Dr. Maggie Sugg


Ph.D., Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015

M.A., Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011

B.S., Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008


My current research focuses on the spatiotemporal patterns of environmental health illnesses and how these patterns relate to environmental, socioeconomic, and climatic determinants. This research is guided by the social-ecological approach of vulnerability theory, which investigates the complex interplay between the environmental and social/economic aspects of a community. Using this theory, my research provides insights into the etiology of environmental-health diseases, highlighting both at risk populations and the environmental conditions that lead to adverse health outcomes. Presently, I have three main topical research interests: 1.) Environmental Exposure and Wearable Sensor Technology 2.) Mental Distress among Adolescents 3.) Indicators of Vulnerability and Resilience in the southeastern US.

In the News: Dr. Maggie Sugg Receives NSF’s Most Prestigious Award in Support of Early-Career Faculty

Click here to view my personal webpage.


The goal of my teaching is to create an environment that facilitates student interaction and encourages critical evaluation of the world.

Recent Courses:

  • GHY 3812: Geographic Information Systems
  • GHY 5800: Advanced Quantitative Methods for Graduate Students
  • GHY 4005: Geography of Health and Disease
  • GHY 5150: Seminar in GIScience
  • GHY 5025: Climate and Society

Selected Publications

Sugg, M.M., Spaulding, T., Lane, S., Runkle, J., Harden, S.*, Hege, A., and Iyer, L. (2021). Mapping Community-Level Determinants of COVID-19 Transmission in Nursing Homes: A Multi-Scale Approach. Science of the Total Environmenthttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141946

Andersen, L., Harden, S.*, Sugg, M.M., Runkle, J., and Lundquist, T.* (2021). Analyzing The Spatial Determinants Of Local Covid-19 Transmission In The United States. Science of the Total Environmenthttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142396

Runkle, J.D., Sugg, M.M., Leeper, R.D., Rao, Y., Matthews, J.L., and Rennie, J.J. (2020). Short-term Effects of Specific Humidity and Temperature on COVID19 Morbidity in Select US cities. Science of the Total Environmenthttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140093

Runkle, J.D., Michael, K., Stevens, S., and Sugg, M.M. (2020). Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Text-based Crisis Patterns in Youth following Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, 2018. Science of the Total Environmenthttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141702

Sugg, M.M., Michael, K., Stevens, S., Filbin, B., Weiser, J., and Runkle, J. (2019). Crisis Events in Youth following Celebrity Suicides and the Release of 13 Reasons Why Season 2: A Case Study of Summer 2018. Preventative Medicine Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100999

Sugg, M.M., P. Grady Dixon, and J. Runkle (2019). Crisis Support-Seeking Behavior and Temperature in the United States: Is there an Association in Young Adults and Adolescents? Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.434

Click here to view my Google Scholar profile.

Recent Master Theses Supervised

Leah Hart Handwerger - An Assessment of Social and Physical Vulnerability to Hydroclimate Extremes in Appalachia (2021)

Camila Moreno - Examining Spatiotemporal Trends of Drought in the United States Using Self-Organizing Maps (2021)

Stella Harden - The Impact Of Environmental And Social Characteristics On Severe Maternal Morbidity: A Spatiotemporal Analysis In South Carolina (2020)

Elizabeth Bailey - Wearable Sensors For Personal Temperature Exposure Assessments: A Comparative Study (2019)

Matthew Wilson - External Validation Of Vulnerability Indices: A Case Study Of The Multivariate Nursing Home Vulnerability Index (2019)

Lauren Andersen - An Assessment Of Wildfire Vulnerability In Western North Carolina, USA Following The 2016 Wildfires (2018)

Laura Thompson - Adolescents In Crisis: A Geographic Exploration Of Help-Seeking Behavior Using Data From Crisis Text Line (2018)

Garry Raynor - Geographic Variations Of Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories In North Carolina (2017)

Anna Ross - Recreational Heat-Related Illness: Heat Exposure Outside The Work Week (2016)

Title: Associate Professor & Department Honors Director
Department: Geography and Planning

Email address: Email me

Office address
Rankin Science West 359


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