Extreme Events | Department of Geography | Kent State University

Extreme Events

Hazards and Health  Weather and Climate

Hazards and Health

Researchers at Kent State’s Department of Geography have strong research interests in the geography of health and hazards. Several faculty members are affiliated with the GIS/Health & Hazards Lab. The Lab’s research lies in the intersection of hazards and health using various geospatial approaches to work at the scale of intervention. These faculty have considerable experience in making maps to help understand disaster landscapes, community recovery, disease and urban health disparity. Geography Department graduate faculty are also frequent collaborators with the Kent State College of Public Health.


Weather and Climate

Kent State Geography maintains a highly active research program in Climatology and Meteorology. We have specific interests in Climate Change and Variability, Synoptic Climatology, Severe Weather, Precipitation, Teleconnections, and Hazards. We emphasize Applied Climatological studies, examining the impacts of climate and extreme weather on human health, coastal environments and other natural
systems. Our research ranges from local – with a focus on the Great Lakes region, to global – collaborating with researchers on five continents. Recent funding sources for our research have included NASA, NIH, NSF, and EPA.



  • Andrew Curtis: GIS and public/clinical health, hazards, crime, GIS analysis, geospatial field techniques, research methods
  • Jackie Curtis: post-disaster environments, maternal child health (MCH), geospatial techniques
  • Cameron Lee: applied climatology, synoptic climatology, climate change, climate-ocean interaction
  • Becky Parylak: physical geography, climatology, precipitation trends
  • Tom Schmidlin: weather and climate, natural hazards and disasters, severe weather
  • Scott Sheridan: climate and health, climate change, synoptic climatology, extreme temperature events
  • Sarah Smiley: sub-Saharan Africa, urban geography, cultural geography