Florence Margai

Associate Dean, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
Interim Director, The Institute of Global Cultural Studies
Professor of Geography
Binghamton University, P.O.Box 6000
Binghamton, New York 13902-6000
HARP: LN2430; TEL 607.777.4934. FAX 607.777.4900
GEOG: SW207B; TEL 607.777.6731. FAX 607.777.6456
Email: margai@binghamton.edu

Dr. Florence Margai is the Associate Dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University where she oversees matters relating to graduate studies, student success initiatives, and faculty development. She is also the Interim Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies (IGCS), and a Professor in the Department of Geography teaching courses that reflect her areas of specialization: Advanced Statistics, Environmental Health Hazards, Health Disparities and Environmental Analysis using Geospatial technologies such as GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing and Geostatistics.

Dr. Margai's research interests entail the use of geospatial technologies in the mapping and assessment of environmental hazards and negative health outcomes particularly within vulnerable communities including marginalized groups, women, the elderly, and children. Her past and current research activities include the study of food insecurity and childhood health outcomes, malaria morbidity and treatment seeking approaches in West Africa, toxic exposures such as pediatric lead poisoning and adverse health consequences. She has worked with several nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Africa to assist in the geographic targeting of vulnerable population groups for disease intervention and health promotional campaigns, sustainability and capacity development initiatives.

Education: PhD in Geography (Kent State University)

Recent Designations:

  • 2014–present: Interim Director, Institute of Global Cultural Studies, Binghamton University.
  • 2014–present: Member of the Spatial Analytics and Informatics Core Research Collaboration Group at the Research Center on Health Disparities, Equity, and the Exposome (RCHDEE).
  • 2014–present: Elected National Councilor, Association of American Geographers (AAG).
  • 2013–present: Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Student Success and Faculty Development, Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, Binghamton University.
  • 2013–2014: Lead Expert: Association of American Geographers (AAG)'s My Community, Our Earth: MyCOE/SERVIR 2013 Initiative in Accra, Ghana.
  • 2012–present: Distinguished External Reference Group (ERG) member, Capacity Development for Natural Resources Management, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • 2012–present: Member of Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence (TAE)–Sustainable Communities Committee, Binghamton University.
  • 2012–2013: Co-Chair, Student Success Initiative. Appointed to co-chair team and develop Road map/strategic plan for student success at Binghamton University.
  • 2011–2013: Associate Dean, The Graduate School, Binghamton University.
  • 2010–present: Professor of Geography, Binghamton University.
  • 2010–2012: National Science Foundation (NSF) Geography and Spatial Sciences Division. Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Grant Panel review of proposals.
  • 2013–present: Editorial Board Member, Geoinformatics & Geostatistics.
  • 2010–2012: Member of Undergraduate Taskforce for Digital Generation, Binghamton University.
  • 2010–2011: Director of Graduate Studies, Geography, Binghamton University.

Other Notable Experiences and Professional Activities:

  • Since 2009: Has served as reviewer for four separate Study Sections with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

   o NIH Social Science and Population Studies (SSPS) Study Section
   o NIH Health Disparities and Equity Promotion (HDEP) Study Section
   o NIH HIV/AIDS Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships
   o NIH AIDS, Clinical Studies, & Epidemiology Section (ACE)

  • Since 2006: Has served as External Reviewer for 6 University Tenure and Promotion Personnel Cases
  • 2006–present: Editorial Board Member African Geographical Review
  • 2000–2008: Chair, Geography Department, Binghamton University
  • 1996–2005: Co-Chair, Geography, Binghamton University
  • 2004–2005: Program Reviewer
  • 2003–2006: Editor: African Geographical Review
  • 2002–2005: Member of Planning Committee: Race/Ethnicity and Place Conference

Teaching Specialties:

  • Advanced Statistics and Spatial Analysis.
  • Environmental Hazards and Health.
  • Health Disparities by Race, Ethnicity and Class.
  • Environmental Analysis using GIS, Remote Sensing and Statistics.
  • Africa: People, Space & Environment.

