The training grant sponsors a bi-monthly seminar series. Running consecutively for the last 22 years, this seminar series provides a valuable forum where students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and faculty from Biostatistics and other Departments at the Harvard School of Public Health can discuss cutting-edge quantitative issues in environmental health research. Speakers in the series include faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows from Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Environmental Health, and prominent experts from outside the University. Speakers from outside Harvard over the past two years have included David Savitz, Professor of Community Health and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brown University, who presented "Methodologic Issues in the Study of Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes" and Richard Smith, Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor, Department of Statistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who presented "Radial Basis Functions for Multipollutant Analysis. Biostatistics students may obtain academic credit for attending the series by signing up with the Training Director or one of the Co-directors, and agreeing to complete additional readings on topics related to the seminars in a given term.
Annual Environmental Statistics Retreat
In addition to the seminar series, the Department sponsors an annual day-long retreat workshop on environmental statistics. The workshop consists of work-in-progress presentations made by pre- and postdoctoral trainees as well as keynote talks presented by either an internationally-renowned environmental biostatistician or a faculty member from the HSPH Department of Environmental Health or Epidemiology. This format is effective in generating interest in and commitment to environmental health issues among the trainees, as the environmental presentations often entice one or more of our younger trainees just embarking on their dissertation research to work on a problem described in one of these talks. All trainees are required to attend the retreat. In October 2012, we will conduct our 15th annual symposium.
Environmental Statistics Symposia
Every year or two Environmental Statistics faculty organize one- to two-day symposiums on a particular topic that requires longer discussion that that provided by an hour seminar. For instance, this year, Dr. Francesca Dominici organized a one-day symposium held on April 30, 2012 focusing on issues centered around use of the Medicare database for use in environmental health research, specifically health effects of air pollution and climate change. The symposium included presentations by students, faculty, and fellows from Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and NC State University. Environmental statistics trainees Jennifer Bobb, Cory Zigler, Andrew Correia, and Matt Cefalu all presented their research at this symposium. Dr. Coull organized a national one-day symposium on "Emerging Statistical Issues in Air Pollution Health Effects Research" that was held on June 20, 2012. At this symposium, researchers from University of Washington, Emory University, University of Michigan, and the EPA will present and participate in expert panel discussions. Dr. Xihong Lin directs the planning of the annual national symposium of the School's Program in Quantitative Genomics (HSPH PQG).