615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E6632
Baltimore Maryland 21205
Kirsten Koehler, PhD
Director of ECMC
Dr Koehler' goals are to improve exposure assessment methods to inform occupational and public health policy. Her research goals involve the use of direct-reading instrumentation to improve spatiotemporal exposure assessment. Direct-reading (i.e. “real-time”) monitors can rapidly assess exposures to various hazards.
Her Career Development Award involves coupling estimated exposures with a known location to identify occupational sources of these hazards. Contour plots of the hazard concentration over space, known as concentration maps, have recently been used to assess the spatial variability of hazards. Concentration maps have the potential to be powerful because they are easily comprehensible for workers, managers, and occupational/environmental health scientists to locate areas of concern.
In the ambient environment, she is interested in spatiotemporal exposure assessment by pairing direct-reading instruments with a GPS unit to apportion exposures to different microenvironments. She is an investigator on a study in which we are using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to determine whether commuters can reduce their exposure to traffic-related air pollution by changing their route or mode of transportation (driving vs. bicycling). Additionally, she is the P.I. of an award to investigate the indoor exposures for this cohort. While she believes there is great potential for direct-reading instruments to aid in the identification of exposure hazards, it can be dangerous to apply such a methodology without understanding the uncertainties associated with this new form of exposure assessment. Her continuing research interests include investigating the use of traditional spatial statistical methods like Kriging and more novel methods employing Bayesian statistics. She is also interested in developing novel aerosol samplers to improve the relationship between exposures and health effects.