Profile: Barbara Tempalski

Dr. Barbara Tempalski, co-Principal Investigator, Institute for AIDS Research, National Development Research Institutes, Inc., New York, NY. Barbara broadly identifies as a health and social geographer. Her research interests include infectious disease, women’s health, political ecology of health and disease, disease surveillance, health policy and global health.

Barbara Tempalski earned a PhD in Geography in 2005 from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). She earned an MA in Geography at Hunter College of the City University of New York in 1992, and an MPH in Community Health Education at the same institution in 1997. She completed her BA in Geology at Northeastern University (Boston,MA) in 1984. Her research expertise lies in studying the geographic distribution of infectious disease and identifying the sociopolitical and structural responses, and utilizing quantitative methods to analyze these distributions. Her current research investigates injection drug use-related HIV, and measuring the need for service provision and availability of services to this highly stigmatized and largely hidden population. This research focuses on the nexus of health, social, and political geography in measuring the geographic distribution of services, response and prevention of HIV among injection drug users.

She served as a consultant with USAID evaluating the utility of GPS and GIS as a tool for integrating schistosomiasis control in Egypt. She also worked for UNICEF examining the utility of a GIS in evaluating Dracunculiasis eradication policies in West Africa. She has conducted reproductive health research in Nepal focusing on use of condoms and HIV knowledge among Nepalese women, and how physical landscape bears on this knowledge. She has a growing list of publications in journals like Journal of Urban Health, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of International Drug Policy. Barbara may be contacted at Her websites: and

Updated: June 2012