Dear undergraduates,

Spring is making its way to West Lafayette after a week of turbulent weather, and we hope you're savoring it with some outdoor time!

As registration deadlines for the next semester roll closer, browse through the resources we bring you in this issue, which you may find useful for this and the upcoming term. We share a glance at the newly introduced Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences (OEHS) undergraduate program in the College of Health Science, which is an amalgam of Occupational Health Sciences and Environmental Health Sciences degrees. Accompanying the OEHS program, is the introductory course to major, HSCI 345, taught by Dr. Sa Liu.

Happening this month - C4E's Environmental Justice Symposium, "Next Steps: Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and Racial Justice," which we are organizing with several on-campus organizations. This free, virtual, two-day conference hosts scholars and researchers from Indiana higher education institutions who specialize in areas such as intersectionality, racial justice, decolonization, law and environmental policy as well as the arts.

We introduce you to Purdue Student Sustainability Council, an environmentally-focused student group that has made significant strides to ensure a more sustainable campus and greater Lafayette area.

We also encourage you to check out
 our webpage for undergraduate research and internship opportunities. We have a couple of postings currently listed with deadlines fast approaching!

If you would like to suggest a feature on an event, student club, story, or any other feedback, please contact Siddharth Sinha, our Research and Communications Intern, at

Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences
Starting this fall, the College of Health Sciences is offering two of its majors - Environmental Health Sciences and Occupational Health Sciences - as one, the Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences (OEHS) undergraduate program. This interdisciplinary track prepares undergraduates on topics including environmental health, occupational health, safety, and industrial hygiene with emphasis on hazardous exposure assessment, understanding the relationships between exposure and disease, and using engineering controls to eliminate such hazards.

The fundamental responsibility of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences professionals is ensuring the safety of workers from environmental hazards like lead and air pollution. Graduates can seek professional positions including Industrial Hygienist, Toxicologist, Environmental Health Scientists, and Occupational/Environmental Engineer. OEHS majors can also explore graduate school opportunities and pursue degrees in Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Health, Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Engineering, Public Health, Occupational Medicine, and Law.

HSCI 34500 - Introduction to Occupational and
Environmental Health Sciences

Credit Hours: 3.00.
Offered in fall 2021. 

First in the series of core courses of the Occupation and Environmental Health Sciences undergraduate program in the School of Health Sciences, this introductory course primarily
 prepares students to recognize health hazards associated with exposures to toxic agents in the workplace and in the general environment.

HSCI 34500 is an ABET accredited course, and prepares students to: 
  • Describe the principles of anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of hazards in the workplace and surrounding communities.
  • Examine the qualitative and quantitative aspects of health hazards associated with exposures to chemical, physical, biological and ergonomic factors in the workplace and in community settings.
  • Describe occupational exposure limits and environmental health related regulations.
  • Discuss historical and contemporary issues in occupational and environmental health and discuss ethical and professional responsibilities.
  • Function effectively on a team that identify, evaluate and solve problems related to occupational and environmental health.
The Purdue Student Sustainability Council (PSSC) works to fosters a culture of sustainability and facilitates communication between students, faculty, and staff to promote sustainable change by collective community action. From helping Purdue save approximately $1700 in energy costs in 2019-2020 to diverting 1200 lbs of food waste from Greek Life to an anaerobic digester, PSSC has advocated and coordinated significant strides toward sustainability on campus and in the Greater Lafayette Area.

PSSC comprises of councils committed to action in specific environmental arenas through projects and initiatives in the Greater Lafayette Area and Purdue's campus. Currently, the club is home to seven committees striving to bring actionable change through their objectives: 

  • Food Waste Diversion
  • Climate
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Outreach
  • Textile Waste
  • Erase the Waste
  • Precious Plastics
The club meets every month to discuss council updates and engagement opportunities. PSSC shared this presentation from the club's recent all member meeting, which you can glance through to learn about each committees' latest work. Students can join without any dues, hold positions on one of the committees or the club's executive board. PSSC is also committed to helping students materialize their ideas for a new committee or project targeting an environmental area or issue. 

