faculty profile

Carol C. Ziegler   DNP, FNP-C, APHN-BC

Co-Founder of the Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab


Carol Ziegler is a Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University and a dually certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse. She is co-founder of CHEEL, the Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab at the W'Ondry, and serves on the Metro Nashville Board of Health as well as the Lancet Commission Countdown on Climate and Health, and the American Nurse Association's Planetary and Global Health Innovation Committee. She developed and taught one of the first courses offered on Planetary Health and has worked in her institution to successfully integrate Planetary Health across the core nursing curriculum. Her clinical practice start-up, Thrive Holistic Care at the Nashville Center for Empowerment, provides restorative, holistic primary care, home and environmental health assessments and health coaching for low-income and refugee families in Nashville. Apart from her involvement in nursing education, practice, and entrepreneurship, she collaborates with community-based agencies and businesses to advocate for and implement policies and practices promoting planetary health and climate justice.


  • Vanderbilt University, Doctorate of Nursing Practice - 2012
  • Vanderbilt University, Master of Science in Nursing - 2006
  • University of Tennessee, Master of Science, Nutrition Science - 2001
  • University of Tennessee, Bachelor of Science - 1999


  • Family Nurse Practitioner - American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse - American Holistic Nurses Association

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Nurse Entrepreneurship
  • Planetary Health
  • Developing Local, Socially Responsible Carbon Offsets to fund Health Equity

Academic Interests

  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care
  • Planetary Health
  • Health Equity
  • Climate Justice and Health
  • Health Policy and Advocacy

Current Projects

  • Ziegler, C., Bechtold, V. Launch of a Park Rx Program- The Co Benefits of Green space in Urban Communities. Thrive Holistic Care at NICE. Nashville, TN.
  • 2024 Ziegler, C., Muchira, J., Baines, P. Developing a reparative fee structure for air emissions per metric ton for socially vulnerable communities: A Model for local health departments to advance health equity. VUSN, Nashville, TN
  • 2024 Ziegler C., Tzankova, Z., Hsieh, A., Judah, J. Development of a giving platform for social and environmental impact.
  • 2023-2024 Ziegler, C., Groff, K., Wiley, C., Muchira, J., Tzankova, Z. Quantifying the carbon mitigation with implementation of the 2023 American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for extended breastfeeding: A pilot to support working mothers. CHEEL, Nashville, TN.
  • 2023-2024 Ziegler, C., Boison, S. The impact of credit score on health: Preparing the ground for an opt-in credit reporting program for advancing health equity in Nashville.
  • 2023-2024 Ziegler, C., Elias, M. Advancing Planetary Health and Health Equity through Nurse Entrepreneurship.
  • 2023-2024 Ziegler, C., Muchira, J. Employing the Exposome Lens to Advance Health Equity in Primary Care: A practical tool for integrating Planetary Health ideals into practice, research and advocacy.

Representative Publications


  • Bellegarde, K., Koh, L., Ziegler, C. et al. 2023. The Power of Nursing Innovation in Planetary and Global Health. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 10(2), 1-23. doi:10.24926/ijps.v10i2.5642.
  • Howland, E., Ziegler, C., Moore, G. 2023. Improving clinician workflow and satisfaction when caring for sexual assault patients. Women's Healthcare 11(6):38-IBC. doi: 10.51256/ WHC122338.
  • Lancet Countdown on Climate and Health Working Group. 2023. The 2023 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: health at the mercy of fossil fuels, The Lancet, 2023.
  • Ziegler, C., & Muchira, J. 2023. Climate Change: The Ultimate Determinant of Health. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 50(4), 645-655.
  • Ziegler, C., Bonuel. N., Taylor, A., Bellegarde., K., Koh, L., Elias, M. 2022. Planetary Health: A Resource Guide for Nurses, American Nurse Association Planetary and Global Health Innovation Advisor Committee, December, 2022.
  • Romanello et al. 2021. The 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: code red for a healthy future. The Lancet, 398, (10311).
  • Ziegler, C., Reeves, G. 2020. Female Genital Mutilation in Primary Care: Caring and advocating for our patients. Advances in Family Practice Nursing, 2, 115-124.
  • McClure, N., Ziegler, C., Christenbery, T. 2019. Enhancement of the Community Health Nursing Student Experience: An Interdisciplinary Global Health Immersion Pilot Project. Nurse Educator, April 24, 2019.
  • Ziegler C., Morelli V, Fawibe O. 2019. Climate Change and Underserved Communities. Physician Assistant Clinics, 4(1), 203-216.

