Marie Lynn Miranda, the new dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), will deliver the 11th Annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability on March 26. The title of her lecture is “Fostering Environments to Sustain our Children’s Health.”
The Wege Lecture series is one of the university’s most visible annual events and is open to the public and academic community. Past speakers have included His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, former Vice President Al Gore, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr., and John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s science adviser.
Established in 2001, the series is named to honor Peter M. Wege, the retired vice chairman of the board of Steelcase Inc. in Grand Rapids. The event begins at 5 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. A question-and-answer session follows, as does a public reception in the Rackham atrium.
The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Systems, the Department of Pediatrics at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, The Environment Report from Michigan Radio, Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Research, SNRE, School of Public Health and the School of Social Work.
Miranda became dean of SNRE Jan. 1. She holds an appointment as professor in SNRE and in the Department of Pediatrics.
Miranda is a Detroit native who has devoted much of her professional career to research directed at improving the health status of disadvantaged populations, particularly children. Although it is widely agreed that child health and well-being are determined by multiple forces, surprisingly little is known about the interactions of those forces. For example, elevated environmental exposures often occur in communities facing multiple social stressors like deteriorating housing, inadequate access to health care, poor schools, high unemployment, high crime, and high poverty — all of which may compound the effects of environmental exposures. This phenomenon is especially severe for low income and minority children.
In her lecture, Miranda will focus on how advanced information technologies can be used to determine the impact of combined social and environmental stressors on children — and how these same technologies can and are being used as the basis for deploying interventions that effectively create more protective environments for children.
She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all children can prosper. CEHI’s peer-reviewed work is cited widely, including in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current integrated science assessment on revisions to the national ambient air quality standard for lead.
CEHI also works closely with a wide range of organizations and nonprofits in addressing children’s environmental health issues in the community. In 2008 CEHI won the EPA’s Environmental Justice Achievement Award. CEHI now is headquartered at SNRE.
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