Profile: Marynia Kolak

Marynia A. Kolak is a Research Specialist at the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago, and PhD Candidate in Geography at the GeoDa Center at Arizona State University, where she investigates issues of equity across space and time using applied spatial econometrics with policy-driven, systems-integrating solutions. Her current research intersects domains of food access, public health, and housing. Her dissertation work proposes a spatial data science framework for evaluation applications, with space serving as the place for integration of research design and methodology, data infrastructure, and decision-making.

As an integral aspect of community engagement, she collaborates with the Chicago Department of Public Health and community organizations to develop and improve integrated civic technology systems for data exploration and more effective analysis. She leads the Healthy Access, Healthy Regions project that was recently awarded the 2016 Concordium Award for Innovations with Data. Previous work includes a spatiotemporal analysis of food accessibility in Chicago; engaging her students in a Humanitarian Mapathon for outbreak relief efforts, as part of their final projects; and, serving as the first graduate student association Wellness Director at ASU.

See her website,, for additional research updates.

Updated: September 2016.