curriculum vitae

Jason Vargo


  • 1027 Medical Sciences Center 1300 University Avenue Madison, WI 53706
  • javargo [at] wisc [dot] edu


Director — UW-Madison UniverCity Alliance, July 2015 – present

UniverCity Alliance

Assistant Scientist — University of Wisconsin-Madison, August 2014 – present

Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment

Global Health Institute


PhD — Georgia Institute of Technology

Urban and Regional Planning, December 2012
Thesis:  Planning For The New Urban Climate: Interactions Of Local Environmental Planning And Regional Extreme Heat

Major field: Environmental Planning

Minor field: Environmental Health

MPH — Emory University

Global Environmental Health, May 2009

MCRP — Georgia Institute of Technology

City and Regional Planning, May 2009

BSE — University of Michigan

Chemical Engineering, April 2001


University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016


PHS740/ENV740 – Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change Lecture and course for policy / public health / environmental studies undergrad and graduate students

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of City & Regional Planning, 2009-2011


CP 6213 – Urban Environmental Planning Lecture and lab course for planning / civil engineering graduate students

CP 8882 / EH 584 – The Built Environment and Public Health A survey course for graduate planning and public health students Co-taught with instructor representing Emory University

Teaching Assistant

CP 6213 – Urban Environmental Planning

CP 6331 – Land Use and Transportation Interactions

Georgia State University, Institute of Public Health, Spring 2011


PH 7340 – The Built Environment and Health Co-taught with instructor from GSU course for graduate public health students


Peer-reviewed Journals

Sailor, David, Marshall Shepard, , Scott Sheridan, Brian Stone, Armistead Russel, Lawrence Kalkstein, Jason Vargo, and Theresa Andersen. “Improving health outcomes in an urban environment with science-based policy.” Sustainability 8(10), (2016): 1015. doi:10.3390/su8101015.

Vargo, Jason, Brian Stone, Peng Liu, Dana Habeeb, Armistead Russell.“The Social and Spatial Distribution of Temperature-related Health Impacts from Urban Heat Island Reduction Policies.” Environmental Science & Policy (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.08.012.

Vargo, Jason, Qingyang Xiao, and Yang Liu. “The Performance of the National Weather Service Heat Warning System Against Personal Weather Stations and Land Surface Temperature Imagery.” Advances in Meteorology (2015). doi: 10.1155/2015/649614.

Habeeb, Dana, Jason Vargo, and Brian Stone. “Rising Heat Wave Trends in Large US Cities.” Natural Hazards76:3, (2015): 1651-1665. doi: 10.1007/s11069-014-1563-z

Vargo, Jason. “Metro sapiens: an urban species.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 4:4, (2014): 360-363. doi: 10.1007/s13412-014-0195-7.

Stone, Brian, Jason Vargo, Peng Liu, Dana Habeeb, Anthony DeLucia, Marcus Trail, Yongtao Hu, and Armistead Russell. “Avoided heat-related mortality through climate adaptation strategies in three US cities.” PLoS ONE 9:6, (2014): e100852. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100852

Stone, Brian, Jason Vargo, Peng Liu, Yongtao Hu, and Armistead Russell. “Climate change adaptation through urban heat management in Atlanta, Georgia.” Environmental Science and Technology 47:14, (2013): 7780-7786.doi: 10.1021/es304352e

Vargo, Jason, Dana Habeeb, and Brian Stone. “The importance of land cover change across urban-rural typologies for climate modeling.” Journal of Environmental Management 114, (2013): 243-252. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.007

Stone, Brian, Jason Vargo, and Dana Habeeb. “Managing climate change in cities: Will climate action plans work?.” Landscape and Urban Planning 107, (2012): 263-271. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.05.014

Vargo, Jason, Brian Stone, and Karen Glanz. “Google walkability: a new tool for local planning and public health research?.Journal of Physical Activity and Health 9, no. 5 (2012): 689-697.

Non-Peer Reviewed Journals

Vargo, Jason, Benjamin Gerhardstein, Geoffrey Whitfield, and Arthur Wendel. “Motor Vehicle Traffic-Related Bicyclist Deaths—United States, 1975–2012.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 64:31, (2015): 837-841..

