Author Archives: Health Geographer

International Geospatial Health Research Symposium at the AAG 2015: Call for Papers

International Geospatial Health Research Symposium

AAG Annual Meeting, Chicago, April 21-25, 2015

The International Geospatial Health Research Network
The AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG)
The Association of American Geographers

This Symposium within the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting will explore new research frontiers in geospatial health research and foster international networks to share this information across borders and generate research synergies. It builds on multiple AAG Geography and Health Initiatives of the past decade, including the AAG Initiative for an NIH-wide Geospatial Infrastructure for Health Research, several recent AAG health initiatives and grants with the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, and a recent international forum jointly organized by the AAG, the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS), Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Hong Kong, Utrecht University, and several health ministries and organizations in Europe, to launch an International Geospatial Health Research Network.

We welcome participation from geographers, GIScientists, health researchers, and other scientists working at the frontiers of geography, GIScience, and health at the AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 21-25, 2015. Papers on all aspects of health research and its intersections with geography or GIScience are welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:

– improving assessments of exposures to physical and social environments and health
– exposure monitoring utilizing real-time GPS/GIS methods
– infectious diseases and their relations to climate change
– geographic and environmental dimensions of chronic diseases
– cancer: genes, epigenetics, and the physical and social environment
– spatial patterns of drug abuse and treatment
– gene-environment interactions
– social environments and mental health
– crowd sourcing of geospatial data for health
– mHealth and global health service delivery initiatives
– health disparities and inequalities
– genomes, health, and geography
– disease ecologies
– interactions among environment, pathogens, humans, and institutions
– neighborhood effects on health behaviors and outcomes
– geographies of public health policies
– geospatial big data and health
– spatial analysis and modeling of disease and disease diffusion
– mobilities and health
– health care provision, access, and utilization
– accessibility of healthcare services and its optimization.
– health and well-being
– methodological issues in health research (e.g., MAUP, UGCoP)
– global health research and public health initiatives

To participate in the International Geospatial Health Research Symposium, please submit your abstract at When you receive confirmation of a successful abstract submission, please then forward this confirmation to: The abstract deadline is October 27, 2014.

For more information, please visit or contact members of the Symposium organizing committee at

Melinda Meade Memorial Disease Ecology Sessions @ AAG at Chicago, Illinois (2015)

Melinda Meade Memorial Disease Ecology Sessions @ AAG at Chicago, Illinois (2015)

In memory of Dr. Melinda Meade, who passed away in November 2013, several sessions around the theme of disease ecology will be organized at the upcoming 2015 AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois (April 21-25, 2015). These sessions will be part of the larger International Geospatial Health Research Symposium.  They will provide a forum for conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and empirical scholarship on disease ecology.  Both qualitative and quantitative research is welcome, as are papers focusing on health in both high and low resource contexts.

Disease ecology is concerned with “the ways human behavior, in its cultural and socioeconomic context, interacts with environmental conditions to produce or prevent disease” (Meade and Earickson 2000, 21). Population, society and the physical and biological environments exist in a dynamic equilibrium. The human-environment relationship, if disturbed enough by major changes in land use, migration, population density, or other stressors can lead to a state of instability, which manifests as an increase in disease rates or the appearance of new diseases. At the same time, fundamental to disease ecology is notion that people do not respond passively to disease, but rather act purposely to mitigate the impact of disease. In this way, social and cultural circumstances can actually create/prevent disease. Disease ecology is inherently concerned with integrating the social and physical aspects of human existence.

Dr. Meade was a Professor of Geography at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill until her passing.  She was a pioneer in the field of health and medical geography and taught courses from freshman to doctoral level on issues of changing population dynamics and structure, agricultural modernization, urbanization, and globalization in the developing world; on population geography, medical geography, and disease ecology.  Dr. Meade is best known, particularly to undergraduate students, as the author of the definitive textbook in the field of medical geography.

If you would like to contribute to these sessions, please submit your abstract online ( and then email Elisabeth Root ( and Margaret Carrel ( with your title, abstract, author information, and AAG PIN by the due date of November 5, 2014 to be included in one of the sessions. You may also wish to send this information to, the organizers of the International Geospatial Health Research Symposium.

