Environmental health professionals work primarily as inspectors and detectives to prevent and control diseases and injuries caused by environmental conditions. They assure the quality of our air and water, monitor food safety, oversee toxic waste clean up, develop policies for a sustainable society and investigate disease outbreaks, including those caused by bioterrorism. They investigate, evaluate and recommend solutions for preventing and controlling environmental hazards, frequently working with a variety of other health and science professionals, e.g., doctors, nurses, health educators, microbiologists.
To accomplish their work, environmental health professionals must possess good public relations skills, a strong background in the biological and physical sciences and the ability to analyze complex situations. Issues relating to both bioterrorism and sustainability promise to increase the demand for environmental health professionals.
The curriculum for Environment & Health pairs the Public Health curriculum with a menu of courses from the environment & health focus area such as biology, chemistry, geography and technology or students may choose to minor in biology, chemistry or environmental management systems.
The Public Health Program is affiliated with over 120 health care agencies in the Northern Illinois Region which offer Internships to our students. These same sites also frequently employ our alums.