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About Dr. Maggie Sugg

The initial impacts of a hurricane blow to coastal communities can be devastating, but what often follows is a quieter destruction of human life due to heat illness and disease. Facing blistering temperatures alongside power outages, many elderly people are in danger of heat stroke. Dr. Maggie M. Sugg is an associate professor of geography and honors director of the Department of Geography at Appalachian State University who studies climate and health. Among her projects, she researches the patterns of temperature-related illnesses to determine which populations are at risk and why. Understanding these patterns can save lives by leading to a quicker and more effective response by disaster workers. She also studies COVID-19 and meteorological factors in transmission, and patterns of mental health and climate.

Sugg is also researching new sensor and smartphone technology that can warn ground workers of temperature-related risks. She works closely with ground crews on Appalachian’s campus to monitor biometric data of the employees who endure severe temperatures in the winter.

Areas of Expertise
Impacts of climate and hurricanes on human health
Human vulnerability to heat illness and hypothermia
Temperature exposure impacts on ground workers


Present Faculty Member, Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences
Present Associate Professor, Appalachian State University Department of Geography and Planning

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Honors and Awards

  • First Place, Climate Specialty Group Student Paper Competition, Association of American Geographers, 2015
  • Advancement Board Impact Award, The Graduate School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Graduate Student Mentoring Award, Office of Undergraduate Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • GHY 5025 Climate and Society
  • GHY 4005 Geography of Health and Disease
  • GHY 5800 Advanced Quantitative Methods for Graduate Students
  • GHY 3812 Geographic Information Systems


2015 Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ Geography
2011 M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ Geography
2008 B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ Geography

Contact Information

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Research Works (8)