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Yolanda J. McDonald, M.A., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development
Faculty Affiliate , Climate and Environmental Studies

Dr. McDonald’s research draws on geography, sociology, public health, public policy, and data science to conduct interdisciplinary research to explore how structural social determinants of health influence the built environment and health inequities. Her research aims to identify where and why environmental injustice occurs, particularly as it relates to drinking water access and quality, and provide evidence-based studies to inform policy and implement sustainable practices that remedy the lack of access to safe water. Her drinking water-related research has two major lines of inquiry that use environmental justice as a framework for understanding the state of public drinking water and its relations to variations in environmental health across communities: (1) to characterize the US drinking water landscape and (2) to examine associations between exposure to non-microorganism sources (e.g., arsenic) in contaminated water and chronic illnesses. Dr. McDonald is passionate about mentoring students and providing them with experiential learning opportunities to deepen their understanding of the value of applied research.

Department & Program Affiliations


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