Profile: Cathleen McAnneny

Cathleen McAnneny, Professor in the Geography Department at the University of Maine, Farmington, Maine, USA. Cathleen is interested in rural poverty and the associated challenges faced by service agencies in the state. She has worked with the regional hospital on the issue of health care access. Cathleen is past Chair of the MGSG.

Professor McAnneny received her PhD from Michigan State University in 1995 and has worked primarily as an undergraduate educator, teaching courses in GIS, medical, environmental, and physical geography. She is a founding member, along with her colleague Matthew Bampton of the University of Southern Maine, of the Maine GIS Curriculum Consortium, which has developed a set of materials drawn from a variety of disciplines such as physical and health geography, forestry, meteorology, anthropology and sociology to help faculty incorporate GIS into their courses. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation.

In conjunction with her work with the regional hospital, she has been part of a team whose goal is to develop a new way to deal with charity care. In addition, she has worked with the State Bureau of Health cancer registry, looking at hospital referral patterns and using GIS to map local cancer clusters. She along with GIS students created maps for Franklin County’s Disaster Mitigation Plan. In the process of collecting data and preparing maps, it became clear that planning for unforeseen events is entirely local and that communities such as Farmington have not considered the repercussions of sudden mass population movement should there be a major disaster in a nearby urban center.

Cathleen serves as an example of applied geography and close undergraduate student involvement. Most recently she has focused on the issue of oral health care in rural areas and has presented this work at the AAG. In addition Cathleen has worked with the Aroostook County Community Action Agency to develop their plan for health care in the County. She is also part of a team working on the social science curriculum in Maine schools, and serves as the Coordinator of the Maine Geographic Alliance. When she is not teaching, Cathleen experiences the environment close-up by kayaking the area’s spectacular lakes and rivers. Cathleen may be contacted at

Updated: February 2011 —