Geography, GIScience, and Health: Building an International Geospatial Health Research Network (IGHRN)

Building on a foundation of numerous AAG initiatives with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, this Special Theme of the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting will explore new frontiers in geospatial health research and applications and generate research synergies through the expansion of the International Geospatial Health Research Network (IGHRN).  It will also address progress achieved 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 other geographers of the core role that geography and GIScience can play in addressing global health needs, both in research and in practice. The theme seeks to bring together national and international scholars, practitioners, and policy makers from different specialties, institutions, sectors, and continents to share ideas, findings, methodologies, and technologies, and to establish, and strengthen personal connections, communication channels and research collaborations through the IGHRN.

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 Washington, DC, April 3-7, 2019. Papers on all aspects of health research and its intersections with geography or GIScience are welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:

• genomes, exposome, and geography
• exposure monitoring utilizing real-time, smartphone-based sensing, GPS/GIS methods
• spatial patterns of drug abuse and treatment
• mental health and the environment 
• migration and health
• gene-environment interactions
• crowd sourcing of geospatial data for health
• social media data for health 
• mHealth and global health service delivery initiatives
• health disparities and inequalities
• disease ecologies
• interactions among environment, pathogens, humans, and institutions
• neighborhood effects on health behaviors and outcomes
• geographies of public health policies
• spatial and spatiotemporal analysis and modeling of disease
• advances in spatial and space-time statistics for health 
• mobilities and health
• life course and health
• health care provision, access, and utilization
• health and well-being
• methodological issues in health research (e.g., Modifiable Areal Unit Problem, Uncertain Geographic Context Problem)
• international comparison of health issues
• global health research and public health initiatives
• geocoding, geoprivacy and sharing of confidential geospatial data 

For more information, please contact members of the Theme organizing committee at The Symposium organizing committee members are:

Mei-Po Kwan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Co-Chair
Kirsten Beyer (Medical College of Wisconsin) – Co-Chair
Yonette Thomas (International Society for Urban Health) – Co-Chair
Doug Richardson (American Association of Geographers) – Co-Chair

David Berrigan (National Institutes of Health - NCI)
 Ling Bian (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Yanwei Chai (Peking University, China)
Eric Delmelle (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Zan Dodson (American Association of Geographers)
Susan Elliot (University of Waterloo, Canada)
Michael Emch (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Jessica Finlay (University of Michigan)
Debarchana Ghosh (University of Connecticut)
Peng Gong (Tsinghua University, China)
Sue Grady (Michigan State University)
Daniel Griffith (University of Texas, Dallas)
Tim Hawthorne (University of Central Florida)
Marco Helbich (Utrecht University, the Netherlands)
Robin Kearns (University of Auckland, New Zealand) 
Yongmei Lu (Texas State University)
Sara McLafferty (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Jeremy Mennis (Temple University)
Jamie Pearce (University of Edinburgh, U.K.)
Kin Qin (Wuhan University, China)
Mark Rosenberg (Queen’s University, Canada)
Clive Sabel (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Xun Shi (Darthmouth College)
John Shi (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Lwasa Shuaib (Makerere University Kampala, Uganda)
R.B. Singh (University of Delhi)
Kathleen Stewart (University of Maryland)
Chetan Tiwari (University of North Texas-Denton)
Jinfeng Wang (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)
Michael Widener (University of Toronto, Canada)
Zaria Tatalovich (National Institutes of Health - NCI) 

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