Mapping health and disease - Dr. Paul Lorah
Paul Lorah is a faculty member in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department. His research focuses on how environmental and cultural processes interact to shape the landscapes we inhabit. Paul has served on the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota Nature Conservancy and has worked with students to fund more than $100,000 worth of conservation projects.
The Geography of Global Health introduces students to the theories and research techniques used by medical geographers. The class explores the underlying environmental, cultural and demographic processes that shape the distribution and spread of disease in an effort to achieve a deeper understanding of the factors influencing human health. The course is project based, and students work with community partners such as the Trust for Public Land, Catholic Charities and Ramsey County’s Department of Public Health.
During the course of the semester, students work on unique research projects, and most finish the course with a conference-ready research poster and a 15-minute conference presentation. Some projects focus on sustainability (urban forests, access to parks and childhood obesity), others explore social justice (natural hazards, poverty and vulnerability), while others analyze the ecology of disease (climate change, the shifting distribution of mosquito populations and Malaria).