Environmental Justice Boot Camp: Theory and Methods to Study Environmental Health Disparities

The most recent Environmental Justice Boot Camp was on August 15-16. Sign up below to hear about the next training!

The Environmental Justice Boot Camp is a two-day intensive course featuring seminars and applied analytical sessions on key concepts, exposure assessment techniques, epidemiologic methods, community engagement and health policy applications, and statistical analytic approaches for conducting effective and solution-driven environmental justice research. Register Now!  

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Summer 2022 dates: Live-stream, online training August 15-16, 2022; 10am EDT - ~5pm EDT

Numerous studies have documented socially-patterned disparities in adverse health outcomes, ranging from an increased prevalence of asthma, obesity, pregnancy complications, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Research shows that environmental factors, such as water, air, metals, chemicals, food, housing, and geography contribute to these disparate health outcomes. However, training is limited in how to ask informed research questions and design effective studies to evaluate environmental health disparities. To identify solutions for environmental injustice, environmental health scientists must integrate and understand the social, behavioral, and political drivers of exposure and disease disparities. We will address this training gap by coupling multi-disciplinary concepts with the use of appropriate epidemiologic, exposure assessment, and statistical analytic techniques that employ sociological constructs and theories for effective environmental justice research. 

This two-day boot camp will provide environmental health scientists with training in environmental justice research. The boot camp’s multi-disciplinary approach will cover the steps involved in conducting informed, effective, and solution-driven environmental justice and health disparities research. Our team consists of scientists with over 30 years of combined research in the fields of environmental health, sociology, epidemiology, health policy, community engagement, and biostatistics. Lectures will cover key concepts, frameworks, and methods for conducting environmental justice research. We will then build on this knowledge with hands-on learning experiences from case studies that allow participants to apply real-world datasets to address key research questions in environmental health and health disparities using exposure assessment techniques, epidemiologic methods, and analytic approaches, such as interaction and mediation.  

By the end of the workshop, participants will be familiar with the following topics: 

  • Key concepts of environmental justice and health disparities 

  • Epidemiologic conceptual framework 

  • Study design advantages and challenges 

  • Data collection, questionnaire design, and measurement error 

  • Data analysis: basics of interaction and mediation 

  • Emerging topics and methods in environmental justice research 

Investigators at all career stages are welcome to attend, and we particularly encourage trainees and early-stage investigators to participate. 


There are two prerequisites and requirements to attend this training: 

  1. Basic familiarity with R is recommended to get the most out of the Boot Camp. If you have not used this platform before or need a refresher, step through the tutorials outlined below so you have the basic skills needed for Boot Camp success. 

  2. Each participant is required to have a personal laptop/computer and a free, basic RStudio Cloud account. All lab sessions will be done using RStudio Cloud.


As noted in the prerequisites above, knowing basic R platform and commands is recommended for the Boot Camp in order to get the most out of the training. If you are new to R or need a refresher, review the below tutorials to be well prepared for the labs:  

If you have any specific questions about R and R studio in the context of the Environmental Justice Boot Camp, please email us


Instructors may change. 2022 instructor lineup to be announced soon.

Training Co-Director: Joan Casey, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Training Co-Director: Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Lindsey A. Martin, PhDHealth Scientist Administrator, Population Health Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

Alex Keil, PhD, Assistant Professor, National Cancer Institute

Kellee White, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Gary Adamkiewicz, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Exposure Disparities, Harvard University

Mahasin Mujahid, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology,  UC Berkeley

Dan Malinsky, PhDAssistant Professor Department of Biostatistics, Columbia University Medical Center.

Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPHProfessor, Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Panelists and Other Speakers:

  • Lara Cushing, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Dustin Duncan, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

  • John Faust, PhD, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  • Diana Hernandez, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

  • Rachel Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPHProfessor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley School of Public Health. 

  • Anne Nigra, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

  • Melissa Smarr, PhDHealth Scientist Administrator, Population Health Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

  • Ami Zota, ScD, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University, School of Public Health.


Training scholarships are available for the Environmental Justice Boot Camp.


COVID-19 Update: The Environmental Justice Boot Camp will no longer take place in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Boot Camp will instead be a live-stream, remote training that takes place over live, online video on August 15-16, 2022 from 10am EDT - ~5pm EDT. Please note this training is not a self-paced, pre-recorded online training.


Excellent review of EJ core concepts. Advanced my confidence in performing EJ relevant analyses!  - Student at the Department of Health, 2022.

