Are You a Public Health Nerd?

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public health nerd

Do you like science and care about saving lives? If so, you might just be a public health nerd!

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Public Health Nerd (#PHNerd) online campaign to mobilize people who are passionate about public health and its role in creating and sustaining a healthy, stable society. The campaign promotes awareness about CDC’s work to protect the nation’s health and safety. It also hopes to encourage learning and increase knowledge about public health.

NCEH and ATSDR asked staff members to tell us why they are among the many environmental public health nerds at CDC and ATSDR.


Kanta Sircar, MPH, PhD

LCDR, US Public Health Service


Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, NCEH

I’m an environmental health nerd because I like analyzing surveillance data. I am a subject matter expert in carbon monoxide poisoning and surveillance. I love working with our environmental epidemiology partners in the local and state health departments.

Wilder L
FL Fishing
Lynn Wilder, PhD, CIH

Associate Director for Science

ATSDR Division of Community Health Investigations

I am an environmental health nerd because I care about people and the environment, and because environmental health situations are like snowflakes—no two are exactly the same. In other words, it’s always challenging!

Beth gerhardstein

Ben Gerhardstein

Regional representative

ATSDR Region 9

I’m an environmental health nerd because I think health happens where we live, work, and play. Too often people who live in low-income communities face high pollution levels and lack access to safe exercise spaces, fresh foods, health care, jobs, and educational opportunities. I enjoy working to address such complex, entrenched public health challenges because I believe we all deserve a healthy environment.

Armin Ansari

Armin Ansari, PhD, CHP

Health Physicist, Radiation Studies Branch

NCEH Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects

I am an environmental health nerd because when I touch dirt in my backyard, I think about the radioactive atoms of uranium and thorium I am holding in my hands. These very same atoms had their origin in distant stars and became part of our planet when it took shape, and they are still around! Our backyard dirt also contains radioactive atoms of cesium that are leftover from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons decades ago, and that’s not all. You could say I am just trying to get out of doing yard work here, and you’d be correct! You can learn much more about this from the CDC online training Radiation Basics Made Simple.

Follow CDC’s Public Health Nerd on Facebook, Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram and use hashtag #PHNerd to join the conversation.

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Page last reviewed: April 6, 2015
Page last updated: April 6, 2015