I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico. I received my PhD in Geographic Information Science (2014) from Texas State University. I am also affiliated with UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, NIH-funded Environmental Health Disparity Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research, and NIH-funded UNM METALS Superfund Research Program Center.

I am a geographer specialized in health/medical geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS) who focuses on the impact of space and place on health. I develop and apply GIS and spatial analysis methods to gain better understanding of relationships among human health, society, and the environment. My research merges the concerns of GIS with environmental and social determinants of health, including spatial analysis and modeling, cancer disparities, and environmental spatial epidemiology. In relation to spatial analysis and modeling, my research is focused on spatial accessibility modeling and uncertainties, and air pollution exposure modeling. In relation to cancer disparity research, I study cancer prevention and control through a geographical lens, including: (a) identification of geographic areas with high rates of cancer and cancer risk factors, (b) the roles of geographic information and technology in cancer disparity reduction, and (c) development of evidence-based and spatially explicit intervention programs for cancer disparity reduction. With regard to environmental spatial epidemiology research, I am concerned with understanding and addressing environmental health disparities, especially in Native American communities. Indigenous communities may be disproportionately exposed to industrial hazards, such as abandoned mine waste, and faced with poor health infrastructure and socioeconomic challenges that inhibit the capacity to respond to and reduce exposures. My work in Native American communities is built on sustained community partnership, and is designed to address community priorities. I seek solutions to real-world problems through application of cutting-edge geographic theory in fields ranging from Big Data, geospatial modeling, and environmental and social health analyses. My full CV is here.

I am looking for MS and PhD students and research assistants who are interested in the following topics:

  • Health/Medical Geography
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Spatial Analysis and Modeling

Students will work with me on multiple NIH and EPA funded research projects.

If you are interested in the MS or PhD program in Geography at UNM, You can find out more information about our program here. You can apply for formal admission to our program using the online portal here.


Yan Lin, PhD,
Assistant Professor
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies

1 University of New Mexico
MSC01 1110
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Office: Bandelier Hall West Room 205
E-mail: yanlin@unm.edu