Jesse Bell

Jesse Bell

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Advising

Contact Information

TitleExecutive Director of Water, Climate, and Health Program
Faculty RankAssociate Professor
AddressUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
College of Public Health
984388 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha NE

Off Campus
  • office: 402-552-7237
  • fax: 402-559-4961
VitaeDownload file


My Story

My research explores the relationships of extreme weather, climate variability, and climate change on natural and human processes. The climate that we experience controls much of the world around us. When our climate abruptly changes or gradually shifts, there can be related consequences to both our communities and our health.

The goal of my work is to understand these linkages between climate and health, so that we can help prepare our populations for climate- and weather-related disasters. To determine these relationships, I use a variety of climate and environmental data sources to explore associations with human health outcomes.

Much of my experience in this field comes from my previous position, where I created the first joint research position between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The role of this dual appointment was to provide a mechanism to integrate NOAA climate and environmental data into CDC health projects. This work provided me firsthand experience that is now the foundation for my current research.

In addition to this, my participation as a lead author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program report "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment" that was released by the White House in 2016 has also shaped my professional interests. A key finding of this report is that climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people and that every American is vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change. As this finding suggests, there are many research opportunities to evaluate and understand the role of climate on human health. By accomplishing this work, we have the potential to save lives and create more climate resilient communities.

Selected Publications

Sundstrom, S., Angeler, D., Bell, J., Hayes, M., Hodbod, J., Jalalzadeh-Fard, B., Mahmood, R., VanWormer, E., and Allen, C. 2023. Panarchy Theory for Convergence. Sustainability Science 95.Online
Bartelt-Hunt, S. L., and Bell, J. E. (2021). Surface and Groundwater Contamination, Community and Ecosystem Exposures Are the Unintentional Consequences from “Recycling” Treated Seed Products. Environmental Science and Technology, 55(9), 5605-5607.
Ebi, K. L., Vanos, J., Baldwin, J. W., Bell, J. E., Hondula, D. M., Errett, N. A., ... & Berry, P. (2021). Extreme weather and climate change: population health and health system implications. Annual review of public health, 42, 293-315.
Bell, J.E, Lookadoo, R., Wheeler, S., and Dethlefs, C. (2020). Case Study – The 2019 Floods in the Central U.S. Lessons for Improving Health, Health Equity, and Resiliency. In Lancet Countdown, 2020: 2020 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Policy Brief for the United States of America. Salas RN, Lester PK, Hess JJ. Lancet Countdown U.S. Policy Brief, London, United Kingdom.
Lookadoo, R. E. and Bell, J. E. (2020) Public health policy actions to address health issues associated with drought in a changing climate. The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 48, 653-663.
Lynch, K. M., Lyles, R. H., Waller, L. A., Abadi, A. M., Bell, J. E., & Gribble, M. O. (2020). Drought severity and all-cause mortality rates among adults in the United States: 1968–2014. Environmental Health, 19, 1-14.
Johansson, M. A., Apfeldorf, K. M., Dobson, S., Devita, J., Buczak, A. L., Baugher, B., ... Bell., J.E…. and Yamana, T. K. (2019). An open challenge to advance probabilistic forecasting for dengue epidemics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(48), 24268-24274.
Rennie, J., Bell, J. E., Kunkel, K. E., Herring, S., Cullen, H., & Abadi, A. M. (2019). Development of a Submonthly Temperature Product to Monitor Near-Real-Time Climate Conditions and Assess Long-Term Heat Events in the United States. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(12), 2653-2674.
Bell, J.E., Brown, C.L., Conlon, K., Herring, S., Kunkel, K.E., Lawrimore, J., Luber, G., Schreck, C., Smith, A. and Uejio, C., 2018. Changes in extreme events and the potential impacts on human health. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 68(4), pp.265-287.
Bell, J.E., S.C. Herring, L. Jantarasami, C. Adrianopoli, K. Benedict, K. Conlon, V. Escobar, J. Hess, J. Luvall, C.P. Garcia-Pando, D. Quattrochi, J. Runkle, and C. Schreck, (2016). Ch. 4: Impacts of Extreme Events on Human Health. The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 99-128.
Crimmins, A., J. Balbus, J.L. Gamble, C.B. Beard, J.E. Bell, D. Dodgen, R.J. Eisen, N. Fann, M.D. Hawkins, S.C. Herring, L. Jantarasami, D.M. Mills, S. Saha, M.C. Sarofim, J. Trtanj, and L. Ziska, Eds. USGCRP, 2016: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, 312 pp.
LaKind, J.S., Overpeck, J., Breysse, P.N., Backer, L., Richardson, S.D., Sobus, J., Sapkota, A., Upperman, C.R., Jiang, C., Beard, C.B., Brunkard, J.M., Bell, J.E., Harris, R., Chretien, J.P., Peltier, R.E., Chew, G.L., and Blount, B.C., 2016. Exposure science in an age of rapidly changing climate: challenges and opportunities. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 26(6), pp.529-538.
Vins, H., Bell, J.E., Saha, S., and Hess, J. J. (2015). The Mental Health Outcomes of Drought: A Systematic Review and Causal Process Diagram. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(10), 13251-13275.



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyPlant PathologyThe University of Oklahoma2009
Bachelor of ScienceBiologyEmporia State University2003





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
Distinguished Scientist AwardUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center2022
Honor Award for Excellence in Information TechnologyCenters for Disease Control and Prevention NCEH/ASTDR2017
Certificate of Appreciation for Serving as a MentorNASA2016
Letter of AppreciationThe White House Office of Science and Technology Policy2016
GLOBE Program ScientistGLOBE Program2012
First Place Oral Presentation NOAA/NESDIS Cooperative Research Program SymposiumNOAA/NESDIS2011
Second Place Oral Presentation NOAA/NESDIS Cooperative Research Program SymposiumNOAA/NESDIS2011




SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Climate and Spatial Science

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Climate
  • Water Quality
  • Public Health
  • Environmental Health


Graduate Programs

Master of Applied Science

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Bio-Atmospehric Interactions

Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in

  • Bio-Atmospehric Interactions