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GIS | Health & Hazards Lab
Department of Geography
Kent State University
412 McGilvrey Hall
Kent, OH 44242
Phone: 330 672-2887
Fax: 330 672-4304
Email: ghhlab@kent.edu

Department of Geography Homepage

Faculty and Staff

Andrew Curtis
Associate Professor
acurti13@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2045
Department of Geography

Andrew Curtis is the current Director of the GIS | Health & Hazards Lab at Kent State University and is a former Director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Remote Sensing and GIS for Public Health. His work employs geospatial technologies and geographic information system (GIS) analysis to support neighborhood scale intervention strategies designed to reduce health disparities. In 2005 after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, he and his students were part of the academic team that helped with geospatial support for search and rescue operations in the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center. His geospatial recovery work continues in New Orleans and the post-tornado landscapes of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. In the summer of 2012 in Haiti he developed fine scale field mapping strategies to assess water risks in urban Cholera hotspots. Examples of his health related GIS consultation include the Department of Public Health in Los Angeles County, diabetes clinics, non-profit organizations and ground-level community groups. He is also recognized as a leader with regard to spatial privacy.
Jacqueline Mills
Assistant Professor
jmills30@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2045
Department of Geography

Dr. Jacqueline W. Curtis is the Associate Director of the GIS | Health & Hazards Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. Dr. Curtis studies post-disaster recovery and planning as they impact Maternal Child Health (MCH). Her current projects focus on the use of geospatial technologies and spatial analysis to map and assess use and perception of physical activity environments for children in derelict neighborhoods. More broadly, she is interested in the role of women in shaping healthy neighborhood environments, especially in the American South.

Dr. Curtis holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Louisiana State University (LSU). She has served as a faculty member at LSU in the Disaster Science and Management Program, as well as in the Departments of Geography at the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University Long Beach (CSULB). She is an Editorial Board Member and Book Review Editor for the journal, Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS), as well as a recipient of the Association of American Geographers’ Meredith F. Burrill Award.

James Tyner
Professor
jtyner@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-7863
Department of Geography

Jim Tyner's research centers on the intersection of political and population geography.  His most recent work has addressed war, violence, and genocide. Jim has a regional interest in Southeast Asia; recent travels have taken him to Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and China. He is the author of 13 books, including War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count, which received the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution to Geography.

Thomas Schmidlin
Professor
tschmidl@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-3227
Department of Geography

My research interests are in climatology, severe weather, and natural hazards. My recent work focuses on tornado hazards and risk of death, especially to persons in mobile homes and motor vehicles, improving tornado warnings, and how warnings are perceived and acted upon. Other recent research topics included severe winter weather and mountain climates.

Scott Sheridan
Professor
ssherid1@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-3224
Department of Geography
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability

My research interests are in synoptic climatology, climate change, and bioclimatology. Perhaps foremost, I've worked on addressing the problem of heat vulnerability through a number of different avenues, from survey work on heat perception, to the development of over 30 heat-warning systems across the globe, and projections of future vulnerability. I am also interested in all other aspects of applied climatology, including climate and crime, atmospheric composition, and agriculture. I also serve as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Biometeorology.

Jennifer Mapes
Assistant Professor
jmapes@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2045
Department of Geography
Jennifer Mapes arrived in Kent in Fall 2012, having previously taught at Plattsburgh State in New York State and University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


Jen’s dissertation examined the effects of global contemporary change in small towns, connecting theoretical understandings of place and space to on-the-ground outcomes. She spent nine months in seven towns in the American West, interviewing local residents and key decision-makers to learn how their towns experience and react to socio-economic and environmental change.


Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities. Living in downtown Kent, Jen hopes to continue her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment.


As a community geographer and internship coordinator, Jen is working to connect our students to local projects. Next semester, she is teaching a new course, “Online Mapping for Community Outreach” in which students will create interactive maps for local non-profits.
Eric Shook
Assistant Professor
eshook@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2045
Department of Geography
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability

My research combines geographic information science and computational science to study the complexity of coupled natural and human systems. To address various computational challenges, I often employ cyberinfrastructure-based geographic information systems (CyberGIS) and supercomputer-based spatial modeling to investigate large- and multi-scale geospatial phenomena.   

My interests focus on advancing the state-of-the-art in geospatial technologies that underpin geographic information science (GIScience) thus opening new areas of scientific inquiry.  My dissertation research (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Summer 2013) resolved computation and "big data" challenges to enable the first critical examination of how representations of space and time affect epidemic agent-based modeling using models that simulated tens of millions of agents.  In 2012 in collaboration with SGI, a leader in high-performance computing, I was part of a team that captured the spatial distribution of emotion from Twitter in near real-time during the US presidential election and Hurricane Sandy (see http://www.sgi.com/go/twitter). I was also a key contributor for the GISolve Toolkit, which represents cutting-edge geospatial middleware for empowering CyberGIS.  

Xinyue Ye
Assistant Professor
xye5@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-7939
Department of Geography

 Dr. Xinyue Ye is an expert on open source geocomputation, spatial econometrics, GIS modeling and urban/regional analysis (with over 40 peer-reviewed publications). His work on comparative space-time analytical implementation won the national first-place award of "research and analysis" from the US University Economic Development Association in 2011 and he received the emerging scholar award from AAG’s Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group in 2012. Dr. Ye earned his B.S. in Urban Planning from Zhejiang University (China), M.A. in Human Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M.S. in GIS from Eastern Michigan University, and Ph.D. in Geography/Spatial Analysis from the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University.

Kelly Turner
Assistant Professor
vturner5@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-9878
Department of Geography
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability
Dr. V. Kelly Turner’s research is primarily concerned with the environmental outcomes of urban design and the role of social processes in mediating those outcomes. Other research interests include sustainable urban planning, urban ecology, water resource management, and decision-making under uncertainty. Dr. V. Kelly Turner holds a PhD in Geography from Arizona State University. She has extensive interdisciplinary experience through research activities with the Decision Center for a Desert City (NSF-DMUU), Central Arizona Project (NSF-LTER), and the Urban Ecology Program (NSF-IGERT) at Arizona State University.
Sarah L. Smiley
Associate Professor
ssmiley8@kent.edu
Phone: 330-332-0361
Department of Geography

My research interests lie at the intersections of urban, historical, and cultural geography.  I use multiple qualitative methods including surveys, interviews, participant observation, mental mapping, and archival research.  I am specifically interested in the ways that colonial legacies of segregation, housing and development policy, and amenity provision affect everyday life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  My current research analyzes what access to water really means.  In particular I explore how the price and reliability of water along with the the physical act of walking to collect water impact life.  I am based at the Salem Campus where I teach a variety of Kent Core and Diversity Courses, and I also teach graduate courses on African Cities and Qualitative Methods on the Kent Campus.

Kat Smith
IT User Support Analyst
Department of Geography

Kat Smith is the IT User Support Analyst for the department of Geography. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Kent State University and is a published author. She is an expert in web development, graphic design and IT. If you need immediate assistance, she can be reached via email at ksmith39@kent.edu.