Penelope Mitchell

Degree Program: PhD

Research Areas

  • Geospatial accessibility to healthcare
  • Complex systems
  • Spatial optimization
  • Spatial analysis
  • Geography of the opioid epidemic
  • Rural healthcare access


Dissertation Title

"A Spatial-Analytic Framework for the Optimal Placement of Interventions for Opioid Incident Deployment in Underserved Areas (OPIOID-UA)"


  • MS, Environmental Studies, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, 2011
  • Graduate Geographic Information Systems Certificate, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, 2009
  • BS, Environmental Studies/Policy, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, 2007


Penelope Mitchell joined the Ph.D. program in January 2019 and is working under the research guidance of Dr. Curtin in the Laboratory for Location Science. Penelope was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Graduate Award for the Department of Geography. Her research interests include geospatial accessibility to healthcare, complex systems, spatial optimization, spatial analysis, and the opioid epidemic. Her dissertation research focuses on healthcare geospatial accessibility and resource allocation in response to the opioid epidemic. Additionally, Penelope is a graduate research assistant contributing to the Autonomous Logistics Optimization Family of Tools (ALOFT) project, wherein a series of interrelated logistical problems in the unmanned/autonomous context are explored to develop optimal and heuristic mitigation strategies. Prior to starting with UA, Penelope was an instructional designer for the University of West Florida, as well as an online adjunct lecturer teaching Cartographic Design for Johns Hopkins Online Master of Science in GIS program. She received her M.S. in Environmental Studies, a Graduate GIS Certificate, and B.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of West Florida.

Selected Publications

Curtin, K.M., L.R. Pawloski, P. Mitchell, and J. Dunbar (2020) “COVID-19 and morbid obesity: Associations and consequences for policy and practice”, World Medical and Health Policy, 1-21, doi:10.1002/wmh3.361

Magliocca, Nicholas R., Ashleigh N. Price, Penelope C. Mitchell, Kevin M. Curtin, Matthew Hudnall, and Kendra McSweeney. “Coupling Agent-Based Simulation and Spatial Optimization Models to Understand Spatially Complex and Co-Evolutionary Behavior of Cocaine Trafficking Networks and Counterdrug Interdiction.” IISE Transactions, September 14, 2022, 1–23.

Mitchell, Penelope, Steven Samsel, Kevin M. Curtin, Ashleigh Price, Daniel Turner, Ryan Tramp, Matthew Hudnall, Jason Parton, and Dwight Lewis. “Geographic Disparities in Access to Medication for Opioid Use Disorder across US Census Tracts Based on Treatment Utilization Behavior.” Social Science & Medicine 302 (June 1, 2022): 114992.

Price, Ashleigh N., Kevin M. Curtin, Nicholas R. Magliocca, Daniel Turner, Penelope Mitchell, Kendra McSweeney, and Diana L. Summers. “A Family of Models in Support of Realistic Drug Interdiction Location Decision-Making.” Transactions in GIS 26, no. 4 (2022): 1962–80.