Representative Presentations

  • Ziegler, C. Integrating Planetary Health into Nursing Curricula. Invited Presentation for the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, January 25th, 2024.
  • Ziegler, C. The Great Transition: The Planetary Health Metaparadigm. Invited, refereed presentation. Nature Conferences-Bioengineering for Global Health, Organized by Vanderbilt University, Nature Reviews Bioengineering, Nature Communications and Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nashville, TN, November 15, 2023.
  • Ziegler, C., Health and Climate: A presentation for Eco-Revival! Pakistan. July 28th, 2023. Zoom presentation.
  • Anthamatten, A., Ziegler, C., Smith, R. Case-Based Teaching Strategies for Nursing Students. Virtual Presentation to the Nurse faculty at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan, August 5th, 2022.
  • Smith, R., Anthamatten, A., Ziegler, C. Teaching Skills for Nursing Students. Virtual Presentation to the Nurse faculty at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan, May 6th, 2022.
  • Ziegler, C. Interprofessional Collaboration: Nursing as a hub for Integrative Community Projects. Virtual Presentation to the faculty at Aga Khan University, Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan 7, 2021.
  • Ziegler, C. Global Causes, Local Impacts; Climate Change and the Primary Care Clinician. Oral presentation. International Council of Nursing Conference, Nov 2-4, 2021.

  • Ziegler, C., Das, T. Improving asthma control and lowering carbon emissions: Strategies for Clinicians. Podium Presentation for American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, June, 2024.
  • Ziegler, C. Practicing Planetary Health- Strategies for Nurse Clinicians and Educators. Invited Presentation for Harris Health System, Houston, Texas, April 10, 2024.
  • Ziegler, C., The Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab- Project Updates. Invited Podium Presentation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Inaugural Climate Action and Sustainability Conference, December 7th, 2023.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate Change and Vulnerable Communities: The Role of APRNs. Invited, refereed Presentation. American Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference, 2023, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 21-25, 2023.
  • Ziegler, C. Nursing Leadership: The Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab. Invited presentation for the American Nurses Association, Innovation Lounge, April 19, 2023.
  • Ziegler, C. Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice: Development of an Interprofessional Course. Oral Presentation. Student Health Coalition Conference, July 14th, 2022. Zoom.
  • Ziegler, C. Nurses Climate Challenge/Healthcare Without Harm Community of Practice. August 16, 2022. "Creation of the Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab." Invited presentation.
  • Ziegler, C., Climate Change: A Public Health Emergency. Keynote for National Public Health Week, VUMPH program, April 9, 2021.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate Change as a Scaffold for Interprofessional Learning in Nursing Education. Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Education Research Conference March 2020, Conference cancelled due to Covid-19.
  • Ziegler, C. Caf? Conversations: Climate Action and Leadership in Nursing Education. Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, 2019 Annual Summit on Environmental Health, Nashville Tennessee, May 6th, 2019.
  • Ziegler, C. LeClair, J. Creating a Nurses Climate Action Plan. Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, 2019 Annual Summit on Environmental Health, Nashville Tennessee, May 7th, 2019.

  • Ziegler, C. Race and the Social Determinants of Health. A presentation to the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Macon, Mississippi. March 2, 2022.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate Change and Children: The Health Impacts. Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light Faith Climate Action Week Summit. Nashville, TN. April 26, 2022.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate: The greatest Threat to Global Health. A presentation for the American Public Health Association, World health Week. Nashville, TN April 14, 2022.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate change and social justice. Presentation to the Black Student Nurses Association, VUSN, Nashville, TN. Feb 7th, 2022.
  • Ziegler, C. From the Frontline: Climate Change and Primary Care. Vanderbilt University Climate, Energy and Environment Forum, November 10, 2021.
  • Ziegler, C. Nursing Leadership in Planetary Health. Invited presentation for the Navy Reserved Officers Training Corps, Nashville, TN. October 7, 2021.
  • Ziegler, C. Climate and Health. Invited presentation for the Nashville Climate Reality Leaders Conference, Nashville, TN. August 18, 2021.
  • Ziegler, C. Air Quality and Health. Invited Panelist for American Lung Association Panel on Health and Air Quality. Nashville, TN. May 6, 2021

Clinical Practice

  • Thrive Holistic Care, LLC

Professional Organizations

  • Nurses Climate Challenge, Community of Practice
  • American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Clinicians for Planetary Health
  • Planetary Health Alliance
  • Practice Green Health
  • American Nurses Association
  • Tennessee Nurses Association
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners


  • 2023 Sarah K. Archer Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • 2022 Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • 2021 Martin Luther King Award for Recognition of Achievement in Social Justice, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing 
  • 2019 Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing