About the Program

The Boston University Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health (“BU URBAN”) is an NSF-funded research traineeship (NRT) that trains Ph.D. students in Biogeoscience, Environmental Health, Statistics, and Data Sciences to address urban environmental challenges. This NRT program prepares Ph.D. students to tackle the major environmental problems confronting cities using an interdisciplinary approach that fuses Biogeoscience and Environmental Health, with an emphasis on data analysis, field research methods, and engagement and communication with policy makers, the private sector, and the broader community.

Trainees design research projects whose results are scientifically transformative and useful for decision-makers. Topics are interdisciplinary and include, but are not limited to, assessments of greenhouse gas emissions, evaluation of air and water pollution, and understanding the threats to human health from urban heat waves or other extreme weather events. As part of the Boston University Graduate Program in Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health, trainees participate in workshops and are embedded in cities through internships with government offices, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and/or the private sector.

Core participating faculty from the Biogeoscience Program (Departments of Biology and Earth & Environment) have expertise in biogeochemistry in terrestrial and aquatic systems, microbial and plant ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, biogeophysics, and remote sensing. Core participating faculty from the Department of Environmental Health have expertise in epidemiology, exposure science, risk assessment, and toxicology, with applications that span air pollution and climate change, chemicals in soil, water and food, as well as non-chemical hazards such as noise, heat, and social stressors.

See program requirements or review the trainee handbook for more detailed information.

For a student perspective on BU URBAN and how we help students bridge the gap between disciplines, watch this video of trainee Sean Mueller!