UGHL People

UGHL is looking for talented and self-motivated students, both undergraduate and graduate, to work on quality research in the broad field of Health Geography. If you are interested in discussing a potential topic in Health Geography, please feel free to contact Dr. Neng Wan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Dr. Neng Wan, PhD.

neng wanNeng is an Assistant Professor of Geography and the director of the Utah Geo-Health Lab. His research and teaching interests lie in the intersection between health geography and geographic information science (GIScience). Geography, especially GIScience, is playing an ever more important role in medical/health research. His major motivation of research and teaching is to advance knowledge in this relatively new field and provide excellent educational experience to students.


Rebecca Richards-Steed

rebecca richards steedRebecca is a PhD student in Health Geography. She studies transgenerational environmental exposure and familial disease patterns. Her current research focuses on Autism Spectrum Disorder spatial-temporal patterns across and between families with the shared disease outcome. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and presented at TEDx Salt Lake City in 2017. Rebecca currently works at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Utah Population Database as a research assistant. She is also an adjunct professor at Weber State University, where she teaches advanced GIS.

Matt McCullough

matt mccullochMatt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the U of U in 2005 and went on to earn his masters degree in Natural Resources from Utah State University in 2011. He has also earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in GIS from Penn State in 2008 and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from the U of U in 2018. Matt worked as the GIS Administrator for Farmington City for 9 years and he is currently the Director of the Utah Office of Primary Care and Rural Health at the Utah Department of Health, where he uses his knowledge of geography and mapping to improve access to primary health care services in rural and underserved communities in Utah. His PhD research is on The Geography of Type 1 Diabetes in Utah: A Spatial, Temporal and Multilevel Analysis. Matt believes in the saying that "Geography is Destiny in Medicine" and hopes that his research will further the use of geospatial analysis in healthcare and health research.

Andrea Davis

matt mccullochI was born and raised in Utah and never see myself living far from the mountains. I currently live in Syracuse with my husband, Mason, five-year-old daughter, Millie, and two cattle dogs, August and Von. In addition to school and being a mother, I work as a long lens photographer for chariot and flat track horse racing and have done so for the last 13 years. While working and learning alongside diverse peers, I have had the opportunity to be a teaching, research, and graduate assistant during varies parts of my graduate adventure. One of my most recent research experiences was participating in a learning abroad focused on antibiotic resistance in Ghana. I am always looking for different ways to become involved in the community by volunteering with various organizations and participating in varies research surrounding health. I am currently focused on integrating my understanding of human health and my passion for geography to complete my PhD in Geography.

Steven Lizotte

steven lizotteSteve is a Master of Science student and Research Assistant in the Department of Geography. Steve graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Utah in May of 2016 and an Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology from Salt Lake Community College in May of 2015. His current research focus in Health Geography involves the distribution of crime and the relationship of that distribution at scale to macro-level predictors of criminogenesis in Salt Lake County Utah. Additionally, Steve is contributing to work on the health outcomes of tobacco and alcohol use and cessation in Harris County Texas in collaboration with researchers from the University of Memphis.


Dapeng Li

dapeng liI am an Assistant Professor of GIS in the Department of Geography at South Dakota State University. As a well-trained GIScientist, I am teaching introductory and upper-level GIS courses and developing some new GIS courses to further improve our GIS curriculum at SDSU. My current research primarily focuses on wildfire evacuation modeling and simulation in the American west. Meanwhile, I also start to work on other topics in hazards, public health, transportation, and sustainability.


The Utah GHL is in the Department of Geography, Gardner Commons 4625, on the campus of the University of Utah.

Lab Address:

Utah Geo-Health Lab
Department of Geography
University of Utah 
260 S. Central Campus Dr., Room 4625 
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Mailing Address:

Dr. Neng Wan
Director & Assistant Professor
University of Utah
260 S. Central Campus Dr., Room 4625
Salt Lake City, UT 84112






This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.