HWISE Scholar Highlight: Dr. Amber Pearson


Dr. Amber Pearson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Geography, Environment & Spatial Sciences and the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Michigan State University. She is an adjunct fellow at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand and part of MSU’s Global Water Initiative. Dr. Pearson serves as a steering committee member in the HWISE-RCN and is this month’s HWISE Scholar Highlight.

Dr. Pearson is a health geographer with a focus on social justice and understanding the unexpected tenacity, adaptability and resilience of the underprivileged, while paying careful attention to the structural and social factors that led to disadvantage in the first place. She has diverse regional interests from poor to wealthy countries. Her features geospatial and epidemiologic methods and critical development thinking.

Her water research is at the intersection of spatial and social dimensions of health with a focus on water security. Her overall research goal is to understand the interactions between human-induced ecological change, political and social dimensions of access to water, and human agency/coping strategies to improve health and wellbeing.

Dr. Pearson’s latest publications:

Whitehead, J., Pearson, A. L., Lawrenson, R., & Atatoa‐Carr, P. (2018). Framework for examining the spatial equity and sustainability of general practitioner services. Australian Journal of Rural Health26(5), 336-341.

Rzotkiewicz, A., Pearson, A. L., Dougherty, B. V., Shortridge, A., & Wilson, N. (2018). Systematic review of the use of Google Street View in health research: major themes, strengths, weaknesses and possibilities for future research. Health & place52, 240-246.

Pearson, A. L., Rzotkiewicz, A., & Namanya, J. (2017). Perceived access to water: Associations with health in rural Uganda. American Journal of Rural Development5(3), 55-64.

Pearson, A. L. (2016). Comparison of methods to estimate water access: a pilot study of a GPS-based approach in low resource settings. International journal of health geographics15(1), 33.

Pearson, A. L., Zwickle, A., Namanya, J., Rzotkiewicz, A., Zwickle A., Mwita, E. (2016). Seasonal shifts in primary water source type: a comparison of largely pastoral communities in Uganda and Tanzania. International journal of environmental research and public health13(2), 169.

Pearson, A. L., Mayer, J. D., & Bradley, D. J. (2015). Coping with household water scarcity in the savannah today: implications for health and climate change into the future. Earth Interactions19(8), 1-14.

For more information you can visit her website at https://msu.edu/~apearson/.

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