The Big Data Health Science Center (BDHSC) at the University of South Carolina (USC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Health Geographic Information Science (GIS) Scholars Program:

Morgan Boncyk, a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health, and Bridget Hamilton, a PhD student in the College of Nursing. Eight graduate students have received the Health GIS Scholarship in total since 2021.

Founded in April 2019, the USC BDHSC is an interdisciplinary enterprise that promotes and supports big data health science research across the flagship state academic institution and across the state through capacity development, academic training, professional development, community engagement, and methodological advancement. The BDHSC is dedicated to offering academic and professional training programs for those who wish to work in the field of big data health science. Student training that is grounded in research and curriculum is a key component of the BDHSC. The Health GIS Scholars Program, started by the BDHSC Geospatial Core, is one of the noteworthy training initiatives supported and run by the BDHSC.

The goals of the Health GIS Scholars Program are to: develop students’ interest in GIS and spatial applications to health research; improve their research and professional development in this field; develop their technical and writing skills so they can pursue scholarly publications and reports; and develop scholars in health GIS who will go on to make significant contributions to academia, public health, and other related fields.

As a Health GIS Scholar, Morgan will use thermal remote sensing to assess the spatiotemporal variability of human heat exposure in Kenya’s informal food markets. This award will support Bridget’s project exploring the relationship between redlining and health disparities in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta, Georgia.