Getting off the Island: Understanding Urban Heat in a Changing World.” In UGEC Viewpoints (No. 9 July) Paving the Way Forward in Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Research. C. Griffith (Ed.), Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability, 2013.

Book Chapters

Jason Vargo. “Planning Healthy and Sustainable Built Environments.” In Climate Change and Public Health. J. Patz and B. Levy (Eds.), Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Jason Vargo. “Planning for the Forest and the Trees.” In Planning Atlanta: Ruins and Resurgence. H. Etienne and B. Faga (Eds.), Washington D.C.: American Planning Association Planners Press, 2014.


Vargo, Jason. “In the City – Committing to Sustainable Urbanization” The Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts & Letters, Aug. 18, 2015.

Jonathan Patz and Vargo, Jason. “Sustainable Cities Work for Climate Change.” The Huffington Post, Apr. 29, 2015.

Vargo, Jason and Jonathan Patz. “On the (Bike) Path to Prosperity: Why Banning Bikes Is Bad for Kolkata.” The Huffington Post, Oct. 24, 2013.

In Preparation

Limaye, Vijay, Jason Vargo, Monica Harkey, Tracey Holloway, and Jonathan Patz. “Climate Change and Heat Stress Mortality in the Eastern US.” Environmental Science and Technology.

Vargo, Jason, Maggie Grabow, Christopher Spahr, Kriten Malecki, and Jonathan Patz. “Sub-County Sprawl and Public Health in Wisconsin Urban Areas.” Health and Place.

Schatz, Jason, Jason Vargo, Chris Kucharik, and Jonathan Patz. “Urban heat island effects on heat risk in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.” Environmental Health Perspectives.

Vargo, Jason, Jason Schatz, Chris Kucharik, and Jonathan Patz. “Influence of Temperature of Crime within Urban Areas.” .


Lynch, Barbara Deutsch. “Vulnerabilities, competition and rights in a context of climate change toward equitable water governance in Peru’s Rio Santa Valley.” Global Environmental Change 22, no. 2 (2012): 364-373. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.02.002

Stone, Brian, Jeremy J. Hess, and Howard Frumkin. “Urban form and extreme heat events: are sprawling cities more vulnerable to climate change than compact cities.” Environmental Health Perspectives 118, no. 10 (2010): 1425-1428. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901879

Zhou, Ying, Joshua S. Fu, Guoshun Zhuang, and Jonathan I. Levy. 2010. “Risk-based Prioritization among Air Pollution Control Strategies in the Yangtze River Delta, China.” Environmental Health Perspectives 118, no. 9 (2010): 1204-1210. doi://10.1289/ehp.1001991

Stone Jr, Brian. “Land use as climate change mitigation.” Environmental Science & Technology 43, no. 24 (2009): 9052-9056. doi: 10.1021/es902150g

Barbosa-Cesnik, Cibele, Rand S. Farjo, May Patel, Janet Gilsdorf, Sandra I. McCoy, Melinda M. Pettigrew, Carl Marrs, and Betsy Foxman. “Predictors for Haemophilus influenzae colonization, antibiotic resistance and for sharing an identical isolate among children attending 16 licensed day-care centers in Michigan.” The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 25, no. 3 (2006): 219-223. doi: 10.1097/01.inf.0000202130.78540.28

Press Coverage

Jennifer Kliese. (2016, October 19). New UW program pairs students with city staff to finish improvement projects. WKOW TV.

Will Hoverman. (2016, September 19). UW-Madison’s UniverCity Alliance helps Wisconsin communities innovate, grow. UW-Madison news.

Inveiss, M. (2016, September 15). UW partnership will connect classes, community. The Badger Herald website.

Skubish, J. (2016, September 15). Students, faculty kick off year-long partnership with city of Monona. The Daily Cardinal website.

Jeff Glaze. (2016, February 5). Focus on Dane County: UW-Madison, Monona to collaborate on city project. Wisconsin State Journal.

Steve Pomplun. (2016, January 21). Monona, UW-Madison partner on first ‘UniverCity Year’ project. Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies website.

