DMU student digs into climate change at the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Sasirekha “Sasi” Pandravada, D.O.’20, completed a seven-week internship at the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in Washington, DC, during July and August 2018. She was selected to participate in this internship as part of the Department of Global Health’s Distinguished Global Health Internships program. These internships are selective research opportunities that enable students to collaborate with researchers to explore global health research topics at various national organizations.

Sasi Pandravada

The USGCRP is a coordinating group working with 13 different agencies on issues related to climate change. Sasi worked with the interagency cross-cutting group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG) on a project to evaluate how and to what extent climate and health researchers and practitioners utilize federal data resources. She describes the project goal as “to capture earth observations (temperature, precipitation, humidity observations, etc.) used by health researchers to both optimize the communication and usage of those data for the health community and also optimize the documentation of usefulness of earth observations data for societal benefit.” 

The project is still ongoing, and although she’s no longer in DC, Sasi is continuing her work on it.

In addition to the Earth Observation for Data Extraction Project, she had the opportunity to work with a medical professional who works for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the field of climate change. This project aimed to address and narrow the gap in knowledge of data use of climate and health practitioners and researchers.

During her time at the USGCRP, Sasi had the opportunity to think beyond what she has learned in medical school. She was able to interact with policy academics from MIT, Microsoft and NASA and hear their perspectives in their areas of expertise.

“My internship with the USGCRP was very fulfilling to say the least,” she says. “I will be continuing my project on the Earth Observation for Health Data Extraction Project for the next month or so to complete the manuscript into a possible publication. So, as I continue with this project, I am very thankful for the opportunity that DMU gave me to have this experience!” 

Are you a DMU student interested in the internship at the USGCRP or one of the other Distinguished Global Health internships? The application for the Distinguished Global Health internships for 2019 will open on Nov. 5, 2018. For more information and how to apply, please visit the Department of Global Health’s website. If you have any questions, please contact the department at globalhealth@dmu.edu.