The mission of the Climate and Health Program (CHP) is to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary, translational scholarship on the human health dimensions of climate change, with the goal of advancing society’s capacity to understand, anticipate, and prevent adverse health consequences.

One of society’s greatest challenges in coming decades will be to enhance population health in the face of emerging risks related to climate change. Overcoming this challenge will require new science to identify impacts, mechanisms, and policy levers, and a new workforce of well-trained professionals who can translate that science into action.

The three overarching goals of the program are to:

  • Catalyze cross-disciplinary, cutting edge science to address basic questions about how climate change affects health.

  • Train a new generation of professionals in the public health dimensions of climate change vulnerabilities, impacts, and adaptation strategies.

  • Partner with governments, NGOs, and clinicians to ensure that the knowledge we generate informs strategies for reducing harm to vulnerable populations.


CHP builds upon a foundation established over the past decade at the Mailman School in climate and health scholarship, including the longest-running graduate level course on the public health impacts of climate change.  In achieving its leadership position, the CHP draws from the Mailman School’s robust programs in Epidemiology and Global Public Health, as well as the School’s proximity to global leaders and top international organizations located in New York City.

CHP is uniquely positioned to benefit from partnerships throughout the Columbia University Medical Center campus, as well as the Earth Institute, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the Columbia Climate Center.

These partnerships provide CHP with interdisciplinary expertise in epidemiology, earth sciences, climate prediction, and ecology, and enable the program to bring together faculty, post-doctoral scientists and graduate students from across the University to share information, coordinate research, develop curricula, and host scientific exchanges on the human health dimensions of climate change.