San Diego State University’s Measurement and Evaluation Group, or MERG, does just that–we measure and evaluate the environment and various factors in the environment, like tobacco. Our interdisciplinary group of researchers brings together skill sets ranging from public health and policy to psychology and communication. We place a big emphasis on community health, so there are many opportunities for study participation from the general public. Explore our current projects to find out how you can get involved!
Do you know what thirdhand smoke is? It’s the toxic residual chemicals from tobacco and cannabis smoking that can collect in places like your home and car. The Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center aims to inform and protect people from thirdhand smoke.
Do you live in multiunit housing, like an apartment or condominium complex? Your neighbor’s tobacco and cannabis smoke can travel from between units and affect your health. The Tobacco, E-Cigarette, & Marijuana Project surveys residents and samples their homes to better understand traveling toxic smoke.
SDSU has teamed up with Comite Civico del Valle (CCV) in Imperial County, CA to involve high schoolers in tobacco-related research and education. The Imperial Valley Youth for a Tobacco-Free Environment has produced a semester’s worth of tobacco education modules for public use.
Multiunit homes are especially susceptible to thirdhand tobacco smoke exposure, even if the current residents do not smoke. Healthy Homes 5 coordinates with mulitunit housing residents to collect thirdhand smoke samples from homes before and after remediation efforts.
How does exposure to first-, second-, and thirdhand smoke compare when it comes to a child’s health? The Cincinnati – ADVOCATE project aims to find out by comparing the health and types of tobacco exposure of children.
White papers are reports or guides intended to inform people about an issue. The Tobacco Product Waste White Paper project teams up with experts on tobacco and tobacco exposure to produce a white paper for policymakers and public health officials to work towards tobacco waste solutions in communities.
Don’t see what you’re looking for?
Ultimately, our research is for the benefit of the community. We value our community partners and work closely with them throughout multiple projects. You can see more about our community partners on each of their websites and social media, as well as on our project pages.
Meet our Researchers
Christopher Harrison, PhD
Associate Professor of Chemistry in SDSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Co-Investigator of MERG project studying thirdhand smoke
Euhna Hoh, PhD
Professor of Environmental Health at SDSU’s School of Public Health
Co-Investigator of the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
Georg Matt, PhD
Professor of Psychology at
San Diego State University
Principal Investigator on MERG projects and Director of the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
Joseph Gibbons, PhD
Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of SDSU’s Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age Center
Lydia Greiner, DrPH, APRN
Lecturer in Nursing at SDSU’s Imperial Valley Campus
Coordinator of MERG projects, including the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
Melbourne Hovell, PhD, MPH
Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science
Nathan Dodder, PhD
Research Scientist at the SDSU Research Foundation
Co-Investigator of a couple of MERG projects
Nicolas Lopez-Galvez, PhD, MPH
Lecturer at SDSU’s School of Public Health
Project Coordinator for several MERG projects
Penelope (Jenny) Quintana, PhD
Professor of Public Health and Associate Director for Student Affairs
at SDSU’s School of Public Health
Lead Researcher with the Thirdhand
Smoke Resource Center
Rachael Record, PhD
Associate Professor of Communication at SDSU’s College of Professional Studies & Fine Arts
Associate Director and Co-Investigator of the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
Thomas Novotny, MD, MPH, DSc (Hon)
Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the SDSU School of Public Health
Meet our Team
Elizabeth Luna Tinoco (she/her)
B.S. Kinesiology from CSU Monterey Bay, 2015
MPH from San Diego State University (expected August 2021)
Estela Delgado Rodriguez (she/her)
B.A. Healthcare Policy from Mount Saint Mary’s University
MPH/M.A. Latin American Studies from San Diego State University (expected summer 2023)
B.S. Journalism from the University of Maryland
Community Outreach Coordinator for the Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Project
Jessica Pugel (she/her)
A.S. Natural Sciences from Sierra College, 2017
B.A. Psychology from Cal State Long Beach, 2019
M.A. Psychology from San Diego State University (expected May 2021)
Leta Dickinson (she/her)
B.S. Environmental Science and Journalism double major from Northwestern University, 2019
MPH (expected 2023)
Lucia Alvarez-Malo Flores (she/her)
B.S. Communication from San Diego State University, 2019
MPH/M.A. in Latin American Studies (expected spring 2023)
Nalima Joshi (she/her)
B.S. Public Health from UC Irvine, 2017
MPH San Diego State University (expected spring 2021)
Rebeca Jiménez (she/her)
B.A. Psychology and Spanish from San Diego State University
Sam Padilla (he/him)
B.A. Psychology from San Diego State University