced by planned and unplanned environmental disturbances.

For example, agricultural practices shift the balance between beneficial and harmful ingredients of food. Use of insecticides presents dilemmas with regard to the environment, economics and human health. The distribution of infectious diseases is influenced by the climatic conditions that permit vectors to co-exist with man, by deforestation, by urbanization, and by human interventions ranging from the building of dams to provision of potable water.

In designing interventions that aim to prevent or reduce infectious contaminants in the environment, or to improve food production and nutritional quality, not only is it important to understand methods of intervention, but also to understand social forces that influence how humans respond to such interventions.

Students in the Cellular Stream will explore the interactions in more depth, at a physiological level.

Students in the Population Stream will gain a depth of understanding at an ecosystem level that looks at society, land and population health.