Social Science Research Institute launches climate, society, health initiative | Penn State University

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University Park, Pa. – A new Penn State initiative focuses on climate change and extreme weather events, particularly on vulnerable populations around the world.

of Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) Climate, Society, and Health Initiative research aims to document climate conditions and link them to health risks to help transform strategies that support individual and community resilience.

“Penn State has extraordinary depth and breadth in climate science research and strong leadership from Institute of Energy and Environmental Protection (IEEE) on the new side IEE Climate Alliance“The new SSRI initiative complements these efforts by engaging faculty researchers in the social and behavioral sciences who bring the deep interdisciplinary experience needed for this new research area,” said SSRI Director Deborah Erenthal.

A post-doctoral scholar at Virginia Silvis Institute of Land and Environmental Systems The initiative in working on climate change and community resilience is particularly important because the impact of climate change can disproportionately affect the health of affected populations around the world.

“The impact of climate change on people and their lives is one of the most urgent challenges we face today,” Silves said. “It takes the perspective of researchers from both the social and behavioral science and climate science communities and they speak the same language.”

Hallie Kampmann, a postdoctoral scholar in geography, emphasized how the new initiative’s focus on health needs will require the collaborative efforts of researchers from multiple fields.

“The multi-year project will first focus on these multidisciplinary collaborations by establishing seed-funded research groups that will allow researchers to receive external funding to support sustainability,” said Kampmann.

Other goals of the project include creating advisory groups with other Penn State research institutions, colleges and campuses to engage with communities and agencies in Pennsylvania. Researchers can seek support in early work from SSRI seed grant program.

Erenthal suggested an SSRI Institute of Population Studies (PRI) example of work in progress. PRI recently received additional funding from the Eunice Kenney Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development A new research focus Public Attitudes on Climate Change and Health.

“The funding will provide new seed funding and training for researchers interested in moving their research into the climate and health space,” said PRI Director Jenny Van Hook.

To further kick off the new initiative, SSRI recently hosted a roundtable with more than 30 Penn State faculty to discuss the intersection of climate, society, and health in social and behavioral science research. Additionally, last month Penn State’s sustainability a Sustainable environmental and health demonstration He presented presentations on the theme.Moments of change: creating a more livable planet.

“This new research emphasis is aligned with the SSRI mission and Attention “On social and environmental health and on the causes and consequences of inequality,” Ehrenthal said.

Other Penn State research leaders involved in the initiative’s early stages at various colleges include Janet Main, professor of psychology; Brian King, professor and head of the geography department; Guangqing Chi, professor of rural sociology and demography and director of SSRI’s Computational and Spatial Analysis Core (CSA); and Jenny Van Hook, Professor of Sociology and Demography and Director of the SSRI Population Research Institute.

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