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2017 | Environment & Health Outcomes

Ariel View of Streams

A synthetic population approach to modeling human health and the environment: A tool for adaptation planning

  • Dr. Julia Gohlke, Population Health Sciences
  • Dr. Todd Schenk, Urban Affairs and Planning
  • Eric Smith, Statistics

While the nexus of public health and climate change is critically important, it is not yet well understood. The fundamental questions we aim to address are:

  1. What are the interacting climate-related factors within the built, social, and natural environments that precipitate adverse health outcomes?
  2. How can we increase our understanding of these interactions, and devise policy and planning recommendations that respond to them?

Answers to these questions are required to create effective adaptation strategies. We aim to develop a novel analytical method leveraging geocoded birth and death records and spatially-resolved environmental datasets. The proposed method uses simulations from a synthetic population model of movements of individuals through space and time to estimate exposure to built, social, and natural environmental factors. Outputs from the synthetic population are then used within a multi-level statistical model to test hypotheses on the associations between health outcomes and environmental conditions.