Hello! I’m a GIS Data Analyst at a kidney care company, where my main role involves assigning teammates and facilities using my skills in programming and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Alongside my day job, I am a graduate student studying epidemiology at the University of Memphis, where I continue to delve deeper into the intersection of public health and geographic data.

My Journey

My journey into the world of spatial data began with my undergraduate studies in Geography/GIS, enriched by classes in computational epidemiology and medical geography. Since 2012, I’ve been immersed in R and GIS, applying these tools across various projects. One notable project was an analysis of Lyme disease in Texas, where I utilized the SatScan software to identify spatiotemporal clusters, showcasing how GIS can highlight patterns and trends in disease spread over time and space.

Why I Blog

I started this blog to share my passion for spatial epidemiology, GIS, and R programming. As an epidemiology student, this platform serves as a repository for my projects and a place to connect with others who are equally enthusiastic about exploring how geographical contexts influence health outcomes. My particular interest lies in vector-borne diseases, though the challenges of accessing specific data have led me to also work with survey data and other publicly available resources.

Community Engagement

Engagement with the community is vital to me. I actively participate in discussions and share insights through my Twitter handle, @HealthByMaps, and my Mastodon account, @GeoEpi@mastodon.social. These platforms allow me to connect with others who share a similar passion and to stay informed about the latest developments in the field.

Beyond the Data

Outside of my professional and academic pursuits, I am a competitive powerlifter and a ham radio operator. These hobbies provide a great balance to my analytical work, offering both physical challenges and a way to connect with people in different contexts.

Overcoming Challenges

One of the recurring challenges in working with spatial data involves the inconsistencies in data formatting, such as the lack of FIPS codes in non-spatial data sets. Overcoming these obstacles often requires creative problem-solving and meticulous data manipulation, skills that I continue to hone through my projects and studies.

Continuous Learning

Keeping my skills sharp and staying updated with the latest techniques in spatial analysis and epidemiology is not just a professional requirement—it’s a passion. Each project I undertake enhances my understanding and fuels my enthusiasm for this fascinating field. Graduate school also provides a great and challenging opportunity to learn.