Congratulations to PhD student Anqi Jiao, who was chosen as the Solutions that Scale Graduate Fellow from Public Health. Ms. Jiao will be among a cohort of only seven other UCI scholars who were selected for this prestigious project. These fellowships are designed to support convergent research between two or more Schools to enable interdisciplinary approaches to scalable solutions to climate change. The award provides one year of support starting on July 1, 2021. She is studying for her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences and her advisor is Jun Wu, a professor of environmental health sciences at UCI Public Health.
“Being chosen for the Solutions that Scale Graduate Fellow is a great honor for me! I am passionate on conducting research on climate change and maternal and child health and plan to pursue an academia after my graduation, said Ms. Jiao. “I am very happy to receive this fellowship as it allows me to work with a multi-disciplinary team on finding and accelerating climate change solutions from a public health perspective.”
Ms. Jiao’s research, titled “Impact of Heat Exposure on Pregnancy Outcomes: Climate Adaptation by Modifiable Built Environment Factors,” will focus on extreme heat events that are expected to increase due to climate change. First, the project will examine heat exposures associated with preterm birth and severe maternal morbidity and the impact of climate adaptation factors, e.g. green space especially tree canopy and air conditioning use. Second, the study will also look at how climate adaptation factors could reduce preterm birth and severe maternal morbidity incidences, specifically identifying subpopulations that may benefit the most from adaptation interventions in southern California.
Finally, the researchers will conduct focus groups in the cities of Santa Ana, Irvine, and Riverside to identify how adaptation measures can be “scaled up” in future initiatives and plans. Researchers expect that the study will provide empirical evidence for policy makers and implementation scientists to direct interventions for climate change and adverse pregnancy outcomes.