Dr. Rosemary Caron

Rosemary Caron

How are climate, ecology, and health linked?

There are numerous determinants of health, and it is important to understand how these can interact in order to preserve a high quality environment for our health.  Using Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus as examples, we have witnessed how ecological conditions and changes in climate and land use can affect the presence of disease agents, the range and distribution of disease carriers, and the timing and intensity of disease outbreaks.  Climate, ecology, and health are inextricably linked in influencing the public's health via the emergence, re-emergence, and redistribution of infectious disease.

How does the Public Health Ecology Option fit into the UNH Master's in Public Health Program?

The UNH MPH Program provides a broad, interdisciplinary, and solid foundation so that our graduates can address public health issues in a variety of settings.  In addition to the core public health courses, students apply theory and practice of public health to a particular course of study in either Public Health Policy and Management or Public Health Ecology, which includes the courses “Climate Change and Health” and “Disease Ecology.” 

What motivates you personally to be involved in sustainability?

I am intrigued as to how human-induced ecological change challenges our ability to maintain biodiversity and alters public health systems.  Human-induced changes know no geographic boundaries, and their potential impact on racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse human populations is great.  What other infectious diseases will we witness when our ecological, climate, and public health systems become unbalanced, and will we be ready to address the repercussions?  Finding answers to these questions are what drive me.

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