Elisabeth Root (, University of Colorado Boulder

Margaret Carrel (, University of Iowa

Michael Emch (, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jacques May Thesis Prize, Call for Submissions

The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) of the AAG is accepting submissions for the Jacques May Thesis Prize. Since 1985, the prize has been awarded to Master’s and doctoral theses addressing themes in health and medical geography broadly defined, as judged by a panel of reviewers. Theses will be judged on their contribution to the field, their methodological approach, organization, and written composition. Ph.D. dissertation winners receive an official certificate and a cash award of $250, and Master’s thesis winners receive the certificate and a cash award of $150. 

Eligibility: Master’s or doctoral theses officially completed during the 24 months prior to the submission deadline are eligible, provided that they have not been previously considered for the Prize. Membership in the Association of American Geographers is required, but membership in the HMGSG is not.

Submission and Review: Submissions should be sent to Eric Delmelle ( and Mei-Po Kwan ( Only electronic submissions will be considered. Theses must be in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, and completely anonymous to enable double-blind reviews (i.e., the thesis must be free of all references to the author in the front matter, notes, references, headers, etc.). Theses will be reviewed by at least two anonymous referees, who will make their recommendations to the HMGSG board. The HMGSG will announce the winner of the prize before the AAG Meeting.

In the email message accompanying the submission, please include the following information:

  • Full name and current contact information department and university affiliation
  • Title of thesis
  • Thesis category (masters or doctoral);
  • A brief abstract;
  • Name of your thesis advisor, and
  • Names and email addresses for 4-5 potential reviewers. (note:  Reviewers must not be committee members or faculty at the student’s university, or associated with the project in any way. Key authors in the field (e.g., from student bibliographies) would be appropriate.)

Submission Deadline: The submission deadline is November 8, 2014. Please see submission details at:

Call for Submissions: Peter Gould Health and Medical Geography Student Paper Award: 2015

Annual Peter Gould Student Paper Award

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 2, 2014

Sponsored by the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers

Description     The Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group (HMGSG) of AAG invites current undergraduate and graduate students to submit their work to the specialty group’s annual Peter Gould Student Paper Competition. The competition is meant to promote written scholarship by students across the field. Papers will be judged by the HMGSG Awards Committee on several criteria: originality, scholarship, organization, appropriate use of methodology, and written composition. A $100 prize will be awarded in each of two categories: 1) undergraduate students, and 2) graduate students (Master’s and Doctoral).

Eligibility     The competition is open to undergraduate, masters, and Doctoral level students. Papers must be completed in the past 24 months prior to the submission deadline, and have not been previously considered for the competition. Papers can be either single-authored or co-authored. For co-authored papers, the student should be the first author and responsible for over 80% of the analysis and writing. For a co-authored paper, a statement signed by the student and advisor regarding the student’s contribution (including percentage) is required. Membership in the Association of American Geographers is required, but membership in the HMGSG is not.

Submission & Review      The timeline for the competition is as follows:

2 November 2014 An extended abstract (500-word limit) of your paper is due. The abstract should clearly state the purpose, methodology, and findings of the research
15 December 2014 The Awards Committee will review all extended abstracts and select up to 5 papers per category (undergrad, grad) for submission of full papers.  You will receive notification about the Awards Committee decision by this date.
2 February 2015 Your full paper must be electronically submitted to the paper coordinator (below).
6 April  2015 Winner(s) will be notified during the month of April.  Winners will be publicly announced at the HMGSG business meeting and at the AAG Award Luncheon.   They will receive a ticket to the Luncheon and a monetary prize of $100. Results of the competition will be also be published on the HMGSG website.


Requirements     The final full paper must include a 500-word abstract, and be no longer than 5,000 words (excluding tables, references, and captions). Authors are also encouraged to submit the names of at least 2 possible reviewers who are not affiliated with the research.  Ensure that the purpose, methodology, and findings of the research are clearly stated in the abstract. The body of the paper should be double-spaced, 12-point font size and one-inch margins. Remove any identifying information (e.g. name). References should be in AAG style. Submit the paper as a single PDF file with all figures and tables included in the document.Submission of the extended abstract and final paper will be done electronically as an email attachment to the Paper Coordinator (contact information below). Include the following information in the body of the email message: Your full name, address, telephone and fax numbers, email address, department and university affiliation, name of advisor or mentor, and title of the paper.  Please put “HMGSG Student Paper Competition” in the subject line.

