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Environmental Physiology

From extreme heat to freezing temperatures, today’s warfighter needs to be operationally ready, wherever the mission takes them. Our Environmental Physiology team conducts research to lessen the physiological impact of extreme environmental conditions on the health, readiness, and performance of U.S. service members.

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Background

Modern conflicts have taken warfighters around the globe, placing them in diverse climates that range from oppressive heat and humidity to subfreezing temperatures. To prepare military personnel for any environmental conditions they may encounter in future battlespaces, the Environmental Physiology team studies the physiological effects of harsh environmental temperatures and develop evidence-based solutions to manage heat and cold stress while protecting the health and readiness of our warfighters.

Value

    Research conducted by our Environmental Physiology team keeps our warfighters healthy and mission-ready by increasing knowledge of individual thermoregulatory capacity, conducting heat tolerance testing to assess recovery from heat injury and return-to-duty statue, identifying safe heat exposure limits to decrease heat injuries, evaluating physiological and cognitive responses to extreme cold weather, and mitigating hypothermia by validating rewarming strategies.

Goals

  • Increase force health and readiness by mitigating the physiological impact of extreme environmental conditions.

Capabilities

Research

  • Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center Cold Water Immersion and Rewarming
  • Use of a Heat Tolerance Test to Determine Return to Duty Status (clinical collaboration)
  • Modification of Navy Shipboard Physiological Heat Exposure Limits (PHEL Curves)
  • Automated Heat Stress System Ashore and Afloat
Research