ESE News Briefs


HaitiKolsky on Expert Panel Addressing Cholera in Haiti

Dr. Pete Kolsky, ESE faculty and Associate Director of the Water Institute, served as a rapporteur and member of an expert panel for the World Bank hosted “Technical Meeting on the Elimination of Cholera from Haïti” on April 11th, 2014.   The panel was convened to review a proposed strategy involving multiple interventions prioritizing high risk areas: strengthened case detection and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and targeted vaccination.  


MarjorieDistinguished Alumni Award for Aelion

Alumna Marjorie Aelion, PhD (ESE 1988) was honored with the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health at the Foard Lecture on April 10th. Aelion is currently Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her recent research has focused on the study of heavy metals in residential soils, primarily arsenic, lead and mercury. [more]


WASHGibson Says Building Sidewalks Can Lead to Healthier Communities

Health benefits derived from pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the Blue Ridge Road corridor in Raleigh, N.C., would total more than $300 million, according to Associate Professor Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson. That amount is “far more than would be needed to build a complete network of sidewalks” in the area. You can read more about the Blue Ridge Road Corridor Health Impact Assessment on the City of Raleigh website.


WASHBartram Gives Keynote at “WASH for Everyone, Everywhere”

Director of the Water Institute at UNC, Jamie Bartram, was a featured speaker at the 2014 “WASH for Everyone, Everywhere Conference,” Australia’s leading water, sanitation and hygiene conference, held in association with World Water Day. Dr. Bartram has over 25 years experience in international policy, research and advisory work in public health and disease prevention, especially in relation to water supply and sanitation.


GibsonGibson To Speak at International Water Conference

Associate Professor Jackie MacDonald Gibson has been invited to be a plenary speaker at the “International Water Association Leading Edge Technology Conference” in Abu Dhabi, May 26-29, 2014. Recently she served as principal investigator for a three-year project funded by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi to quantify the environmental burden of disease in the United Arab Emirates.


ChappellChappell Wins Honor for Poster on Toxicology

Grace Chappell, advised by Dr. Ivan Rusyn, won first place for her poster at the annual NC Society of Toxicology meeting.  The theme this year was: “Systems Toxicology: Integration from the gene to the population.” Chapell’s poster was entitled “Epigenotoxicity determines tissue-specific effects of inhalational exposure to the genotoxic chemical 1,3-butadiene in male C57BL/6J mice.”


NexusWater, Food, Climate and Energy Conference Addresses the Nexus

Isolated solutions aimed at just one sector miss out on efficiently resolving the resource challenges our world faces. This was the intuitive, yet challenging, premise that was explored at the “Nexus 2014 Conference,” March 5-8, hosted by the Water Institute at UNC. The Conference attracted participants from over 33 countries, who represented both science and policy perspectives. [more]


FryFry Receives Teaching Innovation Award

ESE Associate Professor Rebecca Fry was honored on Monday, February 24, 2014 by the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health for innovation in teaching. Students vote for faculty members who “improve the learning environment by integrating new technologies, engaging students in interactive activities, and introducing and incorporating progressive curriculum ideas into the classroom.” 


Steve ShoafAlumnus Elected VP of American Water Works Association

Steve Shoaf, who earned his MSPH from ESE in Aug. 1980, has been elected Vice President of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality and supply of drinking water. Shoaf is currently Director of the Water Resources Department for the City of Asheville and the AWWA Director from North Carolina.


Gary WhiteAlumnus Advocates for Universal Access to Safe Water

Alumnus Gary White (MSEE, 1995), who has been honored with Distinguished Alumnus Awards from the ESE Department and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, along with actor Matt Damon co-founded, a nonprofit that helps communities achieve sustainable water systems. They co-wrote a CNN opinion column about how safe water transforms lives.


Doctor SingerProfessor Emeritus Singer Wins Career Award

Singer, who retired from UNC in 2010, is the recipient of the American Water Works Association’s premier award, the 2014 Abel Wolman Award of Excellence, recognizing those whose careers in the water profession exemplify vision, creativity, and excellent professional performance. During his 40 year career, Singer directly assisted many utilities in North Carolina and nationally on drinking water quality issues.


SobseySobsey’s Portable Water-Testing Device Put to Use in Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

A start-up company co-founded by a distinguished professor at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health is at the forefront of restoring critical water services to the people of the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the islands on Nov. 7. The Philippines government contacted the leaders of Aquagenx LLC to request the use [more]


Jason SurrattSurratt’s Dreyfus Foundation Award to Further Research on Isoprene Emissions

Jason Surratt, PhD, assistant professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a two-year, $120,000 grant by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation to further his research on air pollution and human health. Specifically, Surratt’s research examines how human-caused pollutants interact with natural emissions [more]


BertvanDijkcreditHow Much Does Human-Produced Outdoor Air Pollution Impact Health? 

A paper on this topic was the second most downloaded paper of 2013 from the journal Environmental Research Letters. Co-authored by Jason West, PhD, assistant professor, and Raquel A. Silva and Yuqiang Zhang, doctoral students, from the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the study estimates [more]


BartramResearch From the Water Institute at UNC Scores High for Downloads

A paper about global access to safe water was the second most downloaded paper of 2013 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The article was co-authored by Director of the Water Institute at UNC Jamie Bartram. A second paper co-authored by Bartram made the top ten. Bartram also scored the first, second and ninth most downloaded abstract views.


Hans PaerlThe Danger of Toxic Algae

Professor Hans Paerl recently talked to WUNC Public Radio about how toxic algae blooms impact drinking water reservoirs and recreational waters. According to Paerl, toxic blue-green algae or cyanobacteria can damage the liver, intestines, and nervous system, and climate change worsens the threat because toxic blooms like it hot. Paerl is currently focused on the algae problem in China’s Lake Taihu.