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The UAB School of Public Health’s Commitment to Sustainability

At the UAB School of Public Health, we are committed to implementing principles from the campus-wide UAB Sustainability Strategic Plan, embedding sustainability as a fundamental value at the university through the development of sustainability literacy, solutions, and leadership. UAB students, faculty, and staff are committed to taking an influential role as responsible stewards of our resources and communities, and to using educational, operational, and research activities to promote global thinking and local action.

The School of Public Health’s Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives


UAB’s expanding undergraduate sustainability curriculum engages academic disciplines and multidisciplinary programs to prepare our students to become environmentally and socially responsible global citizens. The SOPH degree programs offer the most robust sustainability curriculum at UAB, at both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels. In addition, the SOPH offers individual courses across the curriculum with content related to sustainability:

  • GHS 320: Global Health Service Learning
  • PUH 201: Introduction to Public Health
  • PUH 202: Introduction to Global Health
  • PUH 204: Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health
  • PUH 210: Agent, Host, Environment
  • PUH 220: Environmental Factors in Public Health
  • PUH 322: Environmental Justice and Ethics
  • PUH 333: Food, Water, and Air
  • PUH 399: Sustainability and Public Health
  • PUH 421: Nature vs. Nurture: Genes, Environment and Health
  • ENH 660: Fundamentals of Air and Water Pollution


The SOPH hosts many seminars each semester that typically include food for attendees. In planning and hosting these events, we strive to embrace the principles of UAB Sustainability’s Green Events Guide by utilizing low-waste food vendors, encouraging attendees to bring reusable water bottles and cutlery, and placing recycling bins in the room.

The Ryals Zero Waste Pilot Program

The UAB School of Public Health is proud to launch the Ryals Zero Waste Initiative, a pilot effort at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), to develop sustainable waste protocols among faculty, staff, and students, and to ultimately assist in reducing landfill waste from the Ryals School of Public Health building. New waste protocols supporting the Ryals Zero Waste Initiative will occur in two phases, in alignment with UAB Sustainability Strategic Plan and with support from UAB Facilities. The Point of Contact for this project is Julie Price: juliegp@uab.edu.


The SOPH Sustainability Committee meets quarterly to discuss new ideas for efforts within the school. The committee includes faculty, staff, and student representatives so all members of our community have a voice.

Sustainability Ambassadors

Each year, the SOPH has several individuals serving the UAB Faculty and Staff Sustainability Ambassadors Program. In addition, each year a new cohort of students serve the UAB Sustainability Student Ambassador Program. These direct links to the UAB Sustainability program keep our school at the forefront of idea exchange with university leadership for sustainability.

Student Organizations

Several organizations at UAB foster engagement and community building for sustainability. Green Thumb is among these and is advised by Dr. Mariam Karimi in the SOPH. Green Thumb is dedicated to educating students, staff, and faculty on best practices for sustainability through practice that benefits the campus community, primarily including the harvesting of fresh garden produce.

Alternative Transportation

Centrally located on UAB’s campus, the Ryals building supports all modes of transportation for our faculty, staff, and students. With plentiful bike racks , Blazer Express stop just steps from our front door, and central location for walking around campus, choosing to walk, bike, or ride the bus is easy! We also host lockers for students who need a place to store personal items and move around campus a little lighter!

Learn more about UAB’s Sustainability across campus.


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