CPH Graduate Students Reap Rewards at APHA Conference

Not only did CPH students and faculty present compelling research at the 2016 APHA Conference, but a trio of graduate students also received the APHA Physical Activity Section’s Oral Presentation Award for their submission, “STAT: A Spatiotemporal Tool to Link Trail Quality and Use.”

“We believe our project won because our methods are both innovative and time efficient, and the product (a geospatial account of each trail with an accompanied composite score) is very intuitive and easily disseminated. Saving time while enhancing the quality of data collection is a significant contribution to our field,” explained researchers Naomi Carlson, Matt Nichols, and Carissa Smock. Using geospatial video, the researchers engaged a portable, bicycle-mounted spatial video camera (Contour +2 1700) and its coordinating video analysis software (Contour Storyteller) to acquire and analyze video of local trails located in Canton, OH and Kent, OH. The study analyzed data and generated archives within a GIS, identified components of existing built environment tools that could be adapted to better address physical trail quality and use, and evaluated how physical trail condition relates to suitability for specific types of physical activity.

The results can be disseminated to investigators and stakeholders in order to raise awareness of local trail quality, with aims of spurring physical activity and identifying links between trail quality and use, while the archival nature of the data can be used to assess change over time.

The investigators have identified a number of areas in which they would like to expand their research efforts, using the conference to begin conversations with a number of potential collaborators. 

CPH MPH Candidate, Graduate Assistant, and Development Specialist, Naomi Carlson, is interested in the linkage between the built environment and how it impacts health. For her practicum experience, she conducted a Health Impact Assessment on a major corridor in Bemidji, Minnesota. She holds a BS in public health from Syracuse University, with a meaningful internship at the CDC Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) working on Healthy Home projects.

Matt Nichols, MPH, is working toward the completion of his Ph.D. in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Policy and Management.  With a background in Exercise Physiology, and a focus in Health Policy and Management, his current research interests include the improvement of surgical outcomes, elderly fall prevention efforts and technologies, and the evaluation of hospital-affiliated health and wellness centers. Mr. Nichols also is a research assistant.

CPH Ph.D. Candidate, Instructor, and Research Assistant Carissa Smock specializes in the integration of exercise into hospitals’ continuum of care and assessment of trail quality and use. She currently holds an MPH, with a Practicum completed at the Cleveland Clinic, has over 10 years of professional experience in both public relations and nonprofit program management, and serves as APHA Student Secretary for the Physical Activity Section and Section Liaison Co-Chair for the Student Assembly.

POSTED: Monday, June 19, 2017 - 10:39am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 1:54pm