Health, Sustainability, & Environmental Justice

 

Shahir Masri © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

​​Beyond my research at Harvard, I am an adjunct faculty at National University where I teach introductory level graduate courses on environmental health. I am also a contributing author to Johns Hopkins Water Institute Magazine and Cyprus Organics, as well as an active guest speaker for various groups and school campuses. Topics on which I speak range from occupational health, water contamination, and air pollution to leadership and sustainability. I believe that passion is the rocket fuel for success. Public speaking and teaching allows me to express my passion and potentially inspire others, while educating in the process.​ ​

My pursuit of environmental health science stems from my early independent interests in chemistry and environmental preservation, as well as a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of our natural world. My desire to protect the environment for the sake of its beauty and for posterity is matched by the importance of protecting it for the wellbeing of our own generation. We all eat, drink, and breathe from this earth. Whether we realize it or not, how we treat our environment determines how our environment treats us. That is, the more we pollute our air and waterways with toxic chemicals, the more we can expect such chemicals to find their way into our bodies and affect our health.
 
Environmental pollution is directly affected by every person on this planet, whether by our purchasing decisions, by our handling of trash, by the food we eat, or by our daily habits. Further, personal exposures can be greatly affected by certain personal care products, cooking techniques, furnishing materials as well as by a person's home and workplace environment. It is my goal to help people realize how simple changes in everyday behavior can translate to large differences in exposure to harmful chemicals. In doing so, I aim to instill an appreciation for the fragility of the environment and the importance of its preservation. I also strive to guide companies, industries, and nations down a path of reduced pollution and better environmental stewardship and sustainability. I believe it is the important responsibility of the present generation to meet our needs without compromise the ability of future generations to do the same. 

biography

I am currently an assistant specialist in air pollution exposure assessment and epidemiology  at the University of California, Irvine, and an environmental consultant to the Hoffman TILT Research and Education Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. I am a recent Doctor of Science graduate of the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I also hold a Master of Science degree from Harvard in the field of environmental health and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in the field of environmental science. My research concerns exposure to harmful air pollutants. Recently I helped develop novel predictive models to estimate particulate matter (PM) exposure among U.S. military personnel deployed to Southwest Asia and Afghanistan. At present, I am investigating the spatial and temporal distribution of gas-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the southern California region. 

​While understanding the science of pollution is of immense importance, understanding the implications of such science to policy is of equal necessity. Further, the ability to translate complex science into meaningful language to policy makers and the public is invaluable. With the skills I have obtained both academically and professionally, it is my ongoing goal to educate and consult on matters of environmental contamination, human health impact, and related policy.