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Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice

Building on several recent AAG initiatives together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a special Symposium has been organized within the AAG Annual Meeting to explore new research frontiers in health and social environments, and also address progress generated by the AAG Initiative for an NIH-wide Geospatial Infrastructure for Health Research. These AAG initiatives have generated an increased awareness by health researchers as well as geographers of the core role that geography and GIScience can play in addressing global health needs, both in research and in practice.

Nearly 40 sessions are running on three concurrent tracks from Wednesday-Friday with presentations by leading medical and health researchers, geographers, and GIScientists. Examples of session topics include health disparities and inequalities, obesity, spatial patterns of drug abuse and treatment, gene-environment interactions, disease ecologies, neighborhood effects on health behaviors and outcomes, geographies of public health policies, spatial analysis and modeling of disease, health care provision, access, and utilization, health and well-being, methodological issues in health research, and more. A day-long series of sessions that focuses on geospatial data confidentiality and data sharing has also been scheduled on Tuesday, April 9 in connection with the Symposium.

The Symposium will begin with the “Opening Plenary on Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice” on Wednesday morning, April 10, at 10:00 a.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3. Organized and chaired by AAG Executive Director, Douglas Richardson, this plenary will include prominent researchers working at the intersections of health and geography, including Robert J. Sampson, Mei-Po Kwan and Robert Kaplan (invited).

An “Author Meets Critics” session is also organized for Robert J. Sampson’s book, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect, on Wednesday, April 10 from 4:40 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3.

A concluding plenary “Synthesis, Trends, and Directions for Geography, GIScience, and Health: Spatial Frontiers of Health Research and Practice” will be held on Friday, April 12 at 4:40 p.m. in Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3. Mei-Po Kwan will chair this plenary, joined by Sara McLafferty and Mark Rosenberg to discuss future trends and directions for research and practice, with David Berrigon, Wilson Compton, and Bethany Deeds from NIH.

Session Numbers in this track: 1129, 1229, 1429, 1529, 1629, 2226, 2427, 2428, 2527, 2528, 2529, 2626, 2627, 2628, 3127, 3128, 3129, 3227, 3228, 3229, 3427, 3428, 3429, 3527, 3528, 3529, 3627, 3628, 4127, 4128, 4227, 4228, 4229, 4427, 4428, 4429, 4527, 4528, 4529, 4626 (Symposium posters are included in sessions 3521 and 4521)

The Symposium is organized by:

Mei-Po Kwan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Utrecht University), Co-Chair
Sara McLafferty (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Co-Chair
David Balshaw (National Institutes of Health - NIEHS)
Ling Bian (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Amy Blatt (Quest Diagnostics)
Kimberly Brouwer (University of California, San Diego)
Bethany Deeds (National Institutes of Health - NIDA)
Martin Dijst (Utrecht University)
Michael Emch (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Debarchana Ghosh (University of Connecticut)
Mike Goodchild (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Sue Grady (Michigan State University)
Tim Hawthorne (Georgia State University)
Poh Chin Lai (University of Hong Kong)
Jonathan Mayer (University of Washington)
Jean McKendry (Association of American Geographers)
Douglas Richardson (Association of American Geographers)
Mark Rosenberg (Queen’s University)
Gerard Rushton (University of Iowa)
Tim Schwanen (Oxford University)
Zaria Tatalovich (National Institutes of Health - NCI)
Jinfeng Wang (Chinese Academy of Sciences)



Download the Symposium Sessions by Title [pdf]

Download the Sympsosium Sessions by Schedule  [pdf]

Download an Overview of a Mini-Track on Geospatial Confidentiality [pdf] (scheduled Tuesday, April 9)