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Confronting our Climate Grief in the time of COVID-19 Presentation & Resources

On May 7, 2020, Dr. Natalie Sampson, Assistant Professor of Public Health at UM-Dearborn, led an online workshop for CEW+ discussing the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on our collective grief. She shared strategies on coping, including confronting and validating our fears, identifying ways our community or professional work may be affected and discussed tools and resources for building resiliency.

Click this link to view the full recorded presentation.

Below you will also find links shared by Dr. Sampson during the workshop, presentation slides, and a resource guide for your reference.

Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act
Union of Concerned Scientists – Take Action
Presentation Slides
Resource Guide

Workshop Description: In 2017, the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica published, “Mental Health and our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance.” In October 2018, the U.N. released a report warning that without “unprecedented” political actions, we will likely see catastrophic climate conditions by 2040. In 2019, the first cases of COVID-19 were documented and the World Health Organization declared it an Emergency of International Concern in January 2020. Both COVID-19 and climate change are disastrous for humanity, and the poorest members of society remain most vulnerable at the intersection of these global emergencies. Our collective grief is real, particularly as the climate crisis is largely beyond any individual’s ability to control, and there is much uncertainty about how we will re-emerge from this pandemic. As a scholar studying environmental health, Sampson has sought emerging strategies in hopes of coping with climate grief. In this workshop, together we will: 1) confront and validate our biggest fears related to climate change and COVID-19, 2) identify ways our community or current professional work may be affected by climate change, and 3) discuss tools and resources for building resiliency in these uncertain times.

Natalie Sampson, White woman wearing glasses and a blue and green scarf around her neckPresenter: Natalie Sampson, PhD, MPH, CEW+ 2019 Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity & Social Change Award Winner
Natalie Sampson, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at UM-Dearborn, where she teaches courses in environmental health, community organizing, and health promotion. Grounded primarily in Southeast Michigan, she studies transportation and land use planning, stormwater infrastructure, vacant land reuse, and climate change planning efforts, particularly their implications for health. She applies participatory research approaches with diverse partners using a broad methodological toolkit, including photovoice, concept mapping, and health impact assessment. In 2017, Dr. Sampson received the American Public Health Association’s Rebecca Head Award, which recognizes “an outstanding emerging leader from the environmental field working at the nexus of science, policy, and environmental justice.” Dr. Sampson holds a Bachelor of Science from U of M’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment (now U-M SEAS), an MPH from the Portland State University, and a PhD from U-M’s School of Public Health.

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