Elizabeth Walker has led coalitions seeking change throughout her career as a public health professional. She has a strong commitment to health equity and environmental justice; strengthening health systems and capacity-building; forming and managing effective collaborations; and enabling community-based solutions.
She is currently Principal of Smoke Ready Solutions and an adviser to Clean Air Methow and Okanogan Clean Air. As a toxicologist and specialist in risk assessment and communication trained at the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Liz is committed to both practice and research to better prepare rural populations for the health impacts of the climate crisis.
Her work in the last decade has focused on building community resiliency to wildfire smoke and heat in fire-adapted ecosystems such as North Central Washington, where she resides. Her practice-based areas of interest and research include applications of low-cost air quality sensors; risk perception of wildfire smoke and exposure reduction interventions, such as indoor air cleaners; public health disaster preparedness and response; wildfire smoke and schools; enhancing public health protections while increasing prescribed fire use for land management; and biomarkers of wildfire smoke exposure.
She leads and contributes to a number of local, state and regional forums to help build “smoke-ready” communities, routinely speaking to a variety of audiences. She advises and mentors undergraduate and graduate students and collaborates with department faculty on a variety of wildfire smoke-related research topics.