Faculty & Staff



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  • Assistant Professor
  • 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.


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 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.


Kent State Collaborators


  • Associate Professor
  • Phone: 330-672-6502
  • College of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • Kent State University

My teaching and research interests focus on community-based interventions, research methodologies such as spatio-temporal analyses, evaluation research methods, and violence and violence prevention.


  • Director, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC)
  • Phone: 216-357-3426
  • College of Architecture & Environmental Design
  • Kent State University

My research interests focus on neighborhood and campus planning, commercial and residential design guidelines, storm water management and green infrastructure strategies.


  • Associate Director, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC)
  • Phone: 216-357-3438
  • College of Architecture & Environmental Design
  • Kent State University

My research interests focus on shrinking cities and working with social media, video and other technologies to develop new techniques for community engagement.


  • Urban Designer, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC)
  • Phone: 216-357-3433
  • College of Architecture & Environmental Design
  • Kent State University

My research interests include affordable housing, industrial heritage, civic spaces, urban theory, praxis and pedagogy.


  • Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 330-672-6512
  • College of Public Health (Health Policy and Management)
  • Kent State University

My research interests focus on disaster preparedness specifically working with the first responder community including law enforcement, fire, and EMS professionals, as well as the impact of preparedness on vulnerable populations such as the elderly, children and college students.


  • Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 330-672-2562
  • Department of Sociology
  • Kent State University

My research interests include crime and justice, health and health behavior, and incarceration and punishment, with specific interests in contemporary shame and sanctioning and collateral consequences of incarceration.


  • Professor
  • Phone: 330-672-2572
  • School of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Kent State University

My teaching and research interests include exploring the relationship of ethnic minorities to the mass media, especially the Latino community.

External Collaborators


  • Associate Professor
  • Phone: 225-578-2963
  • Department of Geography and Anthropology
  • Louisiana State University

My research interests are focused in utilizing GIS, spatial analysis and computer cartography especially as they relate to crime.


  • Professor Emeritus
  • School of Architecture
  • Louisiana State University

My research interests are in community sustainability, heritage conservation and service-learning.


  • Director, Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab)
  • Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 352-273-9374
  • Emerging Pathogens Institute
  • Department of Geography
  • University of Florida

My research interests are in GIS, remote sensing, ecological niche modeling, disease ecology, the spatial distribution of disease, anthrax, Bacillus anthracis and bacterial zoonoses.


  • Director, Los Angeles County Sexually Transmitted Disease Program
  • Phone: 213-744-3070
  • Los Angeles County Sexually Transmitted Disease Program
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

My research interests focus on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS in the public health field.


  • Director, Diabetes and Metabolic Clinic, Los Angeles County Medical Center
  • Director, Diabetes and Metabolic Unit, Doctors of USC Downtown
  • Assistant Professor
  • Keck School of Medicine
  • University of Southern California

My research specialties are endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes, specifically the pathophysiology and better treatment strategies of type 2 diabetes.


  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Social Sciences (Geography)
  • Missouri Southern State University

My teaching and research interests include spatial cognition and spatial learning, social movements and protests, theories of environmental justice, world-systems theory, geographic education and the history of geographical thought.

Collaborating Centers

Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

University of Florida Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research (SEER) Laboratory