Call for researchers to participate in health, built environment workshop series


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Institutes of Energy and the Environment, through its Health and the Environment thematic area, is inviting members of the Penn State research community to participate in a series of four workshops on topics related to health and the built environment.

The workshops will run 3–5 p.m. and will discuss specific topics on the following dates: Sept. 24, 2021, moisture; Dec. 2, 2021, combustion and particulates; March 24, 2022, vegetation as a mitigator; and June 16, 2022, extreme heat. The focus will be on the needs of vulnerable populations.

Additionally, researchers are encouraged to express their interest in health and the built environment and the specific topics to represent their area of expertise. The form to express interest and to register for the workshops will remain open, but the deadline to express interest is Sept. 9.

The aim of this workshop series is to bring together the same interdisciplinary group of researchers to each workshop, to grow collaborative and cooperative teams and to connect the Penn State research community across disciplines working at the intersection of health, climate change, the built environment and policy.

Each workshop will highlight Penn State’s expertise related to the session topic through brief disciplinary, team-built presentations; identify the current boundaries of research within disciplines as it relates to health sciences, climate sciences, building sciences, urban science and policy; and propose high-priority research topics and collaborations across disciplines. Questions and discussions will be encouraged, particularly those that explore disciplinary differences in terminology, metrics, building codes, research methods and funding opportunities.

The anticipated outcomes of this workshop series include the creation of a new interdisciplinary research community at Penn State, initiation of multiple interdisciplinary research proposals and recommendations to present to university faculty and administration regarding paths to enhance and further develop Penn State’s contributions in this critical intersection of research.

The coordination committee members from Penn State are Rebecca Bascom, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Ken Davis, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS); Greg Jenkins, EMS; Esther Obonyo, College of Engineering; Omrana Pasha, Hershey Medical Center; and Kristin Sznajder, Hershey Medical Center. From outside of Penn State is Nuria Casquero-Modrego, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


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