School of Public Health and Community Medicine - University of Washington - Winter 2008
60th Anniversary
Event Photos
The Jack Hatlen Scholarship Fund
Then & Now
Our Department's History
Challenging the Immune System
Discover Grant
Exposure Assessment
Continuing Education & Events
Conference Presentations
People & Places
Student Research Day
The Fine Print


More than 200 alumni and friends gathered March 6 to elebrate the 60th anniversay of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. This issue of Environmental Health News takes us down memory lane, and also describes new grants and initiatives as we move forward.


Jack Hatlen's career mirrors our department's history. He entered with the first undergraduate class in 1947. A few years after graduating, he returned and spent more than 45 years on our faculty. At 82, Hatlen is long since retired, but still maintains an office in our Roosevelt building as associate professor emeritus.

Hatlen, and the scholarship recently named for him, were honored at our department's 60th anniversary celebration on March 6. As the chart shows, our department has come a long way since its origins.

Initially, the curriculum consisted of courses in food and milk sanitation, industrial hygiene, vector control, and impacts of biological agents on human health. The students were undergraduates, though some classes were directed at medical students.

In 1957, the Bachelor's program in Sanitary Science was restructured and renamed Environmental Health. It offered two tracks, one for sanitarians and one for students who wanted to go on to graduate school.

In 1970, our department became part of the new School of Public Health and Community Medicine. The first dean, Tom Grayston, recalls a decade of rapid growth, especially in the graduate program.

Through the 1980s, our department grew to meet the needs of expanding graduate and research programs in occupational medicine, toxicology, industrial hygiene, and environmental health. The undergraduate program was restructured in the early 2000s around four interest areas—medical professions, biological sciences, physical sciences, and environmental health practices.

Our department changed its name again in 2003, becoming the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Recently, major grants have put us in the forefront of air pollution and child health research.

See photos of the anniversary event.