Omenn award winner

May 20, 2019 | Amanda Pain
Woman smiling at camera.

DEOHS student Annie Doubleday honored by the UW School of Public Health for her leadership potential and public health contributions

Doubleday "represents the very best we have to offer in the School of Public Health," says her faculty mentor.

Annie Doubleday

MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health

Hometown

Shoreline, WA

Future plans

Working on air pollution and climate change issues at the state or local level.

“The remarkable support I received from DEOHS faculty, staff and students made all the difference in my experience at the UW.”

- Annie Doubleday

With several weeks still to go before she graduates from the University of Washington, Annie Doubleday already has earned a reputation as a prolific researcher and author with an unusual breadth of skills spanning both environmental and occupational health.

Doubleday, a Master of Public Health student in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), is listed as the lead author on five research articles that are published or in progress.

Now she is adding one more accolade to her CV: Doubleday was recognized this month as winner of the Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence by the UW School of Public Health.

“Students like Annie are indeed rare,” said her DEOHS faculty adviser, Tania Busch Isaksen. “She represents the very best we have to offer in the School of Public Health. I know she will make a tremendous impact in the field of environmental public health.”

The Omenn award, given by faculty in the UW School of Public Health, recognizes contributions to public health, commitment to community engagement and leadership potential.

The link between mortality and wildfire smoke

Doubleday’s research with Busch Isaksen focused on the health effects associated with wildfire smoke. Doubleday conducted a statewide epidemiological analysis examining the association between mortality and wildfire smoke exposure.

As part of her interdisciplinary research approach, she worked with atmospheric scientists, air pollution modelers, toxicologists and epidemiologists across state agencies.

“The opportunity to collaborate with government agency staff was an important learning experience for me and has been valuable to both my professional and personal development,” Doubleday said.

Her thesis work resulted in the first Pacific Northwest study on mortality associated with exposure to wildfire smoke and led to presentations at the state and national levels. State and local government agencies will use her research to inform risk communication efforts during future wildfire seasons.

“None of this would have been possible without the support of Tania and other DEOHS faculty and staff,” she said.

Climate change, health and safety

Doubleday didn’t stop there. She also worked with several other DEOHS mentors to take on research projects focused on the changing burden of workplace exposures in the Pacific Northwest region, the impact of Hurricane Harvey on physical activity and other public health aspects of climate change. Her advisers praise her research abilities, writing and communication skills and data management and analysis.

“Annie stands out as one of the most thoughtful, resourceful and talented students I have encountered,” said Marissa Baker, deputy director of the Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety. “Her work is not only of high quality but also of high impact on public health.”

A future in public health

Doubleday also worked as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate Introduction to Environmental Health course and served as a graduate student representative for the department’s MPH Oversight Committee.

She said teaching helped her build skills in working with students one-on-one, as well as in communicating public health concepts to a wider audience.

“Through my thesis work, I had the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary team,” Doubleday said. “I learned how to work effectively with a diverse group, as well as develop my communication and presentation skills.”

Doubleday is currently job-hunting, hoping to work in state or local government on issues related to air pollution and climate change.