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Author of the Month: Robert Friis

Published: February 15, 2011

Essentials of Environmental Health, Second Edition

Robert Friis, Chair, Health Science

Published in December as part of the APHA/Jones and Bartlett Learning Essential Public Health Series, this new second edition of Essentials of Environmental Health offers a straightforward, non-technical approach to the major topics of environmental health. Containing 14 chapters, the revised text covers tools of the trade such as environmental epidemiology, toxicology, and policy as well specific content on agents of environmental disease and applications of environmental health. A new chapter on environmental aspects of unintentional injuries has been added. A companion website offers a complete package of updated student and instructor resources. Having devoted many weekends and holidays to the project, Friis is elated by the new edition’s publication. “Every time you revise a book, it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to put it all together,” said the member of the university since 1988. “You’ve got to find updated material and try to determine the state of the art. In addition, this book comes with such ancillary materials as a PowerPoint slides for instructors and test banks. For students, there are sample study questions, flash cards, and other learning aids posted on the website.” Friis points with pride to the website created by Jones and Bartlett to be accessible both by faculty members and their students. “Students can use the website to augment and fill out information provided in the book as well as to obtain additional drills on environmental health issues,” he said. Friis feels one of his book’s big differences is its public health approach. “What distinguishes this book from the many other competing books on environmental health is its focus on health problems that occur in the population as a whole,

Photo Courtesy of Robert Friis
Robert Friis, Chair, Health Science

either locally, nationally or globally,” he said. Friis is an expert in community surveys, focus groups, needs assessments, data analysis, epidemiology and biostatistics as well as health science curriculum design. He has testified as an expert witness for environmental health cases. His most recent book is Epidemiology 101 from Jones and Bartlett Publishers in 2009 and his next project will be the Praeger Handbook of Environmental Health. He received his B.A. in Psychology, from UC Berkeley, his M.A. in educational psychology from the Teachers College at Columbia University and his Ph.D. in higher education (Research Training Track) from Columbia University. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in social epidemiology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and past president of the Southern California Public Health Association.