Focus Areas

Focus Areas

GW’s Climate & Health Institute is involved in research across a wide range of disciplines focused on how the changing climate is affecting human health.


A smoke stack seen blowing smoke into the blue sky

Air Pollution & Asthma

Air Pollution is a key topic for understanding the effects of emissions on respiratory diseases. On a global scale, greenhouse gas emissions are among the biggest contributors to climate change.

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Solar panels in a field


Climate change and sustainability are dynamically intertwined where our global lifestyles, consumption, and wasteful choices pollute and exploit resources unsustainably which are the causes of climate change.

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Lightning strikes in the distance down a long highway

Extreme Weather and Ecosystem Change

As climate change intensifies weather patterns, it is of utmost importance to recognize its effect on human health, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

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A white building with red roof sits in a snowy field with the ocean in the background

The Arctic

Studying this region presents unique challenges due to its remote location, cold and changing climate, thin largely resource-based economy, and lack of local knowledge on emission sources and its health impacts.

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A man in a hard hat stands on a construction job site

Occupational Health

Climate change poses a lot of risks to the occupational health and safety of those around the world.

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A sign is held up in a crowd that reads "don't be a fossil fool"

Social Movements & Climate Change

Climate change has increasingly become an emergency that we as citizens of the world have to come together to face.

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Two people look at a laptop screen and a notebook

Risk Assessment & Policy

Climate change is a prevailing problem that is affecting our health and safety of humans and the environments around us.

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A gavel

Climate Litigation

As climate change continues to harm human health, there will continue to be a wide range of pressing legal challenges that we will seek to address its compounding effects.

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Graphic of a virus

Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease will continue to be a risk among people as we continue to circumnavigate the globe at unprecedented rates, change land use, and increase inequality which heightens mosquito exposure due to the lack of public sanitation services.

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Brown, white, and black cows standing in front of an old wooden barn

Food Systems & Nutrition

Climate change impacts agriculture, nutrition and food security, all of which are deeply interlinked. 

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A young girl rest her head on an old wooden fence

Mental Health

Shifts in climate can have significant impacts to mental health in addition to physical health. The stress of a changing environment has been linked to depression, insomnia and anxiety.

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A woman and a small child walk through the rubble of a disaster stricken area with a few palm trees standing in the background

Equity & Environmental Justice

Climate change drastically impacts low-income communities. Communities of color are disproportionately burdened by extreme heat, air pollution and a variety of other environmental conditions.

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