Joseph Steensma’s work exemplifies “transdisciplinary”. A successful scientist and entrepreneur who has founded and led several thriving businesses focused on public health, Steensma joined the faculty at the Brown School to help commercialize some of the innovative products and services the School has developed.
In addition to his work in helping translate science into marketable solutions for real public health problems, Steensma has served as the president of the Board of Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With a small team of intrepid policy makers, they were able to implement one of the earliest and most comprehensive public smoking bans in the country. He has been active on many nonprofit boards and continues to support research that seeks to discover the relationship between human health and the natural environment.
At the Brown School, he is teaching classes in biostatistics, environmental health and the public health implications of climate change. His research looks at the interaction between economics, environmental degradation and health.
He also loves the outdoors and writes often about birds. His latest project is a book about the birds of Bahamas titled “A Field Guide to the Birds of North Andros Island.”