Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

CEHHS Student Kristen Mehl Leads Science Learning at Environmental Interpretive Center's, "Owl Prowl"

UM-Dearborn BGS-Children and Families major Kristen Mehl was one of the  leaders for an "owl prowl"  for a group of Young Naturalists (ages 9-12) who come to the Environmental Interpretive Center once-a-month, through the seasons, for outdoor learning experiences. Mehl started working at the EIC in September due to a love of the natural world and teaching children about it as well as herself.  She says she was fortunate enough to be asked by Mary Fastiggi to help her lead the program. This was the second session for the Young Naturalists, the first being in October.

Mehl recounted her experiences in the “owl prowl”: “So myself, along with three other staff members Mary, Elizabeth and Jennifer took a group of about thirty children and some parents out on the trails behind the EIC to call for owls. The children come once a month for outdoor learning experiences that really help them connect with nature in a way they probably have not experienced previously. This particular night was the "owl prowl." Before we hit the trails, we talked about the different types of owls we would be looking and listening for, along with their particular adaptations that allow them to be nocturnal. This ranged from silent flight, large eyes, sharp talons, and camouflage. After the short talk, we headed out to the trails and used an IPhone App and IPad app  to call for Saw-Whet owls, Eastern Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls. We tried calling in the Saw-Whet and Screech Owls, as they are prey for the Great Horned. We didn't experience much luck with hearing them, which is usually uncommon. There is usually a lot of success hearing Eastern Screech Owls. It was getting very cold, as we were out from 7-8:30pm and we were becoming discouraged. Once we made it almost to Jensen's Meadow, we started calling for Great Horned Owls. We started hearing two Great Horned Owls calling to one another in the distance, so we continued walking toward the meadow. It is unclear who spotted the figure in the tree first, as it was a small blob, but we approached the tree further and sure enough, there was a football shaped owl in the tree noticed by the silhouette of the moon. All of the program attendees were able to see the owl and hear him call. Rick Simek believes there were two, a male and female, calling to one another for courtship as this is about the time these owls do so. The reason the photo is so grainy is because it was only taken in natural light provided by the moon and I needed to zoom in to get a clear shot of it, but boy was it spectacular! After we came in from the walk, I showed the children a picture of a Great Horned Owl in the daytime that I had recently taken at the Leslie Science and Nature Center so they could see exactly what they were looking at that evening. We then dissected Owl Pellets and called it a night.”

Mehl concludes by stating, “My experience in CEHHS has helped me gain strategies for becoming a better teacher, and allowed me to have an advantage when applying for environmental education positions because it is one thing to know science, but it is another to know how to teach it.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Student Highlight: Why You Should Consider Public Health or Community Health Education...

Hello! My name is Raymond Lynem and I am a senior at UM-Dearborn in the Health Policy Studies Program in the College of Arts, Sciences, & Letters. Throughout my time here I have developed an interest in the interdependent relationship of health systems and the overall health of populations. Whether it is studying the social determinants of health (e.g. income, environment, education) or comparing the outcomes of different segments of the population, these are all issues that call for the proper management of population health.

Ray LynemMy journey to the HPS program was somewhat indirect but has helped to give me a much better perspective on health care delivery and the current system utilized by the United States. Just a few years ago my intentions were to pursue a nursing degree with the hopes of becoming a nurse anesthetist. After a few science courses and gaining some very necessary experience within health care, my interests quickly shifted. Since starting my undergraduate degree, I have been privileged to work as a nursing assistant, perform research at the UM Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, and learn the importance of pathology in health care delivery as a lab assistant on California’s central coast. This past summer I also had the opportunity to intern at CHE Trinity Health in Livonia as a student in the University of Michigan Summer Enrichment Program (SEP).SEP provides students with the experience of a lifetime and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a career in public health. Each of these experiences have given me a unique perspective on the health care system and I hope to continue to build upon this moving forward.

aca.jpgUM-Dearborn, and the HPS program in particular, provides students with an opportunity to grow and expand upon a desire to help others through health care but on a broader level. The policies that government enacts have a large impact on the nation and it’s communities. One of the most recent examples of this is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which aims to create access to health care for millions of Americans that is both affordable and of good quality. With the ACA and the many other changes it will produce, the need for policy experts and health administrators cannot be overstated.

As we move forward, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on these issues with a unique focus on health inequities and population health. I hope to shed light on different aspects of health care and any new experiences I may have. I will also be writing about the activities of the Public Health Student Society (PHSS), a student club that all health students should consider joining as well as UM-Dearborn’s new Health and Human Services programs, Public Health and Community Health Education, while being joined by other student bloggers interested in spreading the word about public health!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Health and Human Services Chair in Legacy Magazine: A Marginalized Motor City

JULIE RODDY AND PAUL DRAUS KNOW their way around metropolitan Detroit.The University of Michigan-Dearborn professors walk through neighborhoods to speak with Detroiters about the rise of urban agriculture and whether farming can boost the city’s economy.

They talk with locals about the health consequences of medical marijuana.They establish relationships with southeast Michigan residents to discuss what factors led to the region’s rapid depopulation.

And they visit jails and substance abuse treatment centers to interview former street sex workers about the arduous recovery process these women face.Many of the research projects that Roddy and Draus have launched in recent years involve some of the region’s most vulnerable residents. Their efforts have highlighted the perspectives of people who often are ignored.

“We work with marginalized individuals who are most at risk,” said Roddy, chair of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services’ Department of Health and Human Services. “We target people who live in neighborhoods where they’re overexposed to the lures of drugs and illicit employment. Nobody aspires to grow up and live these sorts of lifestyles, but when it’s all around you, you’ve got to make a living somehow.”

One of the major factors impeding Detroit’s comeback is blight. Streets are littered with abandoned homes, while overgrown vegetation shrouds vacant lots with inoperable streetlights.A popular solution is urban agriculture. Many vacant lots in Detroit have been transformed into farms in recent years, so Roddy and Draus visited local neighborhoods to ask residents about the ongoing agricultural uptick and its potential economic impact.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Ronald, a local pastor who remains optimistic about Detroit’s comeback. “I believe that farming is one of the foundations of a community where everybody works to grow, maintain and then reap the benefits of a community garden. I don’t think you can go wrong.”Roddy and Draus also interviewed 100 street workers throughout Detroit to learn why these women turned to a life of prostitution. They followed many of these women from the time they were arrested through drug court and treatment.

“In Detroit, you see a lot of social exclusion,” said Draus, director of public policy and public administration at UM-Dearborn. “Our focus is on how the routes or trails to recovery help people transition from marginality to the mainstream.”

Read full Legacy Issue Here