Michaeleen Doucleff. “As More Adults Pedal, Their Biking Injuries And Deaths Spike, Too” Morning Edition on National Public Radio, Sep. 2, 2015. (audio)

Dave Delozier. “Study shows bicycling deaths dramatically decreasing” WISC-TV, Aug. 20, 2015. (video)

Shamane Milss. “Adults Now Make Up Majority Of Cycling Deaths, Data Shows: Wisconsin Has Seen 8 Cycling Deaths In 2015” Wisconsin Public Radio, Aug. 14, 2015. (audio)

John Tozzi. “Cycling Deaths Among Children Have Plummeted: That Doesn’t Mean Roads are Safer” Bloomberg Business News, Aug. 13, 2015.

HealthDay News. “U.S. Bike Deaths Fall for Kids, But Rise for Adults: More men are switching to bicycles to commute, run errands, which may explain these trends” HealthDay News, Aug. 13, 2015.

Melanie Ginsburg. “Seeking sustainable urban habitat for tomorrow’s ‘metro sapiens’” Nelson Institute Website, Jan. 21, 2015.

Niina Heikkinen. “How People Make the Summer Hotter” Scientific American, Nov. 25, 2014.

Sarah Zielinski. “Humans Are Becoming City-Dwelling ‘Metro Sapiens’”, Nov. 24, 2014.

James Bruggers. “‘Hot Spots’ Make Mercury Rise in Louisville” The Courier-Journal, Jun. 27, 2014.


Invited Talks

Our Urban Nature Weston Roundtable Series – Madison, WI Oct 1, 2015

video archive

Urban Warming and Health Improving Heat Health Resilience through Urban Infrastructure Planning and Design – Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series: Climate Change, Heat Islands, and Public Health sponsored by US Environmental Protection Agency – Aug 19, 2015


Environmental Sustainability: Air Quality, Transportation, Technology, and Policy Solutions Next Generation Transportation for a Sustainable Future – hosted by National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education – Madison, WI May 29, 2015

Measuring the Urban Environment for Health Sustainable Healthy Urban Environments (SHUE) workshop hosted by London School of Hygeine & Tropical Medicine and University College London – London, UK Apr. 22, 2015

Should We Doctor Climate Science? – A Survey of Physicians in Wisconsin 9th Annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference – Madison, WI Apr. 20, 2015

Urban Warming and Health Urban Nature as a Health Resource hosted by The Hixon Center for Urban Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies – New Haven, CT Feb. 6, 2015

video archive

Our Urban Nature TEDxUWMadison 2014 Designing Change – Madison, WI Nov. 1, 2014

video archive

Understanding Place: The City Bucknell University – Lewisburg, PA Sep. 24, 2014

Climate Adaptation through Design: Heat Mitigation and Mortality NSF Urban Climate Institute Research Coordination Network – Atlanta, GA July 9, 2014

The City and Environmental Health: The Case of Urban Climate The Hubert Humphrey School of Public Policy at the University of Minnesota – Minnesota, MN Dec. 12, 2013

County Health Rankings: monitoring place-based factors for understanding the causes and cures of ill health Dane County Healthy Places Learning Group – Madison, WI Oct. 14, 2013

Health and Human Impacts of Urban Warming NSF Urban Climate Institute Research Coordination Network – St. Paul, MN July 31, 2013

Environmental Health and Ethiopia’s Urban Opportunity Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa University – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 21, 2013

Localizing Global Climate Change 350 Madison – Madison, WI May 6, 2013

Addressing the Climate Change Vulnerabilities of Urban Residents with Environmental Planning UW-Madison Urban and Regional Planning Department Lecture Series – Madison, WI Apr. 26, 2013

Interactions Between Urban Planning and Regional Extreme Heat UW-Madison Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences’ Climate, People, and Environment Program Seminar Series – Madison, WI Apr. 12, 2013

Ciclovia and Public Health Keynote Speaker at Quarterly Meeting of the Georgia Coalition for Physical Activity and Health – Atlanta, GA Apr. 20, 2010

Conference Presenter

Climate Change Mitigating Health Co-Benefits of Healthy Transportation: Session 4309.0 Transportation. American Public Health Association – Chicago, IL Nov. 3, 2015

Climate Change and Health: Session 3124.0 Public Health Law and Climate Change. American Public Health Association – Chicago, IL Nov. 2, 2015

Regional Greening for Urban Climate Management Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Cincinnati, OH Nov. 1, 2012

