Fellow, Gund Institute for Environment; Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Larner College of Medicine; Research Affiliate and Lecturer, Rubenstein School of Natural Resources

As an environmental health social scientist, Dr. Vatovec's main research focus is on investigating the social governance of interconnections between human health and the environment including: 1) investigating the environmental and human health consequences of medical practices, and 2) examining the human health benefits of contact with nature. Within her first area of interest, Dr. Vatovec has developed cross-disciplinary collaborations to research points of intervention for reducing the impacts of pharmaceutical pollution in Lake Champlain. Within her second area of interest, she has developed partnerships to identify opportunities to enhance adherence to physical activity using natural settings.


  • Vatovec, Christine, Corey Evans, Emily Van Wagoner. 2017. Investigating sources of pharmaceutical pollution: survey of over-the-counter and prescription medication purchasing, use, and disposal practices among university students. Journal of Environmental Management (198): 348-352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.04.101
  • Vatovec, Christine, Phillips, Patrick, Van Wagoner, Emily, Scott, Tia-Marie, Furlong, Edward. 2016. Investigating dynamic sources of pharmaceuticals: Demographic and seasonal use are more important than down-the-drain disposal in wastewater effluent in a University City setting. Science of the Total Environment http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.199
  • Vatovec C. 2016. Making Biodiversity Stewardship Tangible using a Place-based Approach. In: Byrne L (ed) Learner-centered Teaching Activities for Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Springer.
  • Berkman AM, Trentham-Dietz A, Dittus K, Hart V, Vatovec CM, King JG, James TA, Lakoski SG, Sprague BL. 2015. Health behavior change following a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ: An opportunity to improve health outcomes. Prev Med. 2015 Apr 6. pii: S0091-7435(15)00098-5. doi: 10.1016 /j.ypmed.2015.03.020.
  • Vatovec C, Erten M, Kolodinsky J, Brown P, Wood M, James T, Sprague BL. 2014. Ductal carcinoma in situ: a brief review of treatment variation and impacts on patients and society. Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression 24(4): 281–286.
  • Vatovec C, Senier L, Bell M. 2013. The ecology of dying: commodity chains, governance, and the medicalization of end-of-life care. In: Ecological Health: Society, Ecology and Health (Advances in Medical Sociology, Volume 13) Gislason (ed.), Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Vatovec C, Senier L, Bell M. 2013. An ecological perspective on medical care: environmental, occupational, and public health impacts of medical supply and pharmaceutical chains. EcoHealth. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-013-0855-1
  • Severtson L, Vatovec C. 2012. The theory-based influence of map features on risk beliefs: self-reports of what is seen and understood for maps depicting an environmental health hazard. Journal of Health Communication.

Associations and Affiliations

  • University of Vermont Cancer Center
  • Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute
Christine Vatovec

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Environmental health, climate change and human health, unintended consequences of medical care on the environment, human health benefits of nature contact, planetary health


  • Ph.D., Environment and Resources; University of Wisconsin
  • M.S., Conservation Biology; University of Minnesota
  • B.S., Natural Resources; Cornell University


Office Location:

303 Aiken Center

  1. Christine Vatovec

Courses Taught

  • ENVS/HLTH/NR 107 - Human Health and the Environment
  • HCOL - Climate Change and Human Health