Profile: Ronald Cossman

Dr. Ronald E. Cossman, Associate Research Professor and Research Fellow, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA. Dr. Cossman uses GIS and data visualization technologies to investigate social and environmental factors in patterns of chronic morbidity and mortality.

Ronald Cossman earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of North Florida (Jacksonville) in 1992, his master’s degree in demography and population studies from Florida State University (Tallahassee) in 1993, and his PhD in geography from the University of Colorado (Boulder) in 2001. His dissertation was Secular Trends and Spatial Clusters of Inequality in US Metropolitan Areas, 1970-1990.

Ronald currently has two major research threads: (1) health and unhealthy places in the US, and (2) using prescription drugs-filled as a proxy measure for chronic illness in rural counties in the US. His publications related to these threads have appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Population Research and Policy Review, International Journal of Health Geographics, Journal of Maps, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, and Health Place.

He has also authored several policy papers and policy briefs for the Mississippi Health Policy Research Center —, including Leading Causes of Death Among Children in Mississippi, Impacts of Primary Seat Belt Laws on Motor Vehicle Deaths Among Mississippi s Youth, Motor Vehicle Injuries and Deaths Among Children in Mississippi: The Role of a DUI Child Endangerment Law and Underage Drinking and Driving in Mississippi: A Review of the Issue and Synthesis of the Literature.

His community service is through Starkville in Motion ( ), a grass-roots organization promoting the development and maintenance of bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety in Starkville, Mississippi, and Oktibbeha County. He authored the funded $1.5 million Lynn Lane multi-use Path grant on behalf of the City of Starkville. He was co-author for the funded $280,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation on behalf of the Starkville School District.

Ronald may be contacted at

Updated: February 2011