David López-Carr named PI and co-director of Center of Expertise on Planetary Health

dlc_puglia_15Professor David López-Carr is PI and co-director of the newly established Center of Expertise on Planetary Health, which is part of a systemwide initiative called the UC Global Health Institute(UCGHI). López-Carr and Woutrina Smith, associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at UC Davis, will lead the charge investigating and initiating responses to challenges resulting from longstanding and emerging conditions such as pollution, environmental and climate imbalance, and their links to malnutrition and chronic and infectious disease.

The UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI) exists to improve the well-being of our planet and our state via programs and interventions aimed to heal. To that end, UCGHI sponsors multi-campus Centers of Expertise (COE) that develop and lead UC-wide education programs, targeted multi-campus research endeavors, and sustainable international partnerships. In the spring of 2016, UCGHI announced an RFP to invite proposals for the renewal of existing or the creation of new Centers of Expertise. Joining the newly launched Planetary Health COE will be the renewed COE on Women’s Health and Empowerment.

“UCSB will contribute significant research to the Center of Expertise,” said López-Carr, who characterized the campus’s environmental studies, Marine Studies Institute and geography departments as leaders in environmental change research in terrestrial and marine systems “I believe the UCSB campus is well suited for this role. I am grateful for the outstanding faculty, students, staff, and resources at UCSB critical to supporting the success of our systemwide initiative”.

Several UCSB Geographers were included in the proposal, particularly Chris Funk and Greg Husak from the Climate Hazards Group. The expertise of UCSB’s Climate Hazards Group in monitoring environmental factors that can lead to large-scale events such as flood and famine have resulted in early climate impact warnings. Additionally, social scientists supported by the campus-based Broom Center for Demography investigate human population interactions with the environment, UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management integrates science, business, law, economics and policy in its approach to environmental problem solving, while the campus’s California NanoSystems Institute specializes in research into nanomaterials, including potential solutions to global health problems.

A center launch is planned for October 28, at UC Santa Barbara.

click here for full article in the UC Santa Barbara Current