The Beyer research group focuses on: a) Identifying spatial patterns of health behaviors and outcomes, with a focus on health disparities; b) Examining relationships between environments and human health behaviors and outcomes using both quantitative and qualitative methods; and c) Intervening to improve health and reduce disparities. Current foci are a) cancer disparities, b) institutional racism and racial segregation, c) health promoting environmental features (e.g. greenspace), d) interventions to increase time spent outdoors in natural environments to improve physical and mental health, and e) global health. We emphasize the importance of community engagement and participation in research, and work is very often accomplished in partnership with community organizations.
Our most recent work has focused on measures of segregation and institutional racism, and relationships between these measures and cancer health disparities.1–3 We have recently received an NIH/NCI R01 to expand our research in this area (R01CA214805, Racism, Residential Racial Segregation, and Breast Cancer Survival Disparities among Black, Hispanic and non- Hispanic White Women). Additionally, we are currently engaged in a large MCW institutional initiative to reduce breast and lung cancer disparities in Wisconsin. We are using disease mapping techniques to examine spatial patterns of cancer incidence, mortality and survival, and small area estimation techniques to examine patterns of cancer-related health behaviors, such as cigarette smoking. Dr. Beyer serves with local community organization leaders and multidisciplinary faculty on the design team for this initiative.
Additional work by our group has focused on relationships between health promoting features of the environment and health. We have focused primarily on green space4 and vacant lot redevelopment,5 including community gardening. In addition, we have undertaken community engaged intervention research and evaluation projects to examine the impact of environmental education and outdoor skills training on attitudes toward outdoor play, self- efficacy, and health behaviors and outcomes.6–8 We are currently developing an intervention to increase time spent outdoors in natural areas among breast cancer survivors, targeting reductions in symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as changes in levels of physical activity and biological markers, including inflammation.
Potential future interests of our group include (1) reducing commercial tobacco use among Black and American Indian populations, while recognizing the importance of traditional tobacco among American Indian populations, (2) understanding cancer-related needs of Milwaukee’s refugee and immigrant populations, and (3) examining spatial patterns of cancer in Kampala, Uganda.
We welcome applications from talented and committed candidates with a recent Ph.D. in Geography, Statistics, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, or related fields. Interested candidates should submit a CV, a brief statement of research interests in a cover letter, and three references.
1. Beyer KMM, Zhou Y, Matthews K, Bemanian A, Laud PW, Nattinger AB. New spatially continuous indices of redlining and racial bias in mortgage lending: Links to survival after breast cancer diagnosis and implications for health disparities research. Heal Place [Internet] 2016;40:34–43.
2. Zhou Y, Bemanian A, Beyer KMM. Housing Discrimination, Residential Racial Segregation, and Colorectal Cancer Survival in Southeastern Wisconsin. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev [Internet] 2017;cebp.0929.2016.
3. Bemanian A, Beyer KMM. Measures Matter: The Local Exposure/Isolation (LEx/Is) Metrics and Relationships Between Local Level Segregation and Breast Cancer Survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev
4. Beyer KMM, Kaltenbach A, Szabo A, Bogar S, Nieto FJ, Malecki KM. Exposure to neighborhood green space and mental health: evidence from the survey of the health of Wisconsin. Int J Environ Res Public Health [Internet] 2014;11(3):3453– 72.
5. Olson J, Bogar S, Hoormann K, Beyer KMM. The vacant land inventory: an approach to support vacant lot redevelopment for population health improvement in Milwaukee, WI, USA. In: Harrington DW, McLafferty S, Elliot SJ, editors. Population Health Intervention Research: Geographical Perspectives. Ashgate; 2016.
6. Beyer KMM, Heller B, Kistner A, Zetts C, Bizub J, Szabo A. More Than a Pretty Place: examining the influence of environmental education on children’s outdoor play in nature. 2014 Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children: Abstracts. J Phys Act Heal 11(Supp 1):S126 – S198.
7. Beyer K, Bizub J, Szabo A, et al. Development and validation of the attitudes toward outdoor play scales for children. Soc Sci Med [Internet] (0). Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/artic le/pii/S0277953614006790
8. Kroencke RD, Hoormann KA, Heller EF, Bizub JM, Zetts CJ, Beyer KMM. Knowledge of Neighborhood Nature Is Associated with Strong Sense of Place among Milwaukee Youth. Child Youth Environ 2015;25(3):129–44.
In order of importance
Design and execute complex research procedures.
Lead and manage projects.
Collaborate with principle investigators in determining study design, implementing statistical and geospatial analyses, and interpreting results.
Operate specialized computer hardware and software to model, manage, analyze and display geospatial data.
Draft written reports and summaries of data analyses; contribute to, and lead, peer-reviewed manuscripts and grant proposals.
Assist in the training of students and other GIS users at MCW, and support the expansion of GIS at MCW.
Create, edit, and maintain data sets, including geospatial data and appropriate metadata; Review data for consistency, accuracy and quality; Perform data cleaning and management and resolve data inconsistencies.
Coordinate retrieval of secondary databases from data holders and undertake data requests and data use agreements. Monitor timeliness of data receipt and resolve issues as required.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Preferred Schedule: M-F, days