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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Florida: Soil and Water Effects on Public Health Highlighted in New Certificate Program

From dirty beaches following an oil spill to the Flint, Michigan, water crisis – soil and water contamination pose a public health risk to people, plants and wildlife.

To better understand the risks, remediation and prevention of such hazards, the University of Florida’s soil and water sciences department, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), now offers a graduate-level certificate program in soil, water, and public health. Courses are available both online and in-person, ideal for both working professionals and current students.

The curriculum teaches students how soil and water quality are critically linked to the health of both ecosystems and human populations. This interdisciplinary certificate is a partnership between the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP).

“This program is a great example of how we can utilize the vast resources at UF to build bridges across disciplines that lead to better protection of ecosystems and human health,” said PHHP dean, Dr. Michael G. Perri.

A goal of the certificate is to connect soil and water sciences and public health for professionals who may work in both areas. Dr. Andrew Ogram, UF/IFAS professor of soil microbiology, said that too often, students in the two disciplines do not realize how they intersect.

“This unique interdisciplinary graduate certificate program not only focuses on the numerous examples of discipline overlap but develops skills necessary for competency and communication between the disciplines,” Dr. Ogram explained.

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