SNRE Dean Miranda to deliver Wege Lecture on Sustainability

Date & time

Mar 26, 2012, 5:00-7:00 pm EDT


Marie Lynn Miranda, dean and professor at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, delivers the 11th Annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability. The title of her talk is "Fostering Environments to Sustain our Children's Health."

Although it is widely agreed that child health and well-being are determined by multiple forces, surprisingly little is known about the interactions of those forces. For example, elevated environmental exposures often occur in communities facing multiple social stressors like deteriorating housing, inadequate access to health care, poor schools, high unemployment, high crime, and high poverty – all of which may compound the effects of environmental exposures. This phenomenon is especially severe for low income and minority children. Her talk will focus on how advanced information technologies can be used to determine the impact of combined social and environmental stressors on children – and how these same technologies can and are being used as the basis for deploying interventions that effectively create more protective environments for children.

Background on Dean Miranda:
The Detroit native has devoted much of her professional career to research directed at improving the health status of disadvantaged populations, particularly children. She is the founding director of the Children's Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all children can prosper. CEHI's peer-reviewed work is cited widely, including in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's current integrated science assessment on revisions to the national ambient air quality standard for lead. CEHI also works closely with a wide range of organizations and non-profits in addressing children's environmental health issues in the community. In 2008, CEHI won the EPA's Environmental Justice Achievement Award. CEHI is now headquartered at SNRE.

Most recently, CEHI has developed a new initiative in environmental health informatics, integrating spatial expertise with health-care data systems to build a more comprehensive understanding of patient behavior and outcomes. For example, with funding from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, CEHI is developing spatial data architectures and associated risk algorithms designed to help customize diabetes interventions to the social context in which patients live.

Miranda was previously a faculty member in the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Global Health Institute at Duke University.