The Biology of Water and Health – Part 1

A uniquely interdisciplinary approach to critical water and water-related health challenges across the globe.

About The Course

This course examines increasingly critical water-related issues through a distinctly global and interdisciplinary lens. Participants will explore the multi-faceted ways in which water and human health are inter-related, including the influence of waterborne pathogens on human and environmental health and the central role of water in preserving health through adequate sanitation and hygiene. The course focuses on the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene to maternal and child nutrition and growth, and encourages participants to explore social, economic, and behavioral dimensions in a global, multi-dimensional context.

Course participants will learn to understand the complex interdependence of social, economic, and scientific perspectives involved in addressing critical water-related challenges. The unique interdisciplinary approach of this course gives the general public, as well as health professionals in a variety of fields, a provocative introduction to the public health and human engineering components involved in the provision of safe water and sanitation. It provides an interdisciplinary framework for understanding the place of water in health policy and engineering by helping participants give informed voice to the ways in which water is involved in social interactions, belief systems, and the economics of an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

This course is the first in a three part series that will be offered in 2014-2015 by Tufts University. All course content is openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. After the conclusion of the course, materials will be available thorugh edX as well on the Tuft University Open Courseware website.

Recommended Background