GIS and geographic theories can help bridge a crucial gap in interdisciplinary research projects. Geography is uniquely poised to offer critical and practical analytical support, wrangle spatial data and relate them to other datasets, and ground community-based science within the communities it aims to serve. In the context of the Navajo Nation, a key concern is relating potential exposure to environmental contaminants with cultural identity and the social ramifications of resource extraction.
Daniel Beene (DaRBeene@salud.unm.edu) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and a trainee with the METALS (Metals Exposure and Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands) Superfund Research Program at the University of New Mexico. His research explores how geospatial and geographic methods can enrich understandings of environmental and social health disparities on Tribal lands in the western United States. Daniel is also a data manager at the University of New Mexico Community Environmental Health Program. In 2022, Daniel received the prestigious Sobel Duncan Science for Health of Indigenous Populations (SHIP) award for his dissertation research.
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