Email David Lamb your submissions or for more information:

Medical Geographer Job (Chronic Disease): US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Apply Quick:  Position Closes June 9, 2014


SALARY RANGE: $86,355.00 to $112,261.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, May 29, 2014 to Monday, June 09, 2014
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0150-13

Job Description:

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As a Geographer (Research) you will:

·Conduct research on public health geospatial methods.

·Maintain current knowledge of geographic science as it relates to geographic information system, chronic diseases, public health surveillance, and epidemiology.

·Disseminate information on application of geospatial analytic technique through publication of scientific manuscripts in the peer-reviewed literature and presentations at conferences, workshops and seminars.

·Assist in the development and operation of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) geospatial (including GIS) activity.

·Provide advice and consultation to agency, State, and contract personnel of a scientific or technical nature, pertaining to geospatial applications for which there are no established guidelines, criteria, or specification relating to public health activity.

·Perform other duties as assigned.

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Basic Qualification Requirement of Geography (Research), GS-0150-13

Must have successfully completed a full four-year course of study at an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree that included a major field of study in geography; or related physical or social science such as geology, meteorology, economics, statistics, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, cartography, computer science, urban studies, or planning that included at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields.


Have a combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in geography, or a related field that included at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Minimum Requirement:

In addition to the Basic Qalification Requirement applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the next lower grade level in the Federal service as defined in the next paragraph.

Specialized experience is experience which is directly related to the position which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform the duties of the position to include experience conducting analysis of geographical data related to public health issues.

Health and Medical Geography PhD Assistantship Opportunity in at Temple University

Call for applications for four-year assistantship in Health/Medical Geography for doctoral program

Department of Geography and Urban Studies
Temple University, Philadelphia PA

The Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is accepting applications for a four-year assistantship in health/medical geography for the pursuit of a doctoral degree. The assistantship will provide a stipend plus tuition remission.

Qualified candidates should have a Master’s degree in Geography or a related discipline. Candidates should have a strong interest in health/medical geography and a solid background in geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, remote sensing and spatial statistics. Preference will be given to applicants with strong quantitative backgrounds who have previously completed research in health geography or environmental health.

The doctoral program at Temple focuses on geographic approaches to the study of urban processes and conditions in US and international settings. Our emphasis is on the themes of globalization, sustainability, social justice, and geographical methods. We train our students to conduct theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded research in urban and metropolitan settings, understand interdisciplinary and integrative analyses of complex urban processes and problems, and specialize in techniques for urban analysis with an emphasis on GIS, spatial statistics, and qualitative methods.

Please contact Hamil Pearsall, Graduate Chair, at if you are interested in applying. For more information about the department please see

Atlas Hands: A Timeline of the Life of Melinda Meade

As an update to our previous story about the passing of Melinda Meade, please take a few minutes to learn about her in this short documentary film about her life.

Atlas Hands

The description of the film from Savannah Ward and her Seventeenth Summer Productions is:

In loving memory of Dr. Melinda Meade, Seventeenth Summer Productions presents a timeline of the life of one of the greatest Medical Geographers. Follow Melinda’s journey, from graduating early from college, to joining the Peace Corps, and finally returning back to the United States to share her stories and lessons with students across the country. She settled in at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where for fifteen years, she held title as the only female Geographer in the department. Listen to previous students share their fondest memories of Melinda and be a part of a life that was great and taken away too soon.

12th Asian Urbanization Conference an Unqualified Success: A Report and Note of Thanks from George Pomeroy

Dear Fellow Geographers,

Back when Debarchana Ghosh was Chair, the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group had kindly provided some sponsorship funds for the recently held 12th Asian Urbanization Conference – thank you! Sponsors were fully acknowledged at the conference the funds were instrumental in having a wonderful conference.

Below my signature I have pasted in a news item that you are welcome to include in your newsletter / website. Additionally, I have included two photos from the conference.


