Fellow: Awarded 2016
Field of Study: Geography and Environmental Studies
Competition: US & Canada
Mei-Po Kwan is Professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chair of the International Geospatial Health Research Network. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is currently editor of Annals of the American Association of Geographers and the book series entitled SAGE Advances in Geographic Information Science and Technology. In 2005 Kwan received the Edward L. Ullman Award from the Transportation Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Research Award. She was recognized in 2009 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2011 she received the Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the AAG. In 2016, Kwan received the AAG E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award from the American Association of Geographers for her outstanding research accomplishments and contributions to the discipline of geography and beyond, and the Melinda S. Meade Distinguished Scholarship Award from the AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group.
Kwan’s research interests include environmental health, sustainable cities, human mobility, urban/social issues in cities (e.g., access to jobs and healthcare), and application of geospatial technologies and geographic information science (GIS) methods in health, urban, and transportation research. Her work has been supported by grants from various sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the William T. Grant Foundation. Kwan’s recent collaborative projects examine the health risks of female sex workers, adolescent and adult participation in high risk drug use, and individual exposure to air pollution. She plans to use the Guggenheim fellowship to deepen our understanding of the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP) and to conceive possible methods for mitigating the problem in social science and health research. Follow this link for more information about the UGCoP.