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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

Peter Anthamatten, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor

E-mail: Peter Anthamatten
Web site: Google Scholar Profile
Office Location: NC 5030-B
Phone: 303.556.4277
Fax: 303.556.6197
Office hours: T, R 2:00 -3:30 PM and by appointment
Areas of Expertise:
Geography of health, GIS and cartography, spatial analysis, spatial thinking ​

Education & Degrees

Post Doctoral Fellow, Geography, CUNY-Hunter, 2007-2008

PhD, Geography, University of Minnesota, 2007

MPH, Environmental Health, University of Minnesota, 2002

MA, Geography, University of Minnesota, 2001

BA, summa cum laude, Political Sci., German, Geography, University of Missouri, 1997


My primary current research efforts include:

  • Exploring the role of the urban environment in childhood obesity. While environmental factors are frequently alluded to in discussions of the obesity epidemic, much work remains to be done on the ways that urban environments influence diet and physical activity. The purpose of my research is to consider (a) what kinds of relationships exist between various components of a child’s environment and the behaviors leading to obesity; (b) how to better evaluate whether this relationship is indicative of a causal relationship; and (c) what policy implications can be drawn from this work.
  • Examining the ways that research in spatial cognition and pscyhology can inform geographic education. Much recent research has shown that both children and adults have a natural set of skills which enable them to understand and navigate through space, but much work is needed to explore the ways that this basic scientific work can be applied to the classroom in different educationl settings. The purpose of my work is build the bridge between psychological research and educational practice.
  • Evaluating biases in bioconservation efforts. While much progress has been made in protecting environmental resources, some have questioned the "representativeness" of recent bioconservation efforts across biomes and ecological realms. The purpose of this work is to evaluate whether and to what extent such efforts favor some environments over others, and to consider the nature of observed biases using simple spatial-analytical techniques.

Select Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Anthamatten, P. and Hazen, H. 2014. "Changes in the Global Distribution of Protected Areas, 2003-2012." Professional Geographer. (article page) [doi: 10.1080/0330124.2014.921014]

Anthamatten, P.; Fiene, E.; Kutchman; E.; Mainar, M.; Brink, L.; Browning, R. and Nigg, C. 2014. "A microgeographic anlaysis of physical activity behavior within elementary school grounds." American Journal of Health Promotion. 28(6): 403-412.
(article page; please send me an e-mail to request a copy of the article) [PMID: 23971525; doi: 10.4278/ajph.121116-QUAN-556]

Smolinski, S.; Anthamatten, P.; Bruederle, L.; Barbour, J. and Chambers, F. 2014. "Mountain pine beetle infestation of lodgepole pine in areas of water diversion." Journal of Environmental Management 139(7): 32-37.
(article page) [PMID: 24681362; doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.034]

Anthamatten, P.; Brink, L.; Kingston, B.; Kutchman, E.; Lampe, S. and Nigg C. 2014.  "An investigation of schoolyard design and physical activity patterns among school children."  Journal of Physical Activity and Health 11(3): 564-573.
(article page; downloadable .pdf here) [PMID: 23416457; doi: 10.1123/jpah.2012-0064]

Wee, B. and Anthamatten P. 2014. "Using photography to visualize children's culture of play: A socio-spatial perspective." Geographical Review 104(1): 87-100.
(article page) [doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2014.12006.x]

Nikoi, E. and Anthamatten P. 2014. "Childhood anaemia in Ghana: an examination of associated socioeconomic and health factors." African Geographical Review 33(1): 19-35.
(article page) [doi: 101.1080/19376812.2013.838688]

Tinker, M.; Anthamatten, P.; Simley, J. and Finn, M. 2013. "A method to generalize stream flowlines in small-scale maps by a variable flow-based pruning threshold." Cartography and Geographic Information Science 40(5): 444-457.
(article page) [doi: 10.1080/15230406.2013.801701]

Anthamatten, P.; Wee, B. and Korris, E. 2013. "Exploring children's perceptions of play using visual methodologies." Health Education Journal 72(3): 309-318.
(article page) [doi: 10.1080/03098265.2013.775568]

Nikoi, E. and Anthamatten, P. 2013. "An examination of environmental correlates with childhood stunting in Ghana." Public Health Nutrition 16(1): 46-53.
(article page; downloadable pdf) [PMID: 22607708; doi: 10.1017/S1368980012001346]

Anthamatten, P.; Brink, L.; Lampe, S.; Greenwood, E.; Kingston, B. and Nigg, C. 2011. "An assessment of schoolyard renovation strategies to encourage children's physical activity." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(1): 1-9.
(article page). [PMID: 21477325; doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-8-27]

Anthamatten, P. 2010. "Spatial thinking concepts in early grade-level geography standards." Journal of Geography 109(5): 169-180.
(article page) [doi: 10.1080/00221341.2010.498898]

Hazen, H. and Anthamatten, P. 2007. "Unnatural selection: an analysis of the ecological representativeness of Natural World Heritage sites." Professional Geographer 59(2): 256-268.
(article page) [doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9272.2007.00611.x]

Anthamatten, P. and Ziegler, S. 2006. "Teaching geography with 3-D visualization rechnology." Journal of Geography 105(6): 231-237.
(article page) [doi: 10.1080/00221340608978692]

Hazen, H. and Anthamatten, P. 2004. "Representation of ecoregions by protected areas at the global scale." Physical Geography 25(6): 499-512.
(article page) [doi: 10.2747/0272-3646.25.6.499]

Books and Chapters

Anthamatten, P. (in press, 2015). "Geography and Health" In Naidoo, J. and J. Wills.  Health Studies: An Introduction, 3rd Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Anthamatten, P. and H. Hazen. 2011. An Introduction to the Geography of Health Interactive Atlas.  Routledge Press.
(downloadable file)

Anthamatten, P. and H. Hazen. 2011. An Introduction to the Geography of Health. Cambridge: Routledge Press.
(book page) [ISBN: 978-0-415-49806-7]

Gersmehl, P. and Anthamatten, P. 2008. Teaching Geography: Interactive CD-ROM.  New York: Guilford Press.

Courses Taught

GEOG 2080, Mapping and Map Analysis
GEOG 3501, Introduction to the Geography of Health
GEOG 4080/5080, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 4081/5081, Cartography and Computer Mapping
GEOG 4235/5235, GIS and Health
PBHL 2020, Introduction to Environmental Health