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Melinda Butterworth

Associate Professor of Environmental Science

Headshot of Melinda Butterworth

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Collins Science Center 213
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Arizona
  • M.S., Geography, Virginia Tech
  • B.S., Geography, B.A., Psychology, Virginia Tech


  • ENVS 120: Social Systems and the Environment
  • ENVS 328: Health and the Global Environment
  • ENVS 334: Political Ecology
  • ENVS 360: Research in Environmental Health Geography

Professional Interests

I am a health/medical geographer with interests in the social and environmental aspects of disease emergence and spread. My research focuses on understanding the links between climate, ecology, and socio-political processes shaping disease. Most of my work has focused on the changing geographies of mosquito-borne diseases in the southern United States, using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

*designates co-first author; **designates WU undergraduate student co-author 

Butterworth, M. K. (2020). ‘Clean up your rain gutters!’: mosquito control, responsibility, and blame following the 2009–2010 dengue fever outbreak in Key West, Florida. GeoJournal, 1-13. 

Butterworth, M.*, Davis, G.*, Bishop, K., Reyna, L.**, & Rhodes, A.** (2020). What Is a Superfood Anyway? Six Key Ingredients for Making a Food “Super”. Gastronomica20(1), 46-58.

Butterworth, M. (2019) Shifting socio-ecologies of dengue fever in the US: Lessons from Florida, Texas, and Arizona. In Mosquitoes management: between environmental to health concerns, Cecilia Claeys (ed), Peter Lang 

Butterworth, M. K., Morin, C. W., & Comrie, A. C. (2017). An analysis of the potential impact of climate change on dengue transmission in the southeastern United States. Environmental Health Perspectives125(4), 579-585. 

vonHedemann, N., Robbins, P., Butterworth, M. K., Landau, K., & Morin, C. W. (2017). Managing mosquito spaces: Citizen self-governance of disease vectors in a desert landscape. Health & Place43, 41-48. 

vonHedemann, N.*, Butterworth, M. K.*, Robbins, P., Landau, K., & Morin, C. W. (2015).  Visualizations of mosquito risk: A political ecology approach to understanding the territorialization of hazard control. Landscape and Urban Planning142, 159-169.  

Hayden, M., Cavanaugh, J., Tittel, C., Butterworth, M., Haenchen, S., Dickenson, K., et al. (2015). Post Outbreak Review: Dengue Preparedness and Response in Key West, Florida. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 93(2), 397-400. 

Del Casino, V., Butterworth, M., and Davis, G. (2014). The Slippery Geographies of Polio. TheLancet Infectious Diseases. 14(7): 546-547.

 Shaw, I., Jones III, J.P., and Butterworth, M. (2013). The Mosquito’s Umwelt, or One Monster’sStandpoint Ontology. Geoforum. 48: 260-267.

 Vilaly, A. E. E., Arora, M., Butterworth, M. K., Vilaly, M. A. S. M. E., Jarnagin, W., & Comrie, A. C. (2013). Climate, environment and disease: The case of Rift Valley fever. Progress in Physical Geography37(2), 259-269.

 Butterworth, M., Kolivras, K., Grossman, L., and Redican,K (2010). Knowledge, Perceptions, and Practices:Mosquito-borne disease transmission in southwest Virginia. Southeastern Geographer. 50(3).


Willamette University

Environmental Science

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.