Research Interests:


  • Disproportionate burden of disease and health access in vulnerable communities.
  • Food deserts and promoting sustainable food systems at local and global levels.
  • Pediatric health geographies: Lead poisoning and learning disabilities.


  • Contaminated communities, toxic exposures and health outcomes.
  • Community vulnerability Assessment using GIS and Remote Sensing.
  • Developing analytical frameworks and applications to validate claims of environmental inequity.


  • Data Driven Decision-making using Spatial Statistics.
  • Structural Equation Models; Multilevel Modeling.
  • Calibration and Testing of Environmental Health Indicators.


  • Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Health Care Challenges Facing Women and Children.
  • Reducing Malaria Burden and Emergent-Re-emergent Infectious Diseases in Africa.
  • Participatory GIS and Community Outreach for Disease Prevention and Health Promotional Campaigns.

Current/Recent Research Projects Undertaken:

  • Half-A Loaf Project
  • Geospatial Analysis of Oncological Data.
  • Application of GIS to Health Nutritional Inequities.
  • Lead Poisoning and Learning Disabilities.
  • Childhood Malaria Burden and Treatment Approaches in Africa.
  • Food Security and Childhood Health in Africa.
  • Health Disparities by Race, Ethnicity and Class in the U.S.
  • Toxic Exposure and Low Birth Weight.




  • Margai, F.M. and N. Lazarus. Introduction to Geography: Laboratory Exercises and Readings (4th Edition) (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company).
  • Margai, F.M. (2008). Environmental Health Disparities by Race/Ethnicity and Class (Laboratory Exercises using ARCGIS and other Geospatial technologies) 3rd Edition.
  • Margai, F.M. (2006). Introduction to Geography: Laboratory Exercises and Readings (3rd Edition) (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company).

Journal Articles/Book Chapters: (Contact Professor Margai for reprints)

