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Miami Dade College
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Health: Connecting People, Place, Planet -Part 1


12 hours of Professional Development 
5.5 hours Face to Face,4 hours pre-workshop, 2.5 hours post-workshop assignment

Facilitated by Earth Ethics Institute Staff        

This workshop consists of four sessions, each is focused on the interconnection of human health with environmental and community health. In this workshop, participants will examine the roots of Western medicine and how it has evolved in an industrial society and will be encouraged to explore health as a dynamic relationship between humans and the environments in which they live. They will review where personal health and the environment intersect as well as how we define health and how that understanding informs our individual and collective well-being. The importance of food, diet and the global food systems impact on personal and community health will be discussed. An overview of toxic chemicals in our daily lives and the health risks associated with that exposure and the quality and safety of local tap water will be reviewed. This workshop will be taught as a group-facilitated discussion, and broken into four sessions. Each sessions readings will be supported by additional resources, including web resources, videos, and other suggested materials for use in the classroom. (This is part one of a two-part workshop series.)


-Describe how diseases can be corollaries of our civilization

-Analyze several definitions of health

-Identify how environment and human health intersect

-Describe the precautionary principle

-Connect the impacts of the industrial food system on personal, collective and ecological health

-Recognize hidden costs of ‘cheap” food

-Describe health impacts of food packaging

-Investigate toxic chemicals that are common in daily life and their health and environmental risks

-Identify ways of reducing exposure to toxins in consumer products

-Develop a curriculum component related to the relationship of human health and environmental health


Participants must attend ALL 4 sessions and complete all requirements to earn 12  FPD credits, partial credit will not be awarded.  Evaluation will include completion of assigned readings prior to sessions two through four - minimum of four hours – and completion of workshop.  Finally, participant must develop a discipline specific lesson plan or course module that incorporates key concepts of this workshop. Lesson plan is due to the director of Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the end of the workshop, and will be posted on the Earth Ethics webpage.


Colleen Ahern-Hettich has served as director of the Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) since 2004. Ms. Ahern-Hettich has served on several boards and committees including: Environmental Education Providers of Miami-Dade County, Advisory Committee of South Florida Environmental Art Project, Inc.; Economic, Social and Health Issues Committee of the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force, Be Healthy Board, and City of Miami Green Commission.

Mike Matthews has served as EEI Program Professional for InterAmerican Campus since 2012. Matthews holds an M.S. in environmental studies from Florida International University. He has taught on the faculty of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Marine and Ecological Sciences Department and as an adjunct professor at Florida International University.

Netiva Kolitz has served as EEI Program Professional at Kendall Campus since 2012. Ms. Kolitz holds a B.S. in Psychology, and has completed graduate course work in Environmental Studies and Education. She has more than 10 years of experience in program coordination, environmental education, and public outreach. Ms. Kolitz worked in the Education Department of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Alison Walker is EEI Program Professional at Wolfson Campus. She has worked in environmental education, community outreach, and professional development for more than 12 years as an adjunct professor, and at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the US Department of Agriculture. Ms. Walker received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Plant Sciences from University of Florida.

Stephen Nesvacil is EEI Program Professional at North Campus. Mr. Nesvacil served as Chaplain Emeritus at Unity on the Bay and developed and facilitated The Green Intention Workshop as part of a process to participate in the Unity Worldwide Ministries EarthCare Program. In addition, Nesvacil is certified to facilitate “The 21-Day Q Process,” an integrated cognitive shadow-work practice that weaves together the latest research emerging from neurobiology, developmental psychology, family systems theory, attachment theory, quantum science and perennial spiritual wisdom.



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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724