Zaynah Abid - New York
Internship location: New York, N.Y.
Career goal: To work at a local, state, or federal public health agency
During my internship at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), I provided support to the climate-change epidemiology team. The team was involved in the development of Health Impact Assessments for four climate-change related events in NYC: heat waves, coastal storms/flooding, air pollution and power outages. The goal was to determine the increased risk of mortality or morbidity that will occur in NYC as a result of projected increases in these events over the next century. Although I conducted research in all of these areas, my primary focus was in the area of coastal storms and flooding.
Value of experience:
My internship provided me with direct experience working in a local public health agency, a resource on which I will be able to draw as I move forward with my career. I was able to apply knowledge acquired through formal coursework in environmental health and epidemiology to a real public health concern. The health impact of climate change is often an overlooked issue, but the potential effects of coastal storms in particular remain a real threat to New Yorkers (and are especially relevant in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene). The work that I performed will ultimately be part of a published report and will hopefully have far-reaching implications for the future health of city residents.
The weekly intern seminars, which showcased the work of different divisions and bureaus throughout DOHMH—from HIV services in the Bureau of Correctional Health Services to media and education campaigns in the Bureau of Tobacco Control—gave me exposure to a range of local public health initiatives and allowed me to further refine my own areas of interest. And nothing beats living in NYC during the summertime, with its wide range of social, cultural and educational events at your fingertips!
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Meeting other summer interns working at the different bureaus throughout DOHMH during an intern orientation in Queens.
The former NYC DOHMH Headquarters at 125 Worth St., which is still home to a number of groups in the Environmental Health Division including the Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention.
The new DOHMH headquarters in Queens, where weekly seminars and training workshops were held for all Health Research Training Program interns.
The view of the World Trade Center construction site from my 12th floor office on Cortlandt Street in the city’s Financial District.
Posing for a photo a0t the step-and-repeat backdrop outside Gracie Mansion, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted a barbecue for all city interns.
Giving an update on my work on coastal storms and flooding at a team meeting for the Climate Change and Public Health Project.
At a climate change conference held at the EPA Region 2 office in Manhattan. The event was attended by researchers in academia as well as local, state and federal government officials.
At a climate change team meeting with a view of the construction of the new World Trade Center in the background.
Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor, where the intern barbecue was held.
Volunteering at the Mott Street Senior Center near Chinatown, as part of the Service in City initiative for city interns. Interns were asked to complete two hours of service for each week of their internship.
Sheep Meadow in Central Park where I often relaxed after work and on the weekends.
Wall Street, in the heart of the Financial District, was located two blocks from my apartment.
A view of the Hudson River and Jersey City from Battery Park City where I went for my daily run. Some of this esplanade was inundated by river water during Hurricane Irene.
Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the Museum Mile Festival. Museums offered free admissions on a traffic-free Fifth Avenue for three hours on a Tuesday evening in June.
Taking a break at High Line Park during the summer’s first heat wave.