What is Planetary Health? It is the understanding that human health and human civilization depend on flourishing natural systems and the wise stewardship of those natural systems.

Our research builds healthy environments and healthy societies with both a rural and global focus.

  • The University of Vermont has inter-connected and interdisciplinary research centers and institutes devoted to the environment, climate change, food systems and farming, education for sustainability, and health and the humanities focused on the well-being of the individual in the context of their family and their community. These centers and institutes demonstrate the synergistic links between human health and the health of the environment.
  • We have strengths in technology that can be used to innovate as we attempt to find solutions to the environmental and health challenges we face.
  • Given our size, location, and the focus of our faculty’s research, we can create a rural and global focus.

Our educational programs prepare global leaders to address environmental, health and social justice challenges.

  • To help guide UVM's planetary health pursuits, UVM Professors Louis deRosset, Colby Kervick, and Lizzy Pope have adapted the Twelve Principles for Planetary Health from Stone, et al., "Cross-cutting principles for planetary health education," The Lancet s:192-3, May 2018.
  • UVM has established a learning context that is responsive to these principles for planetary health education. We offer a core curriculum that prepares our students to be global citizens who learn to build a sustainable environment, ensure health equity, and change policy that facilitates planetary health.
  • With nearly 100 academic programs available to our students in areas related to planetary health, we are in a unique position to build additional capacity in planetary health with the expertise of our faculty. We are also primed to expand our interdisciplinary graduate programs emphasizing the role of the humanities in deepening our understanding of health through storytelling in the narrative, visual, and performing arts.

Advancing our leadership in Planetary Health will address three primary objectives:

  1. Increasing research that advances our knowledge of ways to improve human health in the context of a constantly changing environment.
  2. Expanding curricular and co-curricular programs that emphasize the health consequences of climate change, particularly for vulnerable populations.
  3. Developing policy that offers science- and technology-based and economically-sustainable solutions to our current health and environmental challenges.