Teach the Earth > Geology and Human Health

Geology and Human Health

Geology contributes in many ways to human health issues - in water and air quality and quantity, natural and anthropogenic health hazards, as a controlling factor in the epidemiology of water- and air-borne diseases, and in the development of public health policy. The interdisciplinary field of "medical geology" is therefore of increasing importance in education and to society at large.
A mosaic of images relating to geology and health


This site contains a variety of educational and supporting materials for faculty teaching in the emerging field of geology and human health. You will find links to internet resources, books, teaching activities, and a group email list, as well as posters, presentations and discussions from the spring 2004 workshop on Geology and Human Health. These resources reflect the contributions of faculty members from across the country and the collections will continue to grow as materials are developed.

Resources for Classroom, Lab, and Field

  • Internet Resources useful for teaching or designing courses and activities related to geology and human health. Resources include data, images, animations, activities, literature and references.
  • Teaching Activities including all supporting materials for ready-to-use classroom activities.
  • Visualizations that can be useful in teaching concepts related to geology and human health.
  • Bookshelf which provides an extensive list of popular books recommended by the geoscience and health communities that may be useful in teaching about the relationships between earth science, public health, and public policy.
Please contribute a resource and help us continue to expand these collections.

Resources for Educators

  • Essential components of geology and human health for designing courses or curricular activities.
  • Posters about both geologic and medical influences and impacts on human health, presented by participants of the 2004 workshop on Geology and Human Health.
  • National Research Council (PowerPoint 54kB May14 04) report on assessment of current interfaces between geology and medicine and plans for future research and funding initiatives.

Materials from the 2004 Workshop on Geology and Human Health


In the spring of 2004, more than 40 geoscience educators, researchers, and leaders in related fields of public health, policy, and medicine came together to discuss contemporary issues related to teaching geology and human health. The workshop explored current instructional practices and made plans towards the widespread implementation of topics related to geology and human health in undergraduate geoscience courses. View the workshop program to download presentations, working group summaries, and other supporting materials. Also review the collection of posters of current research and teaching activities by workshop participants.

Get Involved

  • Contribute Materials: We encourage faculty to contribute course descriptions, teaching activities, and references to continue to build our collections. We rely on community contributions to keep these collections up-to-date and comprehensive to support the teaching efforts of the community.
  • Email lists: Join the Geology and Health email list. Take part in discussions with colleagues who teach those topics. We encourage you to post queries, float an idea, share resources.... If you subscribe to the lists, you can also access the Geology and Human Health list archives.
  • Join the GSA Geology and Health Division. Stay connected with colleagues who do research and teach about the breadth of topics related to geology and human health. Take a look at the GHD Newsletters 2005-2012 to get an overview of the Division's activities, resources, and membership.
  • Check out the Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Medical Geology held August 23-29, 2013, Arlington VA. View the list of technical sessions and the technical program and abstracts (organized by daily sessions).

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