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University of Alaska Fairbanks: Pathways to Exploring and Understanding One Health Connections

This course will present several “Wicked Problems” and explore them from a One Health approach. This process will help students see how using a multi-disciplinary, cross cultural approach to understanding the root causes of these issues supports a construction of resilient and sustainable solutions.

4 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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One Health is internationally recognized as a strategy to understand and address many of the wicked problems facing the world today. Organizations such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the Arctic Council have endorsed this approach. While many experts agree that working across disciplines and cultures at the interface of human, animal and environmental health provides a simultaneously deep and broad knowledge base, achieving the collaboration required for this work to succeed is often very challenging. The effective operationalization of One Health requires skills and approaches that support equity of knowledge transfer giving equal weight to natural sciences, social sciences and traditional ways of knowing. While knowledge holders are often well- versed in understanding information and communicating it to others within their own discipline and knowledge base, they often struggle to understand data as it is presented from knowledge bases and disciplines outside their own. Competence in active listening skills, cultural awareness, and guidelines that promote equity in the value of all knowledge systems engaged are key to the successful implementation of a One Health approach. This course will build on the skills acquired in OH1x. In OH2x students will work through actual case studies where problems will be examined, defined, and addressed using a community-based participatory One Health approach. Students will gain experience in

  • Active listening

  • Cultural awareness

  • Knowledge Holder and stakeholder identification

  • Defining primary and secondary problems

  • Building and maintaining community relationships and trust

  • Assessing the success of implementation plans

This course will prepare students for OH3x where they will learn about and use skills and tool kits to help them understand and develop implementation plans for One Health issues they are experiencing in their communities and or in the communities where they work.

At a glance

  • Institution: AlaskaX
  • Subject: Health & Safety
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    One Health: A Ten Thousand Year-Old View into the Future

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills: Resilience, Communications, Knowledge-Based Systems, Social Sciences, Environmental Health, Natural Sciences, Active Listening

What you'll learn

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Students who complete this course will:

  • Explain why previous approaches to problem-solving have failed

  • Differentiate between reductionist and constructionist approaches to problem solving and explain why One Health utilizes the constructionist approach

  • Understand what is meant by a zoonotic disease and how they can be best understood through a One Health approach

  • Understand how food safety, security, and sovereignty, are interdependent and how a One Health approach can be used to understand and address them

  • Understand how mental and behavioral health issues can be viewed through a One Health lens

Week 1: Integrating One Health through a Constructionist Approach

  • Operationalizing One Health

  • Approaches to One Health

  • Reductionism vs Constructivism

  • Engaging Stakeholders

Week 2: Zoonosis

  • Zoonosis

  • Identifying zoonotic disease

  • A Case Study in rural Alaska: rabies, dogs, bite injuries, and physical and emotional well being in rural Alaska

  • Why is this a One Health issue?

  • Defining the problem

  • Identifying Knowledge Holders and stakeholders

  • What do you need to know to help?

  • What has worked and what has not?

  • Thoughts for the future

Week 3: Food

  • Food safety security and sovereignty

  • Why is this a One Health issue?

  • Defining the problem

  • Identifying Knowledge Holders and stakeholders

  • What do you need to know to help?

  • What has worked and what has not?

  • Thoughts for the future

Week 4: Holistic Health & Wellbeing

  • Understanding mental and behavioral health through a One Health lens

  • Cultural and Spiritual considerations

  • Working towards solutions by addressing root causes

  • Indigenous ways of knowing and healing in a modern world

  • Applying the One Health approach to management and prevention

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Does UAF offer more One Health courses?
A: UAF has a One Health Masters Degree that can be taken online or in person.

This course is part of Understanding and Operationalizing One Health Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
3 months
4 - 6 hours per week

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