Duke Immerse Fall 2019: Oceans, Human and Environmental Health (duke undergraduates only)

Oceans, Human and Environmental Health embraces the idea that the health of animals, people, and the environment are connected. This DukeImmerse program will focus on human interactions with the ocean and study how those interactions in turn affect human health and food security, as well as the ecosystem services and critical habitat the marine environment provides.

This immersive semester-long experience teaches students the fundamentals of evaluating the health of the natural environment and will include measuring environmental factors and organismal biomarkers that serve as health indicators (e.g. chlorophyll a, nutrients, marine biodiversity, fecal coliforms, pollutants, toxicological biomarkers). In addition to developing a scientific understanding of human and environmental health, this semester will expand students’ understanding of human well-being, health, environmental justice, access to resources, and environmental policy. This program is available to Duke undergraduates.

Program registration: The Marine Lab is accepting applications for fall 2019 through April 3rd, 2019. For more information, please contact Dr. Dana Hunt, dana.hunt@duke.edu or Duke Marine Lab Assistant Director, Katie Wood (katie.wood@duke.edu). 

This semester will be divided into three main parts: 

  1. North Carolina field experiences and laboratory exercises, contextualizing the process of measuring environmental health. Students will engage with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and tour restored wetlands. 
  2. A two-week trip to China to compare and contrast the universal challenges to environmental health and the unique issues specific to the United States and China.
  3. Faculty-guided team projects. Possible topics include: marine mammals as integrators of human and environmental health, the role of non-governmental organizations in setting environmental policy, or environmental impacts of microplastics in the oceans. 

Lead Faculty

Dana Hunt
Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology, Nicholas School of the Environment & Duke Marine Lab
Lee Ferguson.jpg
Lee Ferguson
Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment & Chemistry
 Grant Murray
Associate Professor of Marine Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment & Duke Marine Lab
Dan Rittschof.jpg
Dan Rittschof 
Norm L. Christensen Professor of Environmental Science, Nicholas School of the Environment, Biology & Duke Marine Lab


Prerequisite: Writing 101

Recommended coursework: Intro to Biology, Intro to Chemistry

Program registration: Applications for Fall 2019 are open now (see links below). For more information, please contact Dr. Dana Hunt, dana.hunt@duke.edu or Duke Marine Lab Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies, Katie Wood (katie.wood@duke.edu). 

Course fee: $1,000; Duke provides additional grant aid to cover the cost of any course fee for all students receiving financial aid. The course fee is in addition to tuition, room and board. Contact Duke's Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support (finaid@duke.edu) for more information. 

Download the DukeImmerse application here

This information can also be found on the Duke Immerse website.