Penny Masuoka

Penny Masuoka

Name: Penny Masuoka

Department of Primary Appointment: Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Assistant Professor

Office Phone: (301) 295-3173
Room: Bldg. A, Rm. 2060



Ms. Masuoka currently serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Her research and academic focus is on the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing in the field of public health. Prior to coming to USU, Ms. Masuoka worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for 24 years.


  • M.S. Geology 1981 University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • B.A. Geology 1977 University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Predicting the Distribution of Vector-borne Disease
Diseases such as malaria, Japanese Encephalitis and dengue occur in areas that have environmental conditions favorable to the survival of the mosquito vectors of the disease. Remotely sensed satellite data can be used to map breeding habitats (such as rivers and lakes) and measure other variables such as temperature and rainfall. Environmental variables that are shown to be associated with an increase in mosquito populations are then used to predict the distribution of the disease.


  • Introduction to GIS in Public Health
  • Remote Sensing Methods in Public Health

Areas of Expertise

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Ecological Niche Modeling

Selected Recent Publications

Masuoka P, Klein TA, Kim H, Claborn DM, Achee N, Andre R, Chamberlin J, Small J, Anyamba A, Lee D, Yi SH, Sardelis M, Ju Y, Grieco, J, 2010. Modeling the Distribution of Culex tritaeniorhynchus to Predict Japanese Encephalitis Distribution in the Republic of Korea, Geospatial Health 5(1), 45-57.

Michelle G Colacicco-Mayhugh, Penny M Masuoka and John P Grieco, 2010. Ecological niche model of Phlebotomus alexandri and P. papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the Middle East. International Journal of Health Geographics 2010, 9:2

P. Masuoka, R. Burke, M. Colaccico, H. Razuri, D. Hill, and K.D. Murrell, 2008. Predicted geographic ranges for North American sylvatic Trichinella. Journal of Parasitology.

Pope, K.O., P. Masuoka, E. Rejmankova, J. Grieco, S. Johnson and D. Roberts. 2005. Mosquito habitats, land use, and malaria risk in Belize from satellite imagery. Ecol. Appl. 15: 1223-1232.

Hakre, S., Masuoka, P., Vanzie, E., and Roberts, D. (2004). Spatial correlations of mapped malaria rates with environmental factors in Belize, Central America. International Journal of Health Geographics.

Masuoka, P., D. Claborn, R. Andre, and S. Gordon, 2003. Use of IKONOS and Landsat for malaria control in the Republic of Korea. Remote Sensing of Environment 88(2003) 187-194.