Ivan Ramirez, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Health and Behavioral Sciences

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 (Department of Geography), Hunter College, City University of New York, 2005

Overview: I am a geographer whose research focuses on the intersections of climate change, global and urban health, disasters, and community engagement. As an avid climate-health-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 public health and communities respond to and cope with weather, water, and climate-related hazards and disasters, as well as the ethical implications of impacts. 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. I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral 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 Instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at CU Denver, and prior to that, I was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Eugene Lang College, The New School. I have also taught courses at the Colorado School of Public Health (CSU). 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, syndemic vulnerability and 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 2019, I completed a pilot project (co-PI) with University of Northern Colorado (lead PI), funded by the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, that conducted a spatial analysis of mental health issues and housing affordability in Colorado and associations with social determinants of health and healthcare accessibility.

Teaching: As a teacher and scholar, I am committed to cross-disciplinary public and environmental health education that emphasizes spatial thinking (geography), 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 of health and data visualization.

Ramírez, I.J., and J. Lee. 2019. Mapping ecosyndemic and social vulnerability in Guatemala during the 2014-16 El Niño: An exploratory GIS analysis, Proceedings, DOI:10.3390/IECEHS-2-06393. (forthcoming)

Lee, J. and I.J. Ramírez. 2019. The Intersection of Housing and Mental Health in Colorado: Mapping Critical Social Determinants of Health (Report No. 18-09A). Denver: Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver. https://coloradolab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/HousingMentalHealthFinalReport11.4.19.pdf.

Ramírez, I.J., A. Baptista, J. Lee, A. Traverso-Krejcarek, and A. Santos. 2019. 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. 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. 

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.

Glantz, M.H., and I.J. Ramírez. 2018Improvisation in the time of disaster. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 5. 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. EcoHealth, 13, 83-99. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-015-1095-3. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10393-015-1095-3.