2017 seed grants support eight planetary health research projects

August 9, 2017

The emerging field of Planetary health examines health-environment challenges and identifies solutions that benefit both human and animal populations. The UCGHI Planetary Health Center of Expertise (PHCOE) envisions a healthy planet supporting healthy lives and, with the support of a diverse team of University of California researchers, aims to define the science, policy and educational investments that are of highest priority today.

The PHCOE recently selected eight innovative planetary health research projects to support in 2017-2018. With the seed grants, these studies have the potential to contribute to the field of planetary health in innovative ways. With research on multiple continents, these projects will build a network of partnerships and community connections poised to advance knowledge and understanding of problems as diverse as the effect of climate change on outdoor workers to sustainable development in the Sahel region of Africa.

The PHCOE awarded a total of $53,512 to eight projects spanning a range of topics related to planetary health:

The hidden health costs of extreme heat exposure to outdoors workers in the California Central Valley
Jennifer Vanos (UC San Diego) and collaborators Federico Castillo (UC Berkeley) and Michael Wehner (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Designing combined rural advisory services to improve health and livelihoods in rural Sahel
Malcolm Potts (UC Berkeley) and Alisha Graves (UC Berkeley) and collaborators Salomon Kelgue (University of Niamey) and Boubacar Yamba (University of Niamey)

Sierra Lacandón Project: Integrating planetary health into households and communities in Petén, Guatemala
Aracely Martínez Rodas (Universidad del Valle de Guatemala) and David Lopez-Carr (UC Santa Barbara) and collaborator Chris Funk (UC Santa Barbara)

Integrating farmers’ adaptive behaviors in California’s Central Valley to assess water and food security risks under climate change
Keith Clarke (UC Santa Barbara) and collaborators Federico Castillo (UC Berkeley), D. Zilberman (UC Berkeley) and Jeroen Aerts (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Agroclimatic variability and population health in the developing world
Nathan Mueller (UC Irvine) and collaborator Gordon McCord (UC San Diego)

A bold new research agenda to accelerate sustainable development in the Sahel
Malcolm Potts (UC Berkeley) and collaborators David Lopez-Carr (UC Santa Barbara), Césaire Ouedraogo (UC Davis), Alisha Graves (UC Berkeley) and fourteen local experts from West Africa.
This project is a partnership between UCGHI’s Planetary Health and Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment Centers of Expertise.

Modeling human-derived isotope ratios to investigate applications for future human migration research
Daniel Ervin (UC San Diego) and collaborators Gabriel Bowen (University of Utah) and David Lopez-Carr (UC Santa Barbara)

Sacred Place and Health: Restoring a Ritual Maya Commons in Peten, Guatemala
Liza Grandia (UC Davis) and Holly Moyes (UC Merced) and collaborator Rosa Maria Chan (former Vice Minister of Culture)