Infectious diseases kill nearly 9 million people annually. Bacterial pathogens are responsible for a large proportion of these diseases, and the bacterial agents of pneumonia, diarrhea, and tuberculosis are leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Increasingly, the crucial role of nonhost environments in the life cycle of bacterial pathogens is being recognized. Heightened scrutiny has been given to the biological processes impacting pathogen dissemination and survival in the natural environment, because these processes are essential for the transmission of pathogenic bacteria to new hosts. This chapter focuses on the model environmental pathogen Vibrio cholerae to describe recent advances in our understanding of how pathogens survive between hosts and to highlight the processes necessary to support the cycle of environmental survival, transmission, and dissemination. We describe the physiological and molecular responses of V. cholerae to changing environmental conditions, focusing on its survival in aquatic reservoirs between hosts and its entry into and exit from human hosts.