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Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab

The Climate, Health, and Energy Equity Lab (CHEEL Lab) combines research, practice, and teaching to advance just approaches to climate mitigation and renewable transitions. The Lab is co-founded and directed by Dr. Carol Ziegler (Vanderbilt School of Nursing), Dr. Zdravka Tzankova (Program in Climate & Environmental Studies), and Dr. James Muchira (Vanderbilt School of Nursing).

Applications for Fall 2023 Coming soon!

Get Involved! 

Students accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab will collaborate with each other, and with faculty, external experts, and community stakeholders to:

  • Map corporate & institutional awareness on the equity implications of climate mitigation pledges & actions
  • Develop conceptual and strategic approaches for using climate mitigation to alleviate economic, environmental and health inequities
  • Design strategies that simultaneously advance climate mitigation and health, energy, environmental, and economic equity

About the inaugural cohort

The lab’s first cohort will be comprised of now more than 15 Vanderbilt University undergraduate students. Participating students will have the option to use participation in the Lab to fulfill their Vanderbilt Immersion requirements.

Accepted students will help quantify carbon emissions avoided through low-income patients’ low-energy and low-consumption habits. They will also help quantify the carbon emissions avoided through holistic-care-driven improvements in patient health.

Students will also translate avoided emissions into measurable, trackable, and tradable carbon offsets. This work will culminate in the development of a carbon offsetting tool prototype – an equity-first tool designed to provide low-income patients with a financial credit for their avoided carbon emissions.

In sum, the first project of the Climate, Health, and Energy Equity Lab will develop a new tool that helps improve the health outcomes of low-income patients by creating a new path to improving patients’ access to appropriate nutrition, amenities, care, etc.


Have questions about CHEEL Lab and how to get involved? Please contact Dr. Zdravka Tzankova at