Incorporating the County Health Rankings Data in Local Planning Research and Practice Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Cincinnati, OH Nov. 4, 2012
Managing Climate Change in Cities: Will Climate Action Plans Work? American Planning Association – Los Angeles, CA Apr. 14 2012

Hot Town, Unhealthy Summer in the City: Heat, Ozone, and Urban Sprawl Association of American Geographers – New York City, NY Feb. 25, 2012

The Influence Of Urban Growth Patterns On Regional-Scale Climate Change and Human Health Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Salt Lake City, UT Oct. 15, 2011

Collecting Objective Measures of Parks with Network Analyst GIS in Teaching and Research – Atlanta, GA Feb. 15, 2008

Conference Contributing Author

Hot Cities: Are Cities Becoming More Vulnerable to Extreme Heat? Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Cincinnati, OH Nov. 1, 2012

Managing Climate Change in Cities: Will Climate Action Plans Work? Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Salt Lake City, UT Oct. 15, 2011

Assessing Heat Wave Vulnerability of US Cities Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Salt Lake City, UT Oct. 15, 2011

Do Residents of Sprawling US Metropolitan Areas Experience Greater Heat- and Air Pollution-Related Mortality?International Society for Environmental Epidemiology – Barcelona, Spain Sep. 13, 2011

Assessing the Influence of Urban Form on Climate Change-Induced Health Factors Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Minneapolis, MN Oct. 8, 2010

Conference Posters

Relationship of Perceived and Objective Measures of Parks with Park Use and Health in Bogotá, ColombiaAmerican Public Health Association – San Diego, CA Oct. 27, 2008

Relationship of Perceived and Objective Measures with Physical Activity in Bogotá, Colombia Active Living Research Conference – Washington, DC Apr. 10, 2008


2015 Badger Bioneer from Sustain Dane Madison information

Two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-2014) with Professor and Nobel Laureate Dr. Jonathan Patz, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

Fredrick K. Bell Memorial Fellowship (2006) Awarded to the outstanding first-year master’s student by the Georgia Tech School of City & Regional Planning


Sponsored Research

Survey of Wisconsin Family Medicine Doctors’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices on the Health Impacts of Severe Weather and Climate. Wisconsin Division of Human Services, Department of Publice Health 5/1/15-5/1/16 PI: Jason Vargo The grant opportunity funding by the CDC’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effect (BRACE) Program surveyed physicians across Wisconsin on their knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to climate change and its potential health effects.

Climate, Urban Land-use, and Excess mortality Study Climate Change: Environmental Impact on Human Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10/01/09-09/30/12
PI: Brian Stone, Armistead Russell, Anthony DeLucia
This grant supported modeling climate under future land planning scenarios and assessing health impacts. Role: research assistant

Measuring the role of the Built Environment as an Effect Modifier of Climate Change and Mortality in U.S. CitiesIntramural Funding for Climate Change Capacity Building, Research, and Public Health Action Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10/01/09-09/30/11
PI: Tegan Boehmer, Brian Stone
This grant examined the influence of urban form on the association between mortality rate from metropolitan regions in the last 50 years with extreme heat and ozone. Role: research assistant

Study of Employee Quality of Life Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2006-2009
PI: Karen Glanz
The study examined the role of the built environment on physical activity habits and overall health for employees moving to a new Smart Growth development in Atlanta. Role: research assistant

In Preparation

Integrating Health Co-Benefits into Transportation Planning Across the United States National Institutes of Health R-01 PI: Jonathan Patz This grants aims to create an adaptive model of evaluating the health impacts of transportation decisions, that is applicable for regions across the nation. Role: Co-investigator


UW-Madison Software Bootcamp training in Unix, Python, git

Course on USEPA’s Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) Community Modeling and Analysis (CMAS) – Chapel Hill, NC Oct. 2009

Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Emory University – Atlanta, GA June 2007


Associate, COWS – UW-Madison

Board Chair, Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities-Network

Board Member, Safe Roads to Health

Member – Global Experts Contributor Network, National Association of City Transportation Officials Global Designing Cities Initiative

Appointed Member, Sustainable Madison Committee

Scientific Manuscript Review, Health & Place, Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Health Perspectives, Environmental Research Letters, African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Urban Climate, Journal of Physical Activity & Health

Review Panel Member, NASA’s Climate Assessment Products & Indicators

Volunteer Coordinator, Atlanta Bicycle Campaign