Our courses

Members of the Environmental Epidemiology Research Group teach a wide range of topics from exposure assessment to health effects, to epidemiological methods, as well as toxicology and policy implications.

Principles of Environmental Health Sciences I and II (EPIB 684 and EPIB 685)

Professors Jill Baumgartner, Niladri Basu, Jonathan Chevrier, Mark Goldberg, Barbara Hales, Koren Mann, Bernard Robaire, Scott Weichenthal

Principles of Environmental Health Sciences (Part 1) is a 3 credit course offered in the Fall term. Principles of Environmental Health Sciences (Part 2), also 3 credits, is offered in the Winter term. The courses are team-taught and cross-listed in participating units (i.e., Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health; Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Natural Resource Sciences; Experimental Medicine). The two courses comprise the core scientific areas that correspond to the key tools utilized by environmental health researchers and practitioners. In the fall course, we focus on principles of exposure assessment and principles of toxicology and in the winter course we cover principles of environmental epidemiology. These two 3-credit courses provide an overview of key disciplines, methods, and topics in environmental health sciences. As such, they are designed as “survey” courses of an enormous subject area. The courses are intended to assemble a cohort of trainees from across McGill units with interests in exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, epidemiology, and environmental health sciences. Although basic knowledge of chemistry, human biology, statistics, and physiology is helpful, there are no set prerequisites. Enrollment requires permission of the instructor and is currently capped at 16 students.

Academic credits: 3 each course

Restrictions: Open to graduate students pursuing a career in Environmental Health Sciences or with permission of the course instructors. Not open to students who have taken or are taking EXMD 670 or NRSC 670 or PHAR 670.


Global Environmental Health and Burden of Disease (EPIB 529)

Professor Jill Baumgartner

This course will introduce students to grand challenges in global health related to environmental and occupational risks, and the multi-disciplinary methods used to identify, control, and prevent them. We will focus on environmental issues, such as air pollution, pesticides, toxic metals, unsafe water and sanitation, analyze their impacts on the global burden of disease, including asthma, malaria, cardiovascular disease, and child development; review the state of the science emerging threats such as the impacts of climate change and urbanization on shifting disease patterns; and identify key interventions and policies to address these pressing global health topics in both industrialized and developing countries. Students will develop knowledge and skills in core disciplines of environmental health (toxicology, exposure science, environmental epidemiology) and approaches to environmental risk recognition, control and prevention in a global context.

Academic Credits: 3


Doctoral Level Epidemiologic Methods 2 (EPIB 705)

Professors Jonathan Chevrier and Claire Infante-Rivard

The course has a conceptual and analytical causal inference perspective. The nature of specific study biases resulting in non-causal components in the observed association between exposure and outcome are discussed, including endogenous selection bias, measured and unmeasured confounding, and measurement error. Methods to recover the causal effect with such biases are presented. Causal mediation analysis is discussed. Models for survival analysis are discussed as well as the problem of- and some solutions to missing data. A brief overview of genetic epidemiology principles is covered.

Prerequisite(s): EPIB 704.

Restriction(s): Open to Ph.D. students in Epidemiology or Biostatistics programs only, or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken EPIB 608.

Academic Credits: 4


Doctoral Seminar in Epidemiology (EPIB 706)

Professor Jonathan Chevrier

This course aims to provide an opportunity to students who have completed the Epidemiology course series in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, to optimize their training in ways that will be helpful to their thesis research and to the development of their career as epidemiologists. The content of this interactive course and the delivery of the material is primarily determined by students based on the knowledge gaps that they identify. The course will allow students to expand their methodological tool box, explore controversies in epidemiology, and gain experience synthesizing and communicating complex concepts to an informed audience. 

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of Comprehensive Exam

Restriction(s): Enrolment in PhD Epidemiology or Permission of Instructor. Not open to students who have taken EPIB 609.

Academic Credit: 3


Foundations of Environmental Policy (ENVR 610)

Professor Mark Goldberg

Analysis of current environmental policies to reveal implicit and explicit assumptions regarding scientific methods, hypothesis testing, subject/object, causality, certainty, deities, health, development, North-South concerns for resources, commons, national sovereignty, equity. Discussion of implications of such assumptions for building future environmental policies.

Restriction(s): Enrolment in the Graduate Environment Option or enrolment in the Neotropical Environment Option (NEO) or permission of the instructor.

Academic Credits: 3


Civilization and Environment (ENVR 630)

Professor Mark Goldberg

Considers ways to reduce the human impact on Earth's life support systems through variables such as population size, wealth, technology, and conduct. Critically describes ethical frameworks for judging personal and policy choices, including post-collapse scenarios.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

Academic Credits: 3


Foundations of Population Health (PPHS 602)

Professors Gilles Paradis and Scott Weichenthal

This course provides an overview of conceptual, methodological, and substantive issues in population health. It is divided into three parts:

Part I addresses the conceptual and methodological issues in the description and understanding of population dynamics and the health of populations.
Part II describes the major data sources and methods used to assess the health of populations.
Part III provides an overview of important concepts related to measurement in epidemiology including the concepts of reliability and validity, measurement error, and related topics.

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