Available Until 4/20/2028

Finding Environmental Health Information: Sources & Strategies for Effective Searching*

For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Carol Shannon, cshannon@umich.edu .

Human health is profoundly shaped by our environment: the buildings we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the noise that surrounds us. All of these elements affect our quality of life, our years of healthy life, and health disparities within populations. Answers to environmental health questions are often complex by their nature and can be difficult to answer, usually requiring a number of wide ranging and often hard-to-find and -use sources. This workshop focuses on the practical and theoretical skills of sifting through the vast array of resources, governmental & non-governmental, grey literature, and data sources to select the appropriate resources to answer a particular question. Through hands-on exercises participants will learn how to navigate these resources, reinforcing learning from the initial brief presentations and resource demonstrations. Working in small groups, participants will identify multi-pronged search strategies for more complex environmental health-related topics.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will 1) learn about and use local, state, and national resources used to find information on environmental health and policy; 2) learn to identify policies on a variety of environmental health topics; and 3) be able to practice course knowledge through hands-on exercises.


1. Introduction
      a.  What we will cover
      b.  CE objectives
2. What is environmental health?
      a.  Broad area included
      b.  Specialized terminology to keep in mind
3.  Key resources with hands-on exercises 
      a.  Scientific
      b.  Regulatory
      c.  Literature databases
4.  Data
      a.  Who collects data & why?
      b.  How to read statistical tables
      c.  Key collections of data & statistics (TOXNET, Bureau of Labor Statistics, WISQARS, OSHA, Health Indicators Warehouse)
      d.  Hands-on activity
5.  Grey literature
      a.  Think tanks (Rainforest Alliance, Center for Clean Air Policy, Food Research & Action Center, RAND) 
      b.  Advanced Google searches
      c.  Hands-on activity
6.  Case studies:  group exercises and discussion on specific topics

MLA CE Credit Hours: 2