Fact Sheet 2009–3072
The Alaska Interagency Ecosystem Health Work Group is a community of practice that recognizes the interconnections between the health of ecosystems, wildlife, and humans and meets to facilitate the exchange of ideas, data, and research opportunities. Membership includes the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Sea Life Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Environmental contamination and emerging infectious diseases are causing growing public health concern worldwide. These public health threats influence the relations between people and the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of our natural environments. The interaction of climate change with population growth and the related pressures of development are increasing the difficulties associated with sustaining effective public health practices and policies. Vector-borne and zoonotic (diseases animals can transmit to humans, like rabies) diseases, water contamination, bioaccumulative contaminants in the food chain, and environmental threats to public health the world over require marshalling our scientific knowledge to develop new approaches and solutions. Understanding environmental and ecological health is a prerequisite to protecting public health. In Alaska, where the human community is inseparably linked to its surrounding natural resources, the Alaska Interagency Ecosystem Health Work Group (AIEHWG) will play a significant role in providing scientific knowledge and information that will improve our understanding of the contribution of the environment to disease and human health.
The mission of the AIEHWG is to bring together and leverage the significant and diverse missions, skills, and capacities of the participants to gain a greater understanding of the relations between ecosystems and human health.
Topical Areas of Interest with Example Projects and Participants
Potential Contaminants and Pathogens in Air, Dust, and Soil
Chemical and Harmful Contaminant Exposure by Drinking Water
Human Consumption of Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminants
Vector-borne and Zoonotic Disease
Natural Hazards and Human Heath
Animals as Sentinels of Human Health
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Shasby, Mark, 2009, Alaska interagency ecosystem health work group: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3072, 2 p.