  • Margai, F.M. and J. Minah. "Malaria Risk Profiles, Treatment Seeking Practices and Disease Intervention Efforts in Poor Communities." Book Chapter accepted; to be published in Geographies of Health and Development. I. Luginaah and R. Bezner-Kerr (Eds.) (Burlington, VT/London: Ashgate Publishers).
  • Minah, J., and F.M. Margai. (2013). "The Use of Malaria Nosodes to Reduce Malaria Prevalence in Vulnerable Communities." The California Homeopath. Journal of the California Homeopathic Medical Society.
  • Margai, F. (2012). "Exploring Leadership Pathways in Global Environmental Health and Social Justice: A Geospatial Perspective." Book Chapter published in the SAGE Reference Series on Environmental Leadership. A 2-volume set that tackles issues relevant to leadership in the realm of the environment and sustainability. Executive Editor: Deborah Rigling Gallagher.
  • Margai, F.M. (2011). Contributor. Dictionary of African Biography. H.L. Gates, Jr., E.K. Akyeampong (Eds.) (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Margai, F.M., and F.B. Barry. (2011). "Global Geographies of Environmental Injustice and Health: The Case of Illegal Hazardous Waste Dumping in Cote d'Ivoire." In J. Mantaay and S.L. McClafferty (Eds). Geospatial Analysis of Environmental Health (The Netherlands: Springer).
  • Margai, F.M. with T. Oyana. (2010). "Spatial Patterns and Health Disparities in Pediatric Lead Exposure in Chicago: Characteristics and Profiles of High-Risk Neighborhoods," The Professional Geographer, 62(1), pp. 6–65.
  • Margai, F.M. (2010). "Place Vulnerability to Climate Change and Environmental Hazards: Geographic Tools and Perspectives for Assessing Emergent Health Risks." Binghamton University Research Magazine.
  • Margai, F.M. (2009). "Acculturation and the Health of Black Immigrant Families." In I. Okpewho and N. Nzegwu (Eds.). The New African Diaspora (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press), pp. 164–18.
  • Margai, F.M. with T. Oyana. (2008). "Geographic Analysis of Health Risks of Pediatric Lead Exposure: A Golden Opportunity to Promote Healthy Neighborhoods." Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, Volume 62(2), pp. 93–104.
  • Margai, F.M. with J. Minah. (2008). "The Use of Malaria Nosodes to Reduce the Prevalence of Malaria in Depressed Communities." International Coethener Exchange ICE 7.InHom 2008, pp. 25–29.
  • Margai, F.M. with C. Yorke. (2008). "Monitoring Land Use Change in the Densu River Basin, Ghana Using GIS and Remote Sensing Methods." African Geographical Review, Vol. 26, pp. 87–110.
  • Margai, F.M. (2007). "Geographic Targeting of Risk Zones for Childhood Stunting and Related Outcomes in Burkina Faso." Journal of World Health and Population, June 2007, pp. 1–19.
  • Margai, F.M. (2006). "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care: A Geographical Review." In J.W. Frazier and E. Tetteyfio (Eds.). Race, Ethnicity and Place in a Changing America. (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing).
  • Margai, F.M. and L. Tuck. (2004). "Exploratory Analysis of Learning Disabilities and Environmental Risk Factors." Research in Contemporary and Applied Geography: A Discussion Series, Vol. XXXVIII No. 3.
  • Margai, F.M. with N. Henry. (2003). "A Community-Based Assessment of Learning Disabilities Using Environmental and Contextual Risk Factors." Social Science and Medicine 56, pp. 1073–1085.
  • Margai, F.M. (2003). "Using Geodata Techniques to Analyze Environmental Health Inequities in Minority Neighborhoods: The Case of Toxic Exposures and Low Birth Weights." In Multicultural Geographies: The Changing Racial and Ethnic Patterns of the United States, John Frazier and Florence Margai (Eds.). (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing), pp. 263–274.
  • Margai, F.M. (2003). "Indicators of Environmental Inequities and Threats to Minority Health in Urban America." In Race and Place: Equity Issues in Urban America (with John Frazier, Florence Margai and Eugene Tetteyfio). (Boulder, CO: Westview Press), pp. 189–212.
  • Margai, F.M. with J. Frazier. (2003). "Multiculturalism and Multicultural Education in the United States: The Contributory Role of Geography." In Multicultural Geographies: The Changing Racial and Ethnic Patterns of the United States, John Frazier and Florence Margai (Eds.). (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing), pp. 1–10.
  • Margai, F.M. with J. Frazier. (2003). "Culture, Cultural Landscapes and the Historical Contexts for Economic Expansion, Immigration and Group Settlements in the United States." In Multicultural Geographies: The Changing Racial and Ethnic Patterns of the United States, John Frazier and Florence Margai (Eds.). (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing), pp. 11–30.
  • Margai, F.M. (2001). "Health Risks and Environmental Inequity: A Geographical Analysis of Accidental Releases of Hazardous Materials." In The Professional Geographer 53(3), pp. 422–434.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. with J. Oigara. (2001). "Evaluating the Proliferation and Impacts of Water Hyacinth in Lake Victoria." Book chapter in Issues in Africa and the African Diaspora in the 21st Century. S.N. Asumah and I. Johnston-Anumonwo (Eds.). (Binghamton, NY: Global Publications and Africana Press), pp. 109–121.
  • Lansana-Margai F.M. (2000). "Africa." McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 8th edition, pp. 192–195.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. with S. Martin. (2000). "Risk Zones and Public Health Consequences for Hazardous Substance Releases Research," in Contemporary and Applied Geography, Vol. 24, pp. 1–18.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. (1999). "Promotional Strategies for the Prevention and Proper Disposal of Household Hazardous Wastes." Journal of Environmental Systems, Vol. 27(2), pp. 85–99.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. (1998). "Geographic Information Analysis of Pediatric Lead Poisoning." Proceedings of GIS in Public Health, August 1998.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. with J. Chung, K. Feitchingher & L. Dixon. (1998). "A Spatial Analysis of Soil Lead Levels and Pediatric Lead Contamination." Research in Contemporary and Applied Geography: A Discussion Series, Vol. 22(4), pp. 1–24.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M., Walter, S., Frazier, J.W., and Brink, R. (1997). "Exploring the Potential Environmental Sources and Associations of Childhood Lead Poisoning." Applied Geographic Studies, Vol. 1(4), pp. 1–18.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. with G. Turrner. (1997). "Group Differentiated Perceptions and Support for Wetlands Protection and Restoration Policies." Research in Contemporary and Applied Geography: A Discussion Series, Vol. 21(4), pp. 1–24.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. (1997). "Analyzing Changes in Waste Reduction Behavior in a Low-Income Urban Community Following a Public Outreach Program." Environment and Behavior, Vol. 29(6), pp. 769–792.
  • Lansana-Margai, F.M. (1995). "Evaluating the Potential for Environmental Quality Improvement in a Community Distressed by a Man-made Hazard." Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 44, pp. 181–190.
  • Lansana, F.M. (1994). "Integrating Waste Recovery and Reduction Systems in Low-Income Urban Communities." Research in Contemporary and Applied Geography: A Discussion Series, Vol. 29(2), 13 pps.
  • Lansana, F.M. (1994). "Integrating Waste Recovery and Reduction Systems in Low Income Urban Communities." Papers and Proceedings of Applied Geography, Vol. 17, pp. 122–136.
  • Lansana, F.M. (1993). "A Comparative Analysis of Curbside Recycling Strategies in Urban and Suburban Communities." The Professional Geographer, Vol. 45(2), pp. 169–179.
  • Lansana, F.M. (1992). "Distinguishing Potential Recyclers from Non-Recyclers: A Basis for Developing Recycling Strategies." Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 23(2), pp. 16–23.
  • Lansana, F.M., Harvey, M.E. & Frazier, J.W. (1991). "The Causal Role of Demographic, Communication and Attitudinal Factors in Recycling Behavior in Energy," The Environment and Public Policy, D.L. Mackee (Ed.) (New York: Praeger), pp. 78–88.
  • Lansana, F.M., Harvey, M.E. & Frazier, J.W. (1989), "Household Participation in Recycling: An Evaluation of Some Policy Questions." Papers and Proceedings of Applied Geography, Vol. 12, pp. 144–156.