Earlier this month, the organization hosted a tote decoration event for Mental Health Awareness Week and will host a social media awareness drive for Earth Hour, on March 27. Further, PSSC's committees are coordinating a documentary, Clean-Out-Your-Fridge push, and continuing to advocate for Carbon Neutrality at Purdue for Earth Day.

Harini Radhakrishnan, Logistics and Member Chair, spoke with us about her experience at PSSC. Radhakrishnan spent most of her life in her hometown, Manila, Philippines, where she noticed and experienced the effects of rising global temperatures and intensifying climate change at the hands of anthropogenic activity. The PSSC executive board member says, "my passion for sustainability has been very intrinsic and has translated onto what I plan to do with my academics and extracurricular activities. PSSC is a great opportunity to enact change on campus and push student and faculty mindsets to think differently about the bigger picture. It's a welcoming environment to share our values and concerns about the world around us, and what we can do at the end of the day to be part of the conversation."

Visit PSSC's website, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more about their committees, initiatives, and events.
Next Steps - Environmental Justice, Climate Change, Racial Justice

March 25-26 | Virtual

This free, two-day virtual Symposium takes place this Thursday and Friday, and will include experts in areas such as intersectionality, racial justice, decolonization, law and environmental policy as well as the arts. The Symposium is open to all and will be composed of four different panels organized around the following themes:
  • Dimensions of Environmental Justice and the Midwest
  • Pollutants, Toxins, Health and Justice
  • Gender, Inclusion, and Justice
  • Conflict, Disaster, and Climate Change
Dr. Carlton Waterhousean international expert on environmental law and policy, will feature as the conference's keynote speaker.

Global Soil Biodiversity: Establishing Common Ground for Sustainability

Featuring Dr. Diana H. Wall, Colorado State University

April 5, 1:30 - 2:30 PM | WebEx

Soil biodiversity, estimated at 25% of all known species on earth, is crucial for life aboveground. There is growing scientific evidence indicating that soil biodiversity and the ecosystem functions and services they provide can optimize the successful implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this talk, Dr. Diana Wall will discuss the state of knowledge on the emerging field of soil biodiversity science and implications for sustainability under current and future environmental change. More information here.

Click here to register for this seminar.

The ecosystems of mega-industries like agriculture and its sub-markets comprise numerous interdependent agents, which may evade observation at first glance or a superficial look. In the agriculture industry, while farmers and their lands are at the focal point of the vast and extensive network, they rely on stakeholders at each step that play an instrumental part, including water, seed, fertilizer suppliers, technology manufacturers, and even lawmakers.

Peyman Yousefi, a Ph.D. candidate at Lyles School of Engineering, with Hoon C. Shin 4,5, Samuel Park 1, Hyukjin Surh 3, Marco Janssen 5, and David J. Yu,1,2,3 coordinated a behavioral experiment to measure and compare the effectiveness of actions farmers can employ to ensure adequate water provision from a provider.

"It has been already argued that our understanding of water systems is incomplete without the explicit inclusion of people. However, such understanding has turned out to be quite challenging because bringing frameworks, theories, and models from different disciplines together is particularly difficult," said Peyman. "In this particular study, we focused on one of the most critical challenges for public water sectors, which is to ensure adequate water service provision in the face of potential underinvestment to infrastructure. The experimental results generated empirical insights about what kind of policy fixes are relatively advantageous in terms of public water service improvement and such knowledge is essential for the study and design of infrastructure users-agency interactions that can shape the quality of infrastructure service quality."

Read more about the experiment here.

1 Lyles School of Engineering, College of Engineering, Purdue University, 2, Ecological Science and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, Purdue University, 3 Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University, 4 School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, 5 Center for Behavior, Institution, and the Environment, Arizona State University

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