Oceans, Humans and Environmental Health embraces the idea that the health of animals, people, and the environment are connected. This Duke Immerse program will focus on human interactions with the ocean and study how those interactions in turn affect human health and food security, as well as the ecosystem services and critical habitat the marine environment provides.
This immersive semester-long experience teaches students the fundamentals of evaluating the health of the natural environment and will include measuring environmental factors and organismal biomarkers that serve as health indicators (e.g. chlorophyll a, nutrients, marine biodiversity, fecal coliforms, pollutants, toxicological biomarkers). In addition to developing a scientific understanding of human and environmental health, this semester will expand students’ understanding of human well-being, health, environmental justice, access to resources, and environmental policy.
This semester will be divided into three main parts:
Locations: Duke Marine Lab (Beaufort, NC); Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Term: Fall 2023
Dates: August 2023 – December 2023, specific dates forthcoming
Application Deadline: April 1, 2023
Academic Themes: Environmental Science, Biology, Global Health, Marine Science
Eligibility: Students must have taken WRITING 101; non-Duke students matriculated at Duke are eligible for this program. It’s recommended that students have taken Intro to Biology and Intro to Chemistry.
Course numbers: BIO 373A
Curriculum codes: NS,R, W
Course Description: Sensory physiological principles with emphasis on visual and chemical cues. Laboratories will use behavior to measure physiological processes.
Instructors: Daniel Rittschof, Ph.D.
Course numbers: BIOLOGY 309A, ENVIRON 309A, GLHLTH 309A, MARSCI 309A
Curriculum codes: CCI, N, STS
Course Description: This course will tie human and environmental health concerns explicitly to environmental water quality and disease transmission as well as the ecosystem services provided by marine environments that are valuable to both human and environmental health. For example, while sensitive to human impacts such as overfishing and eutrophication, coral reefs provide ecosystem services in the form of tourism, fisheries, storm protection and recreation while also providing critical habitat for marine organisms.
Instructors: Dana E. Hunt, Ph.D.
Course numbers: ENVIRON 573A
Curriculum codes: NS, STS
Course Description: Sources, fate, and effects of organic, inorganic, and particulate pollutants in the marine environment. Topics include oil spills, coastal eutrophication, marine debris, harmful algae, sewage contamination, dredging, and emerging contaminants. Methods for measuring pollution in the marine environment and consequences for human and ecological health will be discussed. Case studies of impacted marine environments will be highlighted. Short local field trips possible.
Instructors: P. Lee Ferguson, Ph.D.
Course numbers: TBD
Curriculum codes: TBD
Course Description: TBD
Associate Professor of Microbial Ecology, Nicholas School of the Environment & Duke Marine Lab
Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment & Chemistry
Associate Professor of Marine Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment & Duke Marine Lab
Norm L. Christensen Professor of Environmental Science, Nicholas School of the Environment, Biology & Duke Marine Lab
All students who are interested, regardless of documentation or citizenship status, are encouraged to apply; accommodations and opportunities will be made for students who are unable to travel internationally due to visa issues.
We welcome Durham based DKU students and UNC Robertson Scholars to apply. Please email Duke Immerse director (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in participating. Complete the online application using MyExperientialEd.