Air pollution, admitted students, and aquaculture

charles-zhouQuick, what do these three things have in common? Actually, nothing besides the fact that they’ve made an appearance in my SPH life in the past couple weeks.

This semester, I’ve been in a community air pollution class studying the sources of air pollution and its effect on communities. However, there are countless talks that people from around SPH and around the University spam us about. One that caught my eye was a talk by Dr. Patrick Breysse from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His talk was about his work on a problem in many developing countries: indoor cookstoves. Three billion people around the world burn biomass and other solids (wood, coal, “cow chips” or manure) as fuel inside their homes. This generates air pollution levels up to hundreds of times that of the worst smog in Los Angeles within people’s homes, and leads to many health problems. There are many efforts around the world to install cookstoves with chimneys or to use cleaner burning fuels in order to reduce this pollution.

I also made time in my schedule to go to the social hour for Admitted Students Day, which happened a few weeks ago. Admitted students who made the trek out to Ann Arbor mingled with current students at Dominick’s, a popular spring/summer destination near campus known for its sangria. Over drinks and snacks, I talked to admitted students about where they were from and what their interests were, life as a grad student, fun things to do in Ann Arbor (like being a part of the notorious Michigan hockey student section), and the million reasons they should choose Michigan. I also ran into someone I went to high school with who was now considering attending SPH–what a small world. If you’re an admitted or prospective student, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me if you have questions!

And aquaculture? Sustainable Aquaculture is a class I’m excited to take in the fall in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, because I’m still an ecologist at heart. One great thing about SPH is that the degree program allows you to take a lot of electives in other departments and school around the University. In fact, almost half of my credits next semester are outside of SPH because I completed most of my requirements this past year.

Also, happy National Public Health Week!

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