The training gave a comprehensive overview of the history of the environmental justice movement and different approaches for performing EJ research. The topics cover almost every aspect of the process from finding a problem to implementing interventions while providing networking opportunities with classmates and experts in the field. - Staff member at RTI International, 2022.

The training was a great crash course into environmental justice and health research. It provided excellent resources that I know I will continue to reference throughout my career. - Student at Vanderbilt University, 2022.

The Environmental Justice Bootcamp brought together an outstanding lineup of leaders and experts and provided a comprehensive overview of environmental justice concepts and methods for environmental health researchers. - Postdoc at the NIH, 2022.

Overall outstanding. An opportunity for new EJ scholars to meet researchers, practitioners, and activists at all stages of their careers. I have gained new resources and methods to bolster my EJ research. - Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, 2022.

 I was amazed at how effectively the EJ Bootcamp covered both academic issues (i.e., methodological issues in quantitative EJ research) and translation, communication, and implementation. The training felt very grounded and as someone who is still very earl in my career, I came away feeling more knowledgeable about EJ research topics and methods and empowered to pursue research questions related to environmental justice. - Academic staff member at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2021

Check out more testimonials here.



COVID-19 Update: With the training being offered virtually and generous support from the Columbia, Harvard, and UCSF NIEHS Centers, we are passing along any and all costs saved to attendees.

  Early-Bird Rate (through 6/15/22) Regular Rate (6/16/22 - 8/1/22) Columbia Discount*
Student/Postdoc/Trainee      $400 $500 10%
Faculty/Academic Staff/Non-Profit Organizations/Government Agencies  $500 $600 10%
Corporate/For-Profit Organizations $650 $750 NA

*Columbia Discount: This discount is valid for any active student, postdoc, staff, or faculty at Columbia University. To access Columbia discount, email ColumbiaSHARP.EJ@gmail.com for instructions and specify the following: 1) your registration category from the table above, 2) if you are paying by credit card, or internal transfer within Columbia, and 3) if an internal transfer, indicate the registration category from the table above, and if grant funds are being used.

Invoice Payment and Group Registrations: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, or would like to pay for a group of registrants, please email ColumbiaSHARP.EJ@gmail.com with the following details: 1) full attendee name(s) and applicable registration category from the table above, and 2) payment method (credit card, invoice, wire).

Registration Fee: This fee includes course material, which will be made available to all participants both during and after the conclusion of the training. 

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to ColumbiaSHARP.EJ@gmail.com. Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations <14 days prior to the training. 

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute within the same registration category. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Should the substitute fall within a different registration category your credit card will be credited/charged respectively. Please email substitute inquiries to ColumbiaSHARP.EJ@gmail.com. In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded. 




Want updates on new Boot Camp details or registration deadlines? Subscribe here.

Questions? Email the Boot Camp team here

The Environmental Justice Boot Camp is hosted by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health's SHARP Program, the Columbia NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan (CEHNM), the Harvard Chan NIEHS Center for Environmental Health, the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, and the UCSF EaRTH Center.

Additional Testimonials

This was an invaluable experience to reorientate myself to the environmental justice field. I learned a lot about what tools and skills are being used and how to apply them from people at the forefront of the science. - Julia L., Faculty member at DePaul University, 2021

This workshop was an excellent opportunity to hear perspectives from a diverse group of researchers and learn practical tools and methods to apply to EJ projects. - Sheila T., Postdoc at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, 2021

The variety of speakers, technical tutorials, and meet & greets was very well thought out. - Postdoc at University of California San Francisco, 2021

I am new to EJ issues and this was a perfect foundational training that included an introduction to many different topics including the history of EJ and exposure science research, social determinants of health, and environmental racism. The training was organized with excellent speakers --- 100% recommend! I want to attend again!  - Postdoc at University of Pittsburgh, 2021

Awesome training. This definitely shifted my perspective about data analysis for environmental justice. - Postdoc at NIH/NIEHS, 2021

A delve into environmental justice, including the social constructs behind it and hands on applications of analytical tools to consider EJ. A really practical and inspiring 2 day course course taught by leading experts in the field- highly recommended! - Lara S., Student at University of California, San Diego, 2021

Amazing training! I feel like I came away with so many new and exciting ideas for my research and the resources to tackle the data in my research project in new ways. - Zoe H., Student at New York University, 2021