Ivan J Ramirez

Ph.D. • Instructor
Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences

Mailing Address:
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sciences
Campus Box 172
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
Auraria Campus
North Classroom Building
Room 3510-B

Office hours - by appointment or see syllabus

Expertise Areas:
climate change and society, urban health, human-environment interactions, health and medical geography, disaster vulnerability, geospatial analysis and data visualization, community engagement, social justice, capacity building

Ph.D., GeographyMichigan State University, 2012
Doctoral Specialization, Ethics and Development, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 2011
Graduate Certificate, Community Engagement, University Outreach and Engagement Center, Michigan State University, 2011
M.A., Climate and Society, Columbia University, 2006
B.A., Environmental Studies (minor in Economics), Hunter College, City University of New York, 2005

Overview: I am a geographer whose research focuses on the intersections of climate change, urban health, disasters, and community engagement. As an avid climate-society researcher, my scholarship strives to elucidate how communities interact with the many facets of climate, and how those interactions ultimately influence the health and social vulnerability of populations and places, including inequities across and between communities. I am also interested in understanding how communities respond to and cope with weather, water, and climate-related hazards and disasters, as well as the ethical implications of impacts and societal responses. Regionally, my research has focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, but generally I am concerned with communities in the Global South and distressed neighborhoods in the United States. Currently, I am an Instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver). I am also a Research Affiliate with the Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB) at University of Colorado Boulder since 2009. Previously, I was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Eugene Lang College, The New School, and taught courses at Colorado State University and New College of Florida. I have a Ph.D. in Geography from Michigan State University and a M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

Research: In my dissertation, I examined the geographic impacts of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and social vulnerability on epidemic cholera in northern Peru. My main findings, which are published in Weather, Climate and Society, GeoJournal and Ecohealth,challenged the current paradigm of when and how climate impacted the cholera outbreak in Peru. In addition, I conducted a community-engaged pilot study which focused on participatory action research to address air quality risk in several neighborhood parks in northern Brooklyn, NY. My current research focuses on climate-health interactions, mapping vulnerability to multi-disease risk, both infectious diseases (e.g., cholera, malaria) and chronic health-conditions (asthma, diabetes), as well as contribute to a USAID-funded project for ENSO 'readiness', mapping and disaster improvisation ('zero-order responders'). In fall of 2018, I began a pilot project (co-PI) with University of Northern Colorado (lead PI), funded by the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, to conduct a spatial analysis of the social determinants of health in Colorado, housing affordability, and multiple health issues.

Teaching: As a teacher and scholar, I am committed to cross-disciplinary geographic and environmental studies education that emphasizes spatial thinking, interdisciplinarity, ethics, and community engagement. I employ case-based and problem-based teaching approaches to foster student engagement and utilize GIS and web-based tools to teach students about geospatial analysis and data visualization. Since 2012, I have developed a suite of interdisciplinary courses including "Climate and Society," "Climate Justice," and "Urban Environmental Health" at The New School and New College of Florida.

Ramírez, I.J., A. Baptista, J. Lee, A. Traverso-Krejcarek, and A. Santos. 2019 (forthcoming). Fighting for Urban Environmental Health Justice in Southside (Los Sures) Williamsburg, Brooklyn: A Community-Engaged Pilot Study. In Handbook of Global Urban Health, I.Vojnovic, A. Pearson, A. Gershim, A. Allen, and G. DeVerteuil. New York: Routledge. 

Ramírez, I.J., J. Lee, and S.C. Grady. 2018. Mapping multi-disease risk during El Niño: an ecosyndemic approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 2639. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122639.

Ramírez, I.J. 2019. Exploring Tropical Variability and Extremes Impacts on Population Vulnerability in Piura, Peru: The Case of the 1997-98 El NiñoInTropical Extremes: Natural Variability and Trends (Observations, Modelling and Theoretical Expectations), V. Vuruputur, J. Sukhatme, R. Murtugudde, and R. Roca (Eds.). New York: Elsevier. (available online 2018)

Glantz, M.H., and I.J. Ramírez. 2018Improvisation in the time of disaster. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development5. DOI:10.1080/00139157.2018.1495496.

Naranjo, L., M.H. Glantz, S. Temirbekov, and I.J. Ramírez. 2018. El Niño and the Köppen-Geiger classification: a prototype concept and methodology for mapping impacts in Central America and the Circum-Caribbean. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science. DOI: 10.1007/s13753-018-0176-7. https://rdcu.be/TB3H.

Glantz, M.H., L. Naranjo, M. Baudoin, and I.J. Ramírez. 2018. What does it mean to be El Niño Ready? Atmosphere9, 94. DOI: 10.3390/atmos9030094.

Ramírez, I.J and F. Briones. 2017. Understanding the El Niño "Costero" of 2017: the definition problem and challenges of climate forecasting and disaster responses. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science8, 489-492. DOI: 10.1007/s13753-017-0151-8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13753-017-0151-8.

Ramírez, I.J. and S.C. Grady, 2016: El Niño, climate and cholera associations in Piura, Peru, 1991-2001: A wavelet analysis. EcoHealth13, 83-99. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-015-1095-3. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10393-015-1095-3.

Ramírez, I.J., 2015: Cholera resurgence in Piura, Peru: examining climate associations during the 1997-98 El Niño. GeoJournal80, 129-143. DOI: 10.1007/s10708-014-9541-2. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10708-014-9541-2.

Ramírez, I.J., S.C. Grady, and M.H. Glantz, 2013: Reexamining El Niño and cholera in Peru: a climate affairs approach. Weather, Climate and Society, 5, 148–161. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-12-00032.1.

GEOG 2202 - Hazards to Disasters: Perception and Management
GEOG 4230/5230- Hazard Mitigation and Vulnerability Assessment
ENVS 1044 - Introduction to Environmental Science