Geospatial Core

About the Core

The mission of the Big Data Health Science Center Geospatial Core is to conduct cutting-edge geospatial research and Geographic Information Science (GIS) and provide training in the use of GIS, spatial analytics, and other technologies to enhance multidisciplinary health-related research i

Activity 1

Innovative research is taking place within the Geospatial Core. Our investigators are currently conducting funded research to quantify the impact of residential location on health outcomes, harness social media data to monitor health trends, identify geographic pockets of social vulnerability and resilience, detect disease outbreaks, and describe trends in access to health care services.

Activity 2

Members of the Geospatial Core have diverse content expertise to share with your team. We offer hands-on help and consultation to incorporate GIS and spatial analytics into your business strategy, research project or grant, or data system. Our faculty can also assist your team with spatial data collection, management, analysis and dissemination strategies.

Activity 3

The Geospatial Core hosts seminars, courses, and workshops on GIS and spatial analytics for investigators and trainees across a broad range of disciplines. Check the Events tab for more information and future event dates. Contact our Director for course-related listings offered on the UofSC campus.

Health GIS Scholars Program

The Geospatial Core is pleased to announce the inaugural Health Geographic Information Science (GIS) Scholars Program. This program is being launched to recognize and support two outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who have demonstrated interest, potential, and/or experience in GIS and health research. 

Geospatial Core Services

  The BDHSC Geospatial Core is available to provide Geographic Information Science (GIS) and spatial consultation to the University of South Carolina and external communities. To learn more about the services provided by the Geospatial Core visit the Geospatial Services Page   


Melissa Nolan, Ph.D., MPH

Core Director, Epidemiology

Melissa Nolan’s research interests lie in infectious diseases and health disparities. Her work focuses on patient-oriented public health approaches to tackle diseases that disproportionately affect the impoverished. Her current projects focus on the clinical epidemiologic characterization of Chagas disease in the US, Mexico, and Central America, developing a remote sensing model for prioritizing mosquito breeding habitats for insecticide spraying in resource-limited areas, clarifying the immunologic response to polyparasitism in pediatric populations, and refining trichomoniasis patient profiles of at-risk adolescents.

Nathaniel Bell, Ph.D.

Core Member, Nursing 

Dr. Bell’s research program of research addresses three topics: (1) societal determinants of health; (2) methodologic research on improving access to and outcomes of medical care; and (3) conceptual frameworks to understand, analyze, and improve access to and outcomes of medical care.

Susan (Cuizhen) Wang, Ph.D.

Core Member, Geography

Dr. Wang’s primary research areas are bio-environmental remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis. Particular interests are innovative modeling of optical/radar synergy in biophysical remote sensing, vegetation mapping, environmental stress monitoring and bioenergy. Her past research experience includes Land Use/Land Cover mapping, canopy radiative transfer modeling, and quantitative biophysical estimation with optical and microwave remotely sensed data. The associated field studies include China, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Example applications include weed invasion, drought and oak decline, rice mapping, prairie grassland conservation, alpine grassland (Tibet Plateau) mapping and soil/water quality assessment.

Zhenglong Li, Ph.D.

Core Member, Geography

Dr. Zhenlong Li established and leads the Geoinformation and Big Data Research Laboratory (GIBD). Dr. Li’s primary research field is GIScience with a focus on geospatial big data analytics, high performance computing, spatiotemporal analysis, cyberGIS, and geospatial artificial intelligence with applications to disaster management, public health, human dynamics, and climate analysis. He has more than 100 publications including over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 articles in books and proceedings, and 4 edited books. He has received funding support from NSF, NIH, NASA, and ESIP among others.

Kevin Remington

Core Member

 Kevin Remington is the Campus GIS Coordinator 

Diego Leal, Ph.D.

Core Member, Sociology

Diego F. Leal earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in 2018.  He has been an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina since the Fall of 2018. He was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, where he did an M.A. and B.A in Political Science. He applies lenses of computational social science and network science to the study of international migration and minority health.

Corey Schnell, Ph.D.

Core Member, Sociology

Dr. Schnell’s research examines the methodology applied to understand where crimes occur within cities. His research focuses on refining descriptions of the spatial distribution of crime patterns. In addition, he studies the effectiveness of policing strategies to reduce crime and enhance perceptions of police legitimacy. The primary objective of this research is improving the policies and practices of police agencies for them to better serve their respective communities. Dr. Schnell explores a wide range of quantitative analytic techniques to answer research questions on these topics. His published work has used the following analyses and research designs: social network analysis, meta-analysis, multi-level models, case-control design, survival analysis, and randomized experiments.

Bryan L. Love, Pharm.D.

Core Member, Pharmacy

Bryan L. Love, Pharm.D., MPH, FCCP, BCPS, (AQ ID), is an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. He is a board-certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist with added qualifications in infectious diseases. Love has over 35 peer-reviewed publications, including manuscripts in prestigious pharmacy and medical journals, over 50 peer-reviewed scientific poster presentations, and over 35 invited presentations. Both pharmacy students and medical residents have recognized him for excellence in teaching. He was recognized by his peers with the 2013 Excellence in Scholarship award from the CPOS department.