Howard Frumkin, DrPH, MPH, MD

Howard Frumkin is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he served as Dean from 2010-2016. He is an internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist, who has worked in academia and public service. From 2005 to 2010 he held leadership roles at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first as director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR), and later as Special Assistant to the CDC Director for Climate Change and Health. During his tenure NCEH/ATSDR created programs in Climate Change and in Healthy Community Design; launched training programs for college students, doctoral students, and post-docs; expanded its Biomonitoring and Environmental Public Health Tracking programs; and launched its National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. From 1990 to 2005, he was Professor and Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Emory Medical School.

Dr. Frumkin’s research interests include public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, and nature contact. He currently serves on the Boards of the Bullitt Foundation and the Seattle Parks Foundation, on the NASEM Committee on Measuring Community Resilience, as Chair of the Wellcome Trust “Our Planet, Our Health” Funding Committee, on the Steering Committee of the Planetary Health Alliance (Harvard University), and on advisory committees to the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (Columbia University), the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health (George Mason University), and the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (University of Toronto). In past years he served on the Boards of the US Green Building Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), the Children and Nature Network (including a term as Chair), the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, the National Environmental Education Foundation, the American Public Health Association (as Chair of APHA’s Science Board), the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) (including a term as President), and the Washington Global Health Alliance.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of over 200 scientific journal articles, chapters, and books, including the standard environmental health textbook, Environmental Health: From Global to Local.

Dr. Frumkin is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Collegium Ramazzini and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He loves cycling, kayaking, and hiking.  He is married to radio journalist Joanne Silberner, and has two children.

Contact Information

University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-4695
Tel: 206-897-1723


  • Center for Health and the Global Environment (<a href="">Center for Health and the Global Environment</a><br /><br /><a href="">Center for Creative Conservation</a>)

Research Interests

  • Public health aspects of the built environment. Climate change. Energy policy. Nature contact.

In the News

Teaching interests

Environmental health survey course; sustainability and health.


DrPH, Epidemiology, Harvard University, 1993
MPH, Occupational Health, Harvard University, 1982
MD, Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 1982
AB, Science and Society, Brown University, 1977


Research on health benefits of wilderness hiking for Veterans with PTSD.

Research on climate-induced migration.

Research on urban heat preparedness plans.

Selected Publications

Books and journal issues

Frumkin H, Frank L, Jackson RJ. Urban Sprawl and Public Health. Washington: Island Press, 2004. Named a Top Ten Book of 2005 by Planetizen, the Planning and Development Network.

Packard R, Brown P, Berkelman R, Frumkin H, Eds. Emerging Illnesses and Society: Negotiating the Public Health Agenda. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Frumkin H, Geller R, Rubin IL, Eds. Safe and Healthy School Environments. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Frumkin H, Coussens C. Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment and Economics. Washington: National Academies Press, 2007.

Frumkin H, McMichael AM, Guest Editors, special issue on Climate Change and Human Health. Am J Prev Med 2008;35(5).

Dannenberg A, Frumkin H, Jackson RJ. Making Healthy Places: A Built Environment for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability. Washington: Island Press, 2011.

Frumkin H, Ed. Environmental Health: From Global to Local. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2005. Winner of the Association of American Publishers 2005 Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing in Allied/Health Sciences. Second edition published 2010. Spanish edition (Salud Ambiental: De lo Global a lo Local) published 2010 by Pan-American Health Organization. Third edition published 2016.

Journal articles

Frumkin H. Across the water and down the ladder: Workers in the global economy. Occup Med State of the Art Rev 1999;14:637-64.

Frumkin H, Walker ED, Friedman-Jiménez G. Minority workers and communities. Occup Med State of the Art Rev 1999;14:495-518.

Frumkin H. Beyond toxicity: The greening of environmental health. Am J Prev Med 2001;20:234-40.

Frumkin H, Williams PL, Pierce P, Sanders A, Elon L, Manning CC, Woods JS, Hertzberg VS, Mueller P, Taylor BB. Diagnostic chelation of former mercury workers with dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer). Environ Health Persp 2001;109:167-71.

Frumkin H. Urban sprawl and public health. Public Health Reports 2002;117(3):201-17.

Dannenberg AL, Jackson RJ, Frumkin H, Schieber RA, Pratt M, Kochtitzky C, Tilson HH. The impact of community design and land use choices on public health: A scientific research agenda. Am J Public Health 2003;93(9):1500-08.

Peel JL, Tolbert PE, Klein M, Metzger KB, Flanders WD, Todd K, Mulholland JA, Ryan PB, Frumkin H. Ambient air pollution and respiratory emergency department visits in Atlanta, 1993-2000. Epidemiology 2005;16(2):164-74.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Vindigni S. Peak petroleum and public health. JAMA 2007;298:1688-1690.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Vindigni S. Energy and public health: The challenge of peak petroleum. Public Health Rep 2009;124:5-19.

Frumkin H, McMichael AJ. Climate change and public health: Thinking, communicating, acting. Am J Prev Med 2008;35:403-10.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Luber G, Malilay J, McGeehin M. The public health response to climate change. Am J Public Health 2008;98:435-45.

Friel S, Bowen K, Campbell-Lendrum D, Frumkin H, McMichael AJ, Rasanathan K. Climate change, noncommunicable diseases, and development: The relationships and common policy opportunities. Annu Rev Public Health 2011;32:133-49.

Stone B, Hess J, Frumkin H. Urban form and extreme heat events: Are sprawling cities more vulnerable to climate change than compact cities? Environ Health Persp 2010;118:1425–1428.

Richardson EA, Mitchell R, Hartig T, de Vries S, Astell-Burt T, Frumkin H. Green cities and health: A question of scale? J Epidemiol Comm Health 2012;66(2):160-65.

Frumkin H, Fried L, Moody HR. Aging, climate change, and legacy thinking. Am J Public Health 2012;102:1434-38.

Smith KR, Frumkin H, Balakrishnan K, et al. Energy and human health. Ann Rev Public Health 2013;34:25.1-25.30.

Hartig T, Mitchell R, de Vries S, Frumkin H.  Nature and health.  Ann Rev Public Health 2014;35:207-28.

Graedel TE, Anex R, Carroll W, Daigger GT, Ferrão P, Frumkin H, et al.  Sustainability for the nation: Resource connections and governance linkages.  Environ Science Technol 2014:48:7197–99.

Patz JA, Frumkin H, Holloway TA, Haines AP.  Climate change:  Challenges and opportunities for global health. JAMA 2014;312:1565-80.

Frumkin H.  Work that matters: Consequential environmental epidemiology.  Epidemiol 2015;2:137-40.

Whitmee S, Haines A, Beyrer C, Boltz F, Capon AG, de Souza Dias BF, Ezeh A, Frumkin H, et al. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. Lancet 2015;386:1973-2028.

Ebi KL, Frumkin H, Hess JJ. Protecting and promoting human health in the Anthropocene. Anthropocene 2017; 19:1-12.

Frumkin H, Bratman GN, Breslow SJ, Cochran B, Kahn PH Jr, Lawler JJ, Levin PS, Tandon PS, Varanasi U, Wolf K, Wood SA. Nature contact and human health: A research agenda. Environ Health Persp. 2017; DOI 10.1289/EHP1663.

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