The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5023.3: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Board 7

Abstract #71773

Application of Geographic Information Systems to Model Human Environmental Health Using Principles of Natural Ecology

Heather Basara, MS1, Daniel T. Boatright, PhD, FRSH2, Robert Lynch, PhD1, and May Yuan, PhD3. (1) College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 801 NE 13th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, 405-271-2070,, (2) College of Public Health/Dept. of Occupational/Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma, P.O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, (3) Department of Geography, University of Oklahoma, 100 E. Boyd, Suite 610, Norman, OK 73109

Human health is profoundly influenced by environmental health; it is necessary to understand the context of health for the development of effective management strategies. To pursue further understanding of the environmental context of health, natural ecological theory has been applied analogously to human community ecosystems. Ecological theory has provided the foundation for a more comprehensive integration of social, economic, and physical factors by including the analysis of interactive relationships among community factors, which is the key for determining how components of the environment fit together to create the context for health. A geographic information system (GIS) has capacity to display and analyze the spatial and temporal relationships of many kinds of data. Thus, ecological theory was used to create a model of human community health using GIS. Data representing the social, economic and physical environmental aspects of the human community ecosystem were collected to create the GIS. Data were connected using theoretical ecological principles such as community similarity indices and species richness. An ecologically based analysis of the health influencing factors in a community ecosystem provides a more accurate understanding of the aspects which require intervention as well as an understanding of how these shortcomings are related to the community as a whole, and the community as it is part of a larger spatial and temporal extent.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Innovative Topics in Environmental Health - Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA