Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)


Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Zeyuan Qiu

Second Advisor

Omowunmi A. Sadik

Third Advisor

Mei R. Fu


Climate change negatively impacts health, while socially vulnerable and overburdened communities disproportionately experience climate change and negative health determinants. Camden County is used as a case study for analyzing environment, socioeconomics, and health. Environmental variables—PM2.5 and land cover of impervious surfaces, floodplains, and forests—were compared to the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) at the census tract level, finding significant correlations between land cover, air quality, and the SVI. The overburdened communities defined by the NJ Environmental Justice Law experienced a significantly higher incidence of emergency department visitation for respiratory, circulatory, and mental illnesses than non-overburdened communities. Health outcomes were compared to the CDC SVI and environmental factors, finding positive and significant correlation between the SVI, environment, and emergency department visitation for respiratory, circulatory, and mental illnesses. Data suggests that climate change will impact the health of all, while having magnified effects on the socially vulnerable and overburdened communities.



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