UML to Offer New Science Degree

05/02/2010
By From the Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- UMass Lowell's School of Health and Environment will soon offer the only Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health in the Northeast.

The new program will begin in September, meeting a growing demand from the public-health field. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that half of current environmental health practitioners will retire within the next 10 years.

"This new Environmental Health program at UMass Lowell will offer a new generation of students an opportunity to learn skills that will help them tackle the world's toughest problems, many of which are preventable," said Associate Professor Joel Tickner of the Department of Community Health and Sustainability, who led the development of the new program. "Our research and interviews showed that with the shortage of qualified professionals, students will have tremendous career options that will make a difference for all of us."

Environmental Health, a branch of Public Health, includes the study of epidemiology, toxicology, sanitation, occupational health and safety, food safety, health communications and policy. It involves learning about all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health. Environmental-health specialists work as inspectors, health and safety experts, scientists, researchers and analysts at local, state, and federal environmental and public-health agencies, as well as for industry, consulting firms and nonprofit agencies.