Online Program

Linking ecosystem services and human health: The eco-health relationship browser

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Laura Jackson, Ph.D., National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC
Jessica Daniel, USEPA/ORD/NHEERL, Research Triangle Park, NC
Betsy McCorkle, USEPA/ORD/NHEERL, Research Triangle Park, NC
Alexandra Sears, USEPA/ORD/NHEERL, Research Triangle Park, NC
Kathleen Bush, ASPH/EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC
Background: Ecosystems provide multiple societal benefits from the production of nature-based goods and services. Many ecosystem services have been linked to a range of positive health outcomes through the buffering of pollutants and natural hazards and the promotion of healthy behaviors. A growing body of evidence is emerging on this topic; however, this evidence has yet to be synthesized in an accessible manner. Aims: The objectives of this research were to identify the set of literature related to the linkages between ecosystem services and human health, and to design an interactive, web-based tool to showcase the weight of evidence and make the information accessible to a diverse audience. Methods: In order to create The Eco-Health Relationship Browser, a systematic literature review was conducted. The review was an iterative process, completed in four stages, and focused on the potential associations between ecosystem services and human health. The search was limited to peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1990 to 2012. Articles were screened for relevance and utility in populating sections of the Browser across multiple disciplinary fields. Articles were assigned to Browser components according to its conceptual framework, and summarized to enhance functionality of the tool. Results: The literature review identified 270 unique articles; 141 were selected for summary display in the Browser. The Browser is designed for users across disciplines and sectors who are interested in learning more about the complex connections between ecosystem services, green infrastructure, and urban design as they relate to human health and well-being. Conclusions: The Browser has the potential to increase awareness of the social, ecological, and economic benefits associated with healthy ecosystems and the services they provide.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define ecosystem services; Explain potential linkages between ecosystem services and human health; Describe health outcomes most likely to be associated with ecosystem services

Keyword(s): Environment, Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I have worked at the EPA for over 20 years at the intersection of Ecology and Health. Among my scientific interests has been the positive impacts of ecosystem services on health outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.