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Ben Shirtcliff

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Ben Shirtcliff, associate professor of landscape architecture, received a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program to support mentored research for his project “A Small-Town Paradigm Shift? Assessing Global Climate Change and Decades of Transnational Migration Effects on Underserved and Co-exposed, Underrepresented Adolescents in Rural, Ag-based Built Environments.”

The federal funding will help Shirtcliff advance his research expertise in environmental health sciences, landscape science and the epidemiology of environmental stress on human behavior, noncommunicable diseases and chronic inflammation. Since 2013, Shirtcliff has been discussing health disparities in built environments with mentor Katherine Theall, a NIH-funded health disparities researcher at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Through this new project, Theall will mentor Shirtcliff in basic biological research on place effects of environments on biological systems through literature reviews on topics including place effects and neighborhood violence; measurement of physical and social environmental exposure; and geostatistical methods and spatial prediction in built environments.

Additional mentors include Andrew Hunt, professor of earth and environmental science at the University of Texas-Arlington, and Monica Haddad, associate professor of community and regional planning at Iowa State.