Climate Change Health Impacts on Vulnerable Populations

Tuesday 1:30pm-2:40pm
Share-a-thon Part of Tuesday


Sabrina Brown, Defiance College


Physical and digital materials for this activity and general discussion of its effectiveness during the share-a-thon.


In this jigsaw activity, students identify the populations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change health impacts and distinguish why environmental issues disproportionately affect these vulnerable populations. The lesson begins with a brief discussion to define environmental justice. Then, students divide into specialist groups, each with a focus on a different population of individuals particularly vulnerable to climate change related health impacts. Finally, students switch into new groups consisting of one expert from each of the specialist groups. In these new groups, each specialist share about their vulnerable population and the students make connections, as well as discuss why environmental health issues disproportionately affect these populations.


This activity is used in introductory environmental science lecture to initiate conversation about climate and environmental justice.

Why It Works

This activity is particularly effective because it encourages students to consider the vulnerable populations in their town, city, and state, as well as make connections about environmental justice.