Students for One Health hopes their upcoming conference will inspire University of Connecticut students and faculty to adapt and create a healthier world, Madison Britting, co-conference director and sixth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said.
The One Health conference will be taking place Saturday Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Student Union, Murphy Kenny, co-conference director and sixth-semester physiology and neurobiology major, said. The main topic of discussion will be explaining the philosophy of One Health, along with worldwide issues and possible solutions.
“One Health is the idea that human, environment and animal health are all interconnected and affect one another,” Murphy said. “If one suffers, they all suffer.”
There will be two guest speakers, Britting said. The first speaker is Rob Werner, the New Hampshire State Director for the League of Conservation Voters and Energy and Environment Advisory committee member on the Concord City Council. The second speaker is Dr. Sandra Bushmich, the associate dean of academic programs for the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.
“[Werner] will be talking about climate change impacts, public health and the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy at 10:30 a.m.,” Britting said. “[Bushmich] will be talking about a One Health view of tick-borne diseases in Connecticut at 2:30 p.m.”
In addition to the guest speakers, there will be four workshops throughout the day, Kenny said. These workshops include a DIY pick-your-scent laundry detergent, recycling games, flower pot decorating and a “Solutions Room.” She said that these workshops will help provide easy solutions that help create a healthier planet.
Britting said that the DIY laundry detergent workshop highlights the idea that everyday products that appear harmless aren’t quite as they seem.
“For the DIY laundry detergent workshop, students will be provided the ingredients and a recycled jar to make laundry detergent that is safer for the environment, animals, and us,” Britting said. “Regular store-bought laundry detergent has harmful chemicals that can cause health problems, don’t biodegrade and contaminate our water supplies, rivers and oceans, creating algal blooms that can starve fish and plants from oxygen.”
There will be an ongoing art project that attendees can help decorate, Kenny said. It will be placed in the CAHNR building after the event.
From 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be student organizations and research teams presenting “their particular niche of One Health,” Britting said.
“This will provide a space for conference attendees to explore on their own and possibly spark a new interest in a One Health-related field,” she said.
Both Britting and Murphy encourage all undergraduates, graduates and faculty to attend this free event. Britting said she hopes the conference will make an impact.
“This very important ideology is popular in countries throughout the world, but has not taken off in the United States yet, so we are hoping this conference will spread the word,” Britting said.
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.