Faculty and students in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences (EnHS) are active in a wide variety of nationally and internationally recognized multidisciplinary research, education and research centers, and training programs. 

Just some of the areas of expertise of our faculty include occupational health and safety, infectious disease, hazardous materials, occupational hygiene, exposures, toxicology, global health, air and water contaminants, health policy, cancer, foodborne illness, and health policy.

The EnHS Faculty Directory includes biographies, expertise, publications and other information for all division faculty.

Research Centers

Our division is home to many national research centers and training programs. Our faculty and students work jointly with other researchers at the University of Minnesota and throughout the world on multidisciplinary research projects. The research centers also award pilot project grants to support innovative research projects.

Learn more about the centers within our division.

Laboratory Facilities

Graduate students in Environmental Health Sciences have the opportunity to participate closely with faculty on research projects in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, as well as in field practice settings.

The Occupational Hygiene Laboratory, shared by the occupational hygiene core faculty, occupies 2,500 sq. ft. and is equipped with the latest instrumentation for measurement of gases, vapors, particulate matter, biological aerosols, noise, radiation, and hazardous materials.

The lab consists of a large room occupied by a wind tunnel, a filter tester, and two biological safety cabinets; a smaller room with a walk-in exposure chamber and two laboratory hoods; a wet-chemistry laboratory with work benches and another lab hood; and several smaller work, storage, and office spaces.

For aerosol research and measurements, the lab has condensation particle counters for measuring nanoparticle concentrations, nephelometers for measuring aerosol mass concentrations, diffusion chargers capable of measuring surface area concentrations, instruments for measuring particle size distributions, samplers for collecting biological aerosols, and numerous gravimetric samplers and cascade impactors. To analyze filter samples, microbalances and microscopes are present.

The lab owns equipment for gas and vapor sampling, including direct reading instruments for measuring ammonia and hydrogen sulfide concentrations and concentrations of organic vapors. The lab also has typical occupational hygiene devices such as flow calibrators, sampling and vacuum pumps, Dräger pumps and tubes, noise dosimeters, velometers, manometers, pressure gauges, pitot tubes, and centrifugal fans. Equipment is available for generating different kinds of gases, vapors, and aerosols for experiments.

The Toxicology Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art tissue culture facilities, high-speed centrifuge, rotors, microfuges, speed vac, environmental shaker, visible and UV spectrophotometer, fluorimeter, luminometer polymerase chain reaction (PCR), liquid scintillation counter, dark room, electrophoresis and electroblotting equipment for protein and nucleic acid purification, BioRad Econo System, and chromatography cabinet for doing work at four degrees Centigrade.

The Environmental Chemistry Laboratory is equipped with extraction and processing equipment for trace analysis of environmental samples. The lab includes three GC/MS, one LC/MS, a GC/ECD, and a scintillation counter.

Current laboratory research focuses on understanding the processes that govern organic toxicant behavior in the aquatic environment. Fundamental research in the laboratory is also conducted to develop and test hypotheses of chemical behavior in the “real world.”

The Environmental Chemistry Laboratory participates in a large multiagency effort that is developing a model for use in the Great Lakes that describes toxic chemical behavior. Additional projects concentrate on the relative roles of atmospheric versus nonatmospheric sources of chemicals to the Great Lakes and the state of Minnesota, to aid in the management and regulation of the ecosystem.

Funded Research Projects by Faculty

Bruce Alexander Faculty Page

Combat Wound Infection Evidence Based Medicine (CWI-EBM)
Funding Source: Henry Jackson Foundation / DOD prime
10/1/2023 – 9/30/2027

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
Funding Source: MN Pollution Control Agency
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2024

Susan Arnold Faculty Page

The Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research Activities for Assessing and Controlling Contaminants from Emerging Technologies (InTERACCT) Program
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

The Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2025

Jeff Bender Faculty Page

One Health Collaborations to Combat Antimicrobial-Resistant Infections
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health / CDC Prime
9/3/2019 – 7/31/2024

Pathegenomic Centers of Excellence (PGCoE) – Project 4
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health / CDC Prime
10/16/2023 – 8/31/2025

Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH)
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
9/30/2016 – 9/29/2024

Jesse Berman Faculty Page

Identifying Public Health Applications of Satellite-derived Drought Indicators: Improved Monitoring for Respiratory Health
Funding Source: University of Nebraska / NASA Prime
5/13/2022 – 5/12/2025

Health Trends Across Communities (HTAC)
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health
8/1/2022 – 3/31/2024

The 10,000 Families Cohort: A new study to understand the environmental causes of cancer
Funding Source: NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI)
9/1/2023 – 8/31/2027

Dana Carroll Faculty Page

Development and Pilot Testing of a Culturally-tailored Smartphone-delivered Intervention for Commercial Smoking Cessation in American Indians
Funding Source: NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI)
9/1/2021 – 8/31/2024

Laying the Foundation for Personalized Smoking Cessation Treatment in the America Indian Population
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
8/3/2020 – 2/28/2025

Craig W. Hedberg Faculty Page

Metrics, Outbreak Evaluation, Scholarships, and Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence (CoE) Activities
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health / CDC prime
9/30/2019 – 7/31/2024

MN Prepared
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health / CDC prime
3/11/2022 – 6/30/2024

Pathogenomic Centers of Excellence (PGCoE) – Project 7
Funding Source: Minnesota Department of Health / CDC Prime
10/16/2023 – 8/31/2025

George Maldonado Faculty Page

Global Epidemiology Journal
Funding Source: Elsevier, Inc
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2024

Jonathan Oliver Faculty Page

Tick Immune Signaling, Microbiota, and Acquisition of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma
Funding Source: University of Maryland / NIH Prime
7/13/2018 – 6/30/2024

New tools for tick-borne pathogen surveillance
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
12/8/2022 – 11/30/2027

Peter C. Raynor Faculty Page

Micro-Nano Technologies Education Center (MNT-EC)
Funding Source: Pasadena City College / NSF Prime
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2025

Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
8/1/2020 – 5/31/2024

Matt C. Simcik Faculty Page

Developing a Predictive Understanding of PFAS Bioaccumulation with Environmental Complexity: Application to the Model Benthic Invertebrate Hyalella azteca and the Common Fish Model Pimephales promelas
Funding Source: Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (DOD-SERDP)
8/2/2019 – 8/1/2024

In Situ PFAS Sequestration in AFFF Contaminated Groundwater
Funding Source: Department of Defense (DOD)
9/30/2020 – 9/29/2025

Gillian Tarr Faculty Page

Phylodynamics of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli from Local Sources
Funding Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
5/2/2022 – 4/30/2027

Elizabeth Wattenberg Faculty Page

MPH Scholarship Program
Funding Source: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
9/30/2022 – 9/29/2025

Research Center Projects

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is an outreach program under the Division of Environmental Sciences that helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
Funding Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2025
The goal of this project is to assist Minnesota Businesses with pollution prevention and waste management information, facilitate implementation of improved practices through on-site assistance, provide referral for compliance with environmental regulations and minimize transfer of pollutants from one environment to another.

Currently funded projects under MnTAP include:

Protecting Minnesota Water Resources through Non-Metro Industrial Conservation
Funding Source: Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)
8/31/2021 – 6/30/2024

PFAS Pollution Prevention for MN Manufacturing Industries
Funding Source: MN Pollution Control Agency
11/21/2022 – 9/30/2025

Pollution Prevention for MN Food Beverage Manufacturing
Funding Source: MN Pollution Control Agency
11/21/2022 – 9/30/2025

Water Conservation Intern Project
Funding Source: MN Metropolitan Council
5/22/2014 – 12/31/2025

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is one of eleven Centers of Excellence in Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) throughout the United States. UMASH is a collaboration of five leading research and health care institutions in the Upper Midwest region. This collaboration brings together unique and complimentary expertise to address existing and emerging occupational health and safety issues in agriculture.

Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH)
Funding Source: NIH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
9/30/2011 – 9/29/2024
Principal Investigator / UMASH Director: Dr. Jeff Bender

View current and past research projects on the UMASH website at

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