Student Mentoring/Supervision of Theses and Internships:

  • Supervisor of 32 Graduate Theses and Research Projects.
  • External Examiner of 5 Doctoral Dissertation Committees.
  • Member of 46 Thesis Committees.
  • Supervisor of 15 Undergraduate Thesis/Research Projects.
  • Supervisor and Mentor of more than 20 Student Internships.

Examples of Recent Projects Completed by Students:

R. Wang Geog576: The Geography and Socio-Economic Environment of the H1N1 Virus
Geog495/595 Group Internship Project: The Geographic Analysis of Food Bank Services in the Southern Tier
W. Ng and S. Kabuga, Geog546: Analysis of Arsenic in Groundwater: State of Arizona.
L. Chi and Z. Sturm, Geog546: Asthma Prevalence and Environmental Risk Factors in Kings County, NY.
K. Jimenez and R. Passer, Geog546: Food Deserts: The Role of Fast Food Restaurants in Onondaga, NY.
E. Chin and M. Voorhees, Geog546: Water Quality Issues Across NYS.
L. Torricelli and M. Zhang, Geog546: Geographical Analysis of TCE in Endicott, NY.
C. Adom and J. Boyer, Geog 576: Locating a Landfill Site in Broome County.
H. Tulloch and L. Stummer, Geog566: Hanta Virus project.
C. Paciullo and B. Coates, Geog 566: Accident Analysis in Tioga County.
J. Plummer and M. Davis, Geog 566: Modeling Radon Exposure and Health Effects.
G. Elwell, Geog566: Diffusion of the West Nile Virus.
H. Aikins and Y. Hwang: Low Birth Weights–A Geographical Analysis.

Last Updated: 9/27/16