Shona Girl Bangladesh Tubewell Kids on the Embankment Corn Harvest Dirty Pond
Shona girl doing yardwork, Zimbabwe    Tubewell, Bangladesh Children on the embankment, Bangladesh Corn harvest, Zimbabwe Contaminated pond, Bangladesh
Elisabeth Dowling Root
Department of Geography, University of Colorado
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Assistant Professor
Department of Geography

Faculty Research Affiliate
Institute of Behavioral Science

Office: IBS Building, Room 472
Phone: (303) 735-0264
Health and Medical Geography

My research explores
geographical patterns of health and disease using quantitative spatial methodologies to understand the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of human health.  I am particularly interested in the complex interactions between demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors that influence human health and how we can quantify these factors and interactions to better understand health outcomes.  My work relies on spatial statistical analysis, geographic information systems and remote sensing to explore the dynamic human-environment interactions that affect disease processes.

My current research focuses on two broad topics: the socio-environmental drivers of communicable diseases (e.g., pneumonia and cholera) and evaluating health programs and interventions in the U.S. and in developing countries using spatial methodologies.  I have several major international health projects as well as two research initiatives in the United States.


I teach courses in medical geography, population geography, disease ecology, global public health and spatial statistics (quantitative geographic methods).

Many of my courses used 
a problem based learning (PBL) approach.  PBL  allows for student collaboration in an active learning environment.   Classes often begin with the introduction of a problem based on complex real-world situations and students work in groups to identify, find and use appropriate resources to "solve" the problem.

This summer I will be teaching a 5-day workshop through the University of Michigan's ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.  The couse will cover an Introduction to Spatial Regression Analysis, is offered August 4-8, 2014 and will be held at the Insitute for Behavioral Science in Boulder, CO.

Images provided by: Elisabeth Root, Maggie Carrel and Veronica Escamilla
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