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Smoky Skies Ahead: How to Reduce Indoor Smoke Exposure to Improve Public Health during Wildfire Season
September 16, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT
A history of limited forest management and a hotter planet is leading to more frequent and catastrophic wildfires. While this underscores the importance of finding solutions to contain fires, the reality is that we must also learn to adapt better to their associated health threats.
In this month’s Midday Science Cafe, you’ll meet two scientists who are dedicated to understanding wildfire health risks and improving public health protection. Berkeley Lab scientist Dr. Jacob Bueno de Mesquita examines the patterns of inhalation exposure from wildfire smoke and the associated effects on population health. He will provide a framework for understanding how the burden of wildfire-related health threats is inequitable across exposed communities and suggest ways for public health action to address this urgent crisis. UC Berkeley scientist Dr. Stephanie M. Holm focuses her research on one of the communities particularly vulnerable to wildfire smoke: children. She will discuss how indoor air quality interventions and mask and respirator use can protect children from wildfire smoke exposure. Registration is required.
Dr. Stephanie M. Holm, MD PhD MPH
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Dr. Stephanie Holm received her medical degree in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh, and is board certified in both pediatrics and occupational/environmental medicine (trained at Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland and University of California San Francisco, respectively). She also completed a year of pediatric pulmonary training at Oakland before leaving to further pursue her interests in pediatric research and pediatric environmental medicine. As part of her work with the Region 9 PEHSU, she has reviewed literature relevant to disinfectants in early care and education environments and related to wildfire smoke exposures. Dr. Holm completed an MPH in epidemiology at UC Berkeley in 2017 and a PhD in epidemiology in 2021 while continuing her research activities.
Dr. Jacob Bueno de Mesquita
Postdoctoral Researcher, Indoor Environment Group, Berkeley Lab
Jacob Bueno de Mesquita is an environmental health epidemiologist. He dedicated much of his doctoral and postdoctoral study to quantifying modes of influenza transmission, characterizing viral shedding (including SARS-CoV-2 virus) in exhaled breath aerosols, and identifying contagious biomarkers. He has worked on an influenza human challenge-transmission trial and observational studies of acute respiratory infection in a campus community. Earlier he trained in basic biomedical science and global health at Georgetown, and joined CDC as a Public Health Associate where he contributed to emergency preparedness, immunization programs, and clinical public health service delivery. He joined Berkeley Lab as a postdoc to study ventilation and other engineering controls with the goals of mitigating pandemics, promoting well-being, and achieving greater harmony with the natural environment.