What does working with the Center mean to you?
For me, the opportunities to bridge my work with the Center’s mission are very exciting. As we look forward globally in this truly urbanized century, we will need to address important issues which lie at the intersection of growth, sustainability, and health. How do we create sustainable and healthy cities? How do we eliminate health disparities within these cities? How do we create healthy homes through design, education, and improved practice? How do we turn information into solutions? Our research in these areas can help to inform both policy and practice, and hopefully avoid the mistakes of the past.
I also look forward to contributing to the Center’s Healthy and Sustainable Food Program, under Barton Seaver’s leadership. We need new approaches to address how we, as individuals and societies, can make better decisions on the food we consume and within the modern food systems that produce them. Our health and the planet’s health will depend on improving the way we feed today’s 7 billion people and their descendants.
Gary Adamkiewicz works with our Nature, Health, and Built Environment team to lead the content areas within the program related to Healthy Cities.
Dr. Adamkiewicz is an environmental health specialist with more than 20 years of experience. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where much of his work focuses on the connections between housing and health, and in understanding disparities in environmental exposure. He is particularly interested in research that aids practitioners in solving environmental health problems within low-income communities. His research has included studies of indoor environmental conditions within the homes of children with asthma, and studies that aim to understand the factors that contribute to specific exposures such as: pesticides and other chemicals, allergens, secondhand smoke and combustion by-products.
Dr. Adamkiewicz’s interests also include the sustainability of our global and local food systems. He co-created and co-directs the Harvard Extension School (HES) course, From Farm to Fork: Why What you Eat Matters, which focuses on the local and global implications of our dietary decisions. The course is offered as part of HES’ Sustainability and Environmental Management Master’s program.
Dr. Adamkiewicz has worked with the National Center for Healthy Housing, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Rhode Island Department of Health, on projects that aim to reduce the burden of disease from indoor environmental issues. He is currently serving on EPA’s Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Review Panel, under the auspices of the agency’s Science Advisory Board. This panel will provide advice and recommendations to EPA on its methodology to assess disproportionate environmental and public health impacts of proposed rules and actions on minority, low income, and indigenous populations in a variety of regulatory contexts. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization's effort to establish indoor air quality guidelines. Dr. Adamkiewicz holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo