Portfolio for Paul McCord

School / Program:
Department of Geography

Research Areas:
Human-environment interactions; Human dimensions of global change; Resource management; GIS and remote sensing; Africa

Dissertation Title:

Expected Defense Date: TBD

Research Description: 

Current research involves the use of geospatial technologies and the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to model the stress and vulnerabilities of agricultural systems relying on river water for irrigation near Mount Kenya.  A warming climate will impact both the volume and timing of water availability, and, in the process, influence the well-being of river water-dependent households.  As a result, it is important that effective, robust institutions are in place to manage the available water and ensure that both upstream and downstream users have access.

The objectives of this research are to better understand how water use strategies and livelihood practices change with varying levels of water availability and how institutions assist in managing water during periods of low availability.  Modeling vulnerability and decision making will produce a better understanding of effective water management practices and suggest more optimal uses of water with a changing climate.

My previous research projects centered around medical geography, disease vector control, and GIS.  This work analyzed fluctuations in tsetse fly distributions across Kenya with the goal of developing more cost-effective control strategies.  Representative papers of this work are shown below.


McCord, P. F., J. P. Messina, and C. A. Fahey. (2012). Tsetse and trypanosomiasis: Eradication, control, and coexistence in Africa. In Ecologies and Politics of Health (King, B., and K. Crews, eds.). Routledge Press.

McCord, P. F., J. P. Messina, D. J. Campbell, and S. C. Grady. (2012). Tsetse fly control in Kenya’s spatially and temporally dynamic control reservoirs: A cost analysis. Applied Geography 34: 189-204.


McCord, P.F.  (2011).  Tsetse fly management in Kenya’s spatially and temporally dynamic control reservoirs: A cost analysis.  Presented at the United States Society for Ecological Economics Conference 2011, East Lansing, MI. 

McCord, P. F.*  (2010).  A comparison of spatially constrained tsetse fly control costs in Kenya.  Presented at the East Lakes Division of the Association of American Geographers (ELDAAG) 2010 Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, MI.