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Summer Colloquium on Climate and Health
Please note: The application for this colloquium is now closed

New! Miguel Angel Rodriguez sent photos! Click here to view and download them. (09/16/04)

The interactions between climate and health are rife with complexity, and present many conceptual and methodological challenges. Possible effects of climate change on health are considered some of the most sensitive impacts of climate change and are high priority for the public and policy makers. As a first step toward improving the quality of research, this colloquium presented selected case studies of climate and health (e.g., heat mortality and vector-borne diseases) demonstrating a subset of key analytical tools and databases most useful to researchers in this field. Key research gaps in this research area were discussed.

In this six-day colloquium, health scientists and students benefited from lectures and hands on tools taught by top NCAR climatologists and statisticians; climatologists learnt about health databases and epidemiologic methods from leading health scientists from CDC, Johns Hopkins, and other institutions from around the globe.

As part of the week-long course topics and activities such as the following included:

  • NCAR scientists discussed important aspects of the climate system and climate change. Tools available to health researchers for analyzing extreme climate events and downscaling climate change information demonstrated (e.g., the new "Extremes Tool Kit").
  • CDC's Vectorborne Disease Branch scientists, along with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Wildlife Health Center led a one-day session on climate and vector-borne diseases, with a special case study presentation on West Nile Virus, and international health scientists demonstrated the utility of satellite remote sensing to study diseases that change with climate and/or land use.
  • Statistical methods such as time-series analysis, extreme value theory and other ways to analyze climate data were taught by statisticians.
  • Modelers and risk assessment experts will taught integrated modeling (e.g., applied to climate/air pollution studies) and strategies for communicating scientific findings and uncertainties.