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Research Themes

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A lifespan approach to health and aging

How do public policy, clinical practice, and personal choices interact to help individuals of all ages maintain healthy life styles? How can we be more sensitive to the complexity, interactivity, and cultural diversity of communities, both urban and rural? This team uses an international perspective to investigate the many factors that can influence public health.



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Science and medicine: Technological revolutions and societal change

Switzerland has a solid history of scientific innovation and infrastructure development, including the Large Hadron Collider, some of the longest tunnels in the world, pharmaceutical and technological research, and famous historical figures such as Einstein, Paracelsus, and Carl Jung. This team studies the context and consequences of major changes in science and technology.



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Environmental sustainability and climate change

Switzerland is one of the top rated countries for environmental policy. Climate change has far reaching implications for the environment, including accelerating glacial melt, water supply, disaster preparation, infrastructure investment and the economy, making Switzerland a microcosm for studying the environment, entrepreneurship and policies for sustainability.





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Arts and the Humanities

The arts and humanities challenge us to understand what it means to be human. Participants in this team have many wonderful possibilities for field research. Whether you observe Roman Ruins,explore the historical role of women and children, investigate the origins of the Red Cross and the development of humanitarian aid, retrace the footsteps of famous authors, study the relationship between alpine exploration and entrepreneurship, visit famous cathedrals or castles, drop in on the Montreux Jazz festival, research community art, or use your Swiss Pass for free access to numerous museums, the opportunities for field research in Arts and Humanities are rich and diverse.



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Disaster aid and international relief

Switzerland has long been a leader, internationally, in supporting organizations dedicated to humanitarian aid and relief work.  UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Conference on Disarmament are headquartered in Geneva, as well as the International Red Cross/ Red Crescent.






Cultural heritage, politics, and national identity

Switzerland is comprised of four geographic regions with different languages. It is a global model for the successful political integration of distinct ethnic groups. Governance is decentralized, with considerable participation by citizens. Switzerland also has one of the strongest economies in the world. The Swiss are reported to be one of the happiest of populations.  How do they do it? What are key factors in their success?




Alpine hiking, physical conditioning, and stress reduction

All participants will have the chance to hike, walk and participate in stress reduction exercises such as yoga, Nordic walking, a Swiss spa, and scenic lake steamer cruise. Students enrolled in PHED 121 will condition for Alpine hiking during the spring semester.