Current Graduate Students — Chinook Lab
Vania Wang is a doctoral student in the geography department, with an NSF IGERT Traineeship in network science. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle in microbiology, and a masters of public health from the University of California, Berkeley in infectious diseases and vaccinology. At UC Santa Barbara, Vania is interested to further explore infectious disease transmission among human populations--specifically diseases of global health importance that traverse human networks--through mathematical and computational models. When she emerges from the dusky study halls of the Davidson Library, Vania enjoys various derivations of rock climbing (primarily sport and traditional climbing), powerlifting, and tenderly coaxing the probiotic communities of her fermentation projects.
Sean Reid is the newest member of the Chinook Lab. He came here from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked on the LandScan Project – a global population distribution data set. Before that, he received his bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Utah, along with certificates in Remote Sensing, GIS, and Geospatial Intelligence. Sean is interested in urban dynamics, human mobility, machine learning and nature-society interactions. He loves to hike, camp, backpack, and run marathons. He’s planning to try an ultra-marathon soon…we’ll see how that goes!
Justin Cook is a doctoral student in the geography department, co-advised with Dr. Stuart Sweeney. He came here from the US Air Force Academy where he was a Senior Instructor in Geospatial Science and taught courses in geopolitics, physical geography, and human geography. He received his undergraduate degree in meteorology at Penn State and has masters' degrees in international relations from Troy University and applied geography from UC Colorado Springs. Justin is currently researching patterns of human fertility change in the United States, as well as maternal and infant health markers related to economic, chemical, and spatial factors. Justin enjoys reading and getting outside to hike and explore the area with his wife and two daughters.
Former Chinook Lab members
Dr. Wei Luo is currently a research associate with the Machine Intelligence Lab, Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Wei received his Ph.D. from Penn State University, where he was a research assistant in the GeoVISTA Center with Dr. Alan M.Maceachren. Wei also has a master’s degree in Geography from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Wei’s research interests include: Geovisual Analytics, High Performance Computational Spatial and Social Analytics, Cartography, Spatial Statistics, Network Analysis, Machine Learning, Complex Systems, GEOINT, and Epidemic Modeling with applications to the geographic components of Big Data, Spatial Epidemiology/Public Health (i.e., Influenza, HIV), Climate Change Impacts, Water Security, International Trade, Social Media, Urban Dynamics, Crime Analysis, Crisis Management, and Nature-Society Interactions.
Britta Schumacher received her Master’s degree from UCSB in 2018. She studied the conservation-livelihoods interface, climate change and variability, food security and smallholder perceptions in East Africa. Her undergraduate degree is from Penn State University (2015) where she studied fire ecology, biogeography and the parks-people interface. In between undergrad and coming to UCSB, Britta worked as a forest census intern at the Loquillo LTER site in the El Yunque Rain Forest in Puerto Rico and as an agricultural research intern at the Rodale Institute, the first organic research institute in the United States. Her current work focuses on livelihood dynamics, including migration, perceptions of change and adaptation strategies, in the Kilombero Valley of south-central Tanzania. She is also interested in fertility-food-climate interactions, the HIV-food security nexus, and regenerative, organic agriculture and a sovereign path to livelihood security.
Britta is now pursuing her PhD in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University
Dan Meltzer received his Master’s degree from UCSB in 2019. He studied infectious disease patterns and environmental injustice in relation to mobility and with a focus on Valley Fever. Dan aims to better understand how people move within and through environments, and how those environments leave their mark on health.
Prior to studies at UCSB, Dan was a research associate with the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), where he used spatial analysis and mapping techniques to examine environmental health issues across California. He received a Masters in Public Health in 2014 from the University of California at Berkeley where he studied the connection between spatial patterns of traffic collisions and public transit access, analyzed in the context of broader issues of environmental inequity in the urban SF Bay Area.
Dan is currently employed with the Program for Health Equity and Sustainability in the San Francisco Department of Public Health.