The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services promotes public health through statewide programs to increase public awareness of environmental and occupational health hazards.

The bureau consists of a diverse team of more than 60 experts in the fields of environmental remediation, outreach, radiation safety, toxicology, epidemiology and occupational safety. The bureau staff provide hundreds of consultations to local health departments and Wisconsin residents annually, track environmental disease, assess environmental cleanup projects and ensure the safety of our medical radiation equipment.

Student projects typically involve analysis of existing datasets, but may also involve original investigations or case study summaries. Projects should be aimed at improving the health of Wisconsin residents through an improved understanding of environmental causes of disease, better characterization of environmental exposure, or improved outreach methods.

Projects offer interns an opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas including:

  • Survey development
  • Subject recruitment
  • GIS mapping
  • Biostatistics
  • Grant writing
  • Grant management
  • Community outreach
  • Public health management

Applicants should have excellent technical writing and communication skills as well as a background in public health.

The Climate and Health Program

The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health's Hazard Assessment Section is seeking a MPH intern to work in the Climate and Health Program, which manages the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) grant.

The Wisconsin DHS began its Climate and Health Program in 2012 when it was awarded a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) grant to study and prepare for anticipated climatic effects on the public’s health. The projects's goal is to enhance the statewide capacity of DHS to assess, prepare for and effectively respond to climate and extreme weather events and reduce or prevent related negative health effects to Wisconsin’s residents.

The Wisconsin Climate and Health Program seeks to expand partnerships, provide expertise, foster collaboration and develop strategies that will address health risk factors related to severe weather event indicators.

The Climate and Health Program seeks a qualified MPH intern to assist with one or more of the following projects as time and scheduling permits:

  • Creation and dissemination of educational materials to local public health, emergency management and other target populations regarding vectorborne diseases, flooding vulnerability and heat/pollen/respiratory health
  • Co-facilitation and implementation of a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) for a heat event
  • Facilitation and growth of the external Health Equity Action Team (HEAT)
  • Other duties as needed and if desired, depending on project needs and intern qualifications

An ideal candidate would have strong writing and organizational skills, a great deal of attention to detail, and be a self-starter.

Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

The Environmental Public Health Tracking Program is located within the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health's Environmental Epidemiology and Surveillance section. The tracking program began in 2002, its first year of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The tracking program compiles data on multiple environmental- and health-related topics and makes them available on a public portal and in other resources the program develops. Some data topics include:

  • Air quality
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Childhood lead poisoning
  • Lyme disease
  • Water quality

The program connects with local public health departments, academia, Wisconsin residents and others to share these data with the goal that data are used to make positive public health changes in communities throughout Wisconsin. Student project opportunities include:

  • Assisting epidemiologists with data preparation for inclusion on our public portal
  • Exploring data on a topic in depth, leading to a surveillance brief
  • Facilitating or assisting with usability testing of public portal and write up findings
  • Other duties as needed

An ideal candidate would have a high degree of attention to detail, some analytical skills and experience with SAS statistical software, and be a self-starter.