Environmental Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Fields of Study

The Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering has three interdisciplinary fields of study:

Air Quality

Atmospheric processes have a major influence on air quality, as well as on longā€term global processes such as climate change. Over the past 30 years, major research contributions of our faculty and students include the generation of an experimental database used to develop and test photochemical mechanisms that contribute to air pollution; development of methods to measure and monitor airborne contaminants; and the development and application of occupational exposure models.

Human Exposure

Our faculty study the range of processes that ultimately lead to environmentally related diseases, from characterizing and quantifying human exposure to understanding the cellular, molecular and biochemical underpinnings of these diseases. Major research activities include: developing methods to measure and monitor chemical or microbial contaminants; and elucidating the genetic factors that lead to differences in disease outcomes among individuals or populations.

Water Resources

Population growth and economic development continue to place increasing stress on global water resources, stresses that stem primarily from rising consumptive demands for limited supplies and increasing contamination of natural waters. Our faculty seek solutions to these challenges using a variety of computational, experimental, and field approaches. Our research results improve engineering applications and provide substantive guidance to policymakers.

The table below shows how the three interdisciplinary fields of study intersect with individual faculty interests and focus areas of research.



Air Quality & Atmospheric Processes

Human Exposure and Health Effects

Sustainable Water Resources

Contaminant Sources,
Fate and Transport

Surratt, Vizuete,
West, Whalen

Flynn, Kolsky,
Sobsey, Stewart

Aitken, Gray, Miller,
Noble, Paerl, Piehler,
Singleton, Sobsey,
Stewart, Weinberg

Design and Analysis
of Engineered Systems


Flynn, Sobsey,

Aitken, Characklis,
Coronell, Gray, Kolsky,
Miller, Singleton,
Sobsey, Weinberg

Exposure Biology, Biomarkers and Mechanisms of Disease


Ball, Bodnar,
Fry, Gold, Jaspers,
Rusyn, Swenberg

Global Environmental Health


Bartram, Fry,
Kolsky, Sobsey

Bartram, Kolsky,
Sobsey, Whittington

Impacts and Mitigation
of Climate Change

West, Whalen


Luettich, Paerl

Policy, Decision-Making
and Risk Assessment

Andrews, Serre,
Vizuete, West

Bartram, MacDonald,
Rusyn, Swenberg

Andrews, Bartram,
Characklis, Luettich,
Kolsky, MacDonald,
Serre, Whittington