Jason Vargo

National (2016)

Assistant Scientist

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

Growing up, I never gave much thought to cities despite living near, what today is, one of the most talked about - Detroit, MI. It wasn't until I left the midwest after college – and then the US – that I began to pay attention to the impact of urban design on the environment, people’s behavior, and ultimately on population health. In 2012, after completing my graduate work in public health and urban planning in Atlanta I returned to the midwest via Madison. There, as an associate scientist at the University of Wisconsin's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Global Health Institute I thought about cities everyday. 

My work on built environments is motivated by recognition that cities are human habitat and by a desire to improve the lives of all by making healthy choices easy choices. At UW I am develop a cross-campus initiative (the UW-Madison UniverCity Alliance) that directs university activities toward cities and further the practice of sustainability across Wisconsin and abroad. My scholarship spans the topics of urbanism and environmental health, and includes thought pieces on metro sapiens, peer-reviewed publications, text books, and popular media. 

Currently I live in the Bay Area and work as the lead scientist for the Climate Change and Health Equity Program at the CA Department of Public Health.