Environmental, Geographic, and Geological Sciences


Juliana Maantay


The Urban GISc Lab
From left to right: Rachael Weiss (Public Health doctoral student, Research Assistant); Brian Morgan (GISc Lab Manager); Kristen Grady (EES doctoral student, Research Assistant, GTF); Andrew Maroko (Assistant Professor, Associate Director of Urban GISc Lab); Zakkiyyah Shah (USDA Fellow, GISc Lab Tutor, Geography/GISc Program); Tiffany Mae Brown (USDA Fellow, Research Assistant, GISc Lab Tutor, GISc Graduate Program); Juliana Maantay (Professor, Director Urban GISc Lab and GISc Program)

As a native of New York City, I have had a life-long interest in the urban environment, especially that of my home-town.  I consider myself very fortunate to have a job that allows me to combine this fascination with urban culture, history, and the built environment with my passion for social justice issues.  My previous education and professional background in architecture, urban planning, environmental management, and policy analysis, as well as my love for history, has been wonderful preparation to being a geographer, which is, in many ways, the ultimate inclusionary, cross-cutting, and multi-disciplinary field.  The research areas I focus on are at the nexus of the sub-fields of urban, environmental, and health geography, and include using Geographic Information Science (GISc) for spatial analyses of environmental health justice issues; land use and health impacts; urban hazards and risk assessment; and community-based participatory research.

I am currently a Co-PI and research scientist in grant-funded projects with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (CREST), the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, conducting research on the relationship between air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular disease; diabetes/obesity and location of active recreational spaces and healthy food choices; urban agriculture and health; segregation, disease, and health inequities; new dasymetric methods of population mapping; interdisciplinary urban health research methods; community-based participatory research using GISc; and geovisualization of health data. 

USDA Fellows and Research Faculty, in the New York Botanical Gardens for the presentation on the Urban Agriculture Research Project.  From left to right: Tiffany Mae Brown, Juliana Maantay, Zakkiyyah Shah, Kristen Grady

Current Urban GISc Lab Research Projects

  • Air dispersion modeling for mapping air pollution and asthma;
  • Proximity to hazards and environmental health justice;
  • Residential Segregation and Health Disparities;
  • Dasymetric mapping for public health GIS;
  • Interdisciplinary urban health research methods;
  • Design of new geomatics methods and techniques, such as (1) a new set of procedures for the loose-coupling of an air dispersion model with a Geographic information System for more accurate exposure estimates; (2) an expert system for disaggregating population data in order to conduct dasymetric mapping, and the resultant improvements in calculating disease rates and obtaining a more realistic depiction of exposure extent and impact magnitude; and (3) a new model for assessing human vulnerability to risk and hazard, based on weighted indices incorporating physical and environmental conditions, and indicators of social and health vulnerabilities;
  • Urban agriculture, community gardens, “food deserts,” and the relationship between healthy food choices, obesity, and diabetes;
  • Access to parks and recreational spaces and health outcomes. Equity issues with parks access. 
  • The Public Health Impacts of Climate Change.

NOAA-CREST Fellows, Scholars, and Research Scientist: Brian Morgan; Rosa Perez; Juliana Maantay; Andrew Maroko; Kristen Grady

Research on the above projects is supported by the following agencies and organizations:

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Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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