U.Va. to Host Public Research Symposium on Climate Change and Health

April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009 — The University of Virginia will hold a workshop on April 19 and 20 in Charlottesville to explore linkages between climate change and community health. The workshop features perspectives and research from University faculty and from local and state experts.

"Impacts of climate change are too complex to be addressed or solved by any one discipline," said School of Architecture faculty member Nisha Botchwey, "so we have created a forum that brings multiple fields to discuss the links between public health and climate."

In the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, who held community days for the University to share knowledge with the local community, the U.Va. Sustainability Symposium on Climate Change and Health is open to the public.

Adil Najam, the Frederick S. Pardee Professor of Global Public Policy at Boston University, will give the keynote address. He directs the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and is a professor of international relations and of geography and environment. Najam is one of the leading national and international experts on global policy problems, especially those related to human well-being and sustainable development. He served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, work for which the group was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore. 

The 2009 Sustainability Symposium on Climate Change and Health is the third in a series begun in 2004. This year, participants will discuss the linkages between the fields of climate change and health to investigate ways to foster greater connections at the academic, community and global scales. Through panel presentations and facilitated discussions, workshop participants will discuss emerging issues related to climate change and health within the fields of planning, landscape design, environmental science, public health, public policy, engineering, law and business.

This two-part symposium will engage participants through panel discussions and dialogue on climate change and health issues from the global, national and local levels. On April 19, the symposium begins from 4 to 6 p.m. with a screening of the film "UnNatural Causes: Place Matters" at the Community Design Center, 100 5th St. Northeast, just off the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. Attendees will participate in a facilitated discussion about the link between community health and the built environment.

On April 20, the all-day workshop, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., is at Alumni Hall, 211 Emmet St. South. Outcomes from the workshop will inform U.Va. curricular development and new research, as well as build bridges between academia and local communities.

The symposium is free and welcomes U.Va. faculty, staff, students and alumni, residents from Charlottesville and surrounding counties, local organizations and government officials. Space is limited; register early for a guaranteed spot. Walk-in registrations may be available based on capacity. Free lunch is provided to the first 100 registrants.

Certification Maintenance credits are provided for American Institute of Certified Planners and American Institute of Architects members who attend the all-day workshop. 

To register, send an e-mail climatechangeandhealth-conf@virginia.edu.