Exploring the theme of “Urban Dynamics, Environment and Health” the 12th Asian Urbanization Conference was successfully convened at Banaras Hindu University in the famous pilgrimage city of Varanasi, India during December 28 to 30, 2013. Among the leading outcomes of the conference was a 21 point set of recommendations to be forwarded to the sponsoring government of India agencies. An ad hoc committee developed the recommendations based on the papers presented, panel discussions, and remarks by distinguished opening and valedictory speakers. In total, over 150 papers were presented. International participation the conference was strong, with nearly 50 presenters hailing from over 15 countries, as well over 100 scholars and practitioners from within India.

The conference featured numerous and substantive technical paper sessions and thought provoking panel sessions. The Keynote Address delivered by noted urban geographer Debnath Mookherjee (Western Washington University) spoke to the need for a more regional vision for planning using the greater Delhi metropolitan region as a case study. Remarks from Distinguished Guest and leading geographer, R.P. Mishra, highlighted the need for developing indigenous solutions to urban problems. In the Valedictory Address, respected academician and former Director of the National Mapping Organization of India, Dr. Prithvish Nag, spoke of the need for improved plan implementation. The Valedictory Keynote Speaker was Prof. Keshav of the University of Central Missouri and Guest of Honor was Prof. Rameshwari Pandya, Chairman of the Protection of Child Rights Commission, State of Gujarat.

Tremendous credit for the conference success belongs to the local convener, Prof. B.R.K. Sinha, who was ably assisted by local organizer Prof. Ram Bilas. Several heartfelt testimonials about Dr. Sinha’s efforts were made during the valedictory session, providing evidence of a rewarding conference. Gratitude also goes to Prof. Rana P.B. Singh and the Geography Department at Banaras Hindu University for their support of the conference.

Sponsors, acknowledged throughout the conference activities, included the following Specialty Groups (SG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG): the Regional Development and Planning SG, the Asian SG, and the Health and Medical Geography SG.

The next conference is to be held in Yogyakarta Indonesia, January 9-11, 2016. The lead local organizer is Dr. Rini Rachmawati, Faculty of Geography, Gadjah Mada University. In addition to paper sessions, there will also be a local planning related mobile workshop as well as a pre-conference excursion to Bali.

For more information about the Asian Urbanization Conference Series, contact George Pomeroy, Shippensburg University Pomeroy serves as the Executive Secretary of the Asian Urban Research Association (AURA), which manages the conference series. AURA may be found on Facebook ( ) .

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Royal Geographic Society session: Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research

Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research (CfP session at the RGS 2014 Conference, London 26-29 August 2014)
Posted on January 7, 2014 by Centre for Medical Humanities
Royal Geographic Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference
Geographies of co-production
London, Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 August 2014

Call for Papers for a session entitled: Co-Producing Knowledge on Health, Wellbeing and Place through Participatory Research

Session Sponsor: Geography of Health Research Group

This session will bring together researchers who are exploring the links between health and place through co-produced research. The term co-production has gained prominence in the health and social care field in recent years (Munoz, 2013) – representing a shift towards self-management; a more collaborative relationship between service providers and recipients and non-state delivery of health and care services (van Eijk and Steen, 2013). However, we can also think of co-production within the research process itself and the production of knowledge on health and place (Durose et. al., 2013). In this session, we invite researchers to reflect on questions of how and why they have engaged in participatory research on health and place in order to co-produce knowledge on health geographies. The session will explore the benefits and drawbacks of different methods; how impacts have been produced and captured; the outputs and outcomes from this type of co-production and the types of knowledge it can produce. We will consider the ways that this knowledge has been translated into health policy and practice, as well as more traditional academic outputs. We invite traditional presentations but also researchers who would like to ‘demonstrate’ their experiences by engaging the audience in display /use of the participatory methods they have employed.

Please send proposed abstracts to Dr. Sarah-Anne Munoz, University of the Highlands and Islands, by January 31st 2014.

A sad announcement: the passing of Melinda Meade (medical geographer)

The Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sadly announces the passing of Professor Emeritus Melinda Meade on November 19th. Professor Meade has been a central presence in our department since 1978, and her contributions to medical geography have been globally recognized. Some of her many accomplishments can be visited here: