Past Event

CPRC Seminar with Lori Hunter, Deborah Balk, and Jenna Tipaldo

April 9, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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A Framework for Understanding the Climate-Related Health Vulnerabilities of Older Adults and Aging Populations

The 21st century will see substantial global demographic shifts with population aging and continued urbanization and rural population decline along with increasing hazards and impacts of climate change. Older adults are especially vulnerable to health impacts and mortality due to climate-related stressors through various mechanisms. For many, aging is accompanied by bodily changes that impact daily life, such as ambulation and communication, and impact morbidity and mortality risk, such as thermoregulation and chronic conditions. Factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, access to resources, social isolation, cognitive abilities, and location may also play a role in vulnerability to climate impacts among older adults. This review unpacks connections between aging and climate change highlighting little understood mechanisms between them and proposes a framework to better understand these phenomena. We conclude with recommendations on ways to fill key knowledge gaps and suggestions of how to adapt today’s data infrastructure to improve our understanding of aging in the context of future climate change.

Dr. Lori Hunter is Director of the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder as well as Professor of Sociology. Dr. Hunter’s primary area of research is migration as related to environmental context. She examines these connections in rural South Africa and Mexico and has published findings and reviews in a wide variety of academic outlets such as Population and Development Review, the Annual Review of Sociology, and International Migration Review. Dr. Hunter also examines trends in rural America as related to well-being including health and migration impacts of extreme events on the rural elderly.
Dr. Deborah Balk is Professor of Public Affairs in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and Director of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR). She is an expert on spatial modeling and population-climate interactions, studying a wide range of demographic and health outcomes, poverty and vulnerability. She currently serves as Co-Chair on the New York City Panel on Climate Change’s 4th Assessment, a member of Society and Economy Working Group of the New York State Climate Impacts Assessment, a member of the US Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Population

Jenna Tipaldo is a PhD student in the Environmental and Planetary Health Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), also pursuing a certificate in Demography at the CUNY Graduate Center. She serves as a Fellow with the NYC Panel on Climate Change's (NPCC) Health Working Group and is an Adjunct Lecturer at CUNY Hunter College. Her work focuses on the health impacts of climate change and environmental justice concerns in urban settings using geographic information systems (GIS). 

*Cosponsored by the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)

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