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Mary Kay O'Rourke PhD

Mary Kay  O'Rourke PhD

Professor Emeritus

Community, Environment & Policy Department

1656 E Mabel St
Medical Research Bldg 110
PO Box: 245210
Tucson AZ 85724
(520) 626-6835


Mary Kay O'Rourke, PhD, is a professor emeritus of public health research at The University of Arizona in the Department of Community, Environment, and Policy at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health where she taught environmental and occupational health.


1986, PhD, Geosciences/Biology, University of Arizona
1976, MS, Geosciences/Biology, University of Arizona
1972, BA, Geology, Alfred University
  • Comparison of Perceived and Observed Hand Hygiene Compliance in Healthcare Workers in MERS-CoV Endemic Regions.  Alshammari M, Reynolds KA, Verhougstraete M, O'Rourke MK.  Healthcare (Basel). 2018 Oct 7;6(4). pii: E122. doi: 10.3390/healthcare6040122.  PMID:  30301272
  • Nutrients in one-carbon metabolism and urinary arsenic methylation in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004.  Kurzius-Spencer M, da Silva V, Thomson CA, Hartz V, Hsu CH, Burgess JL, O'Rourke MK, Harris  RB.  Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 31;607-608:381-390. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.019. Epub 2017 Jul 27.  PMID:  28697391


Honors Thesis
EHS 498H (Spring 2019)
Master's Report
EHS 909 (Spring 2019)
ResearchEHS 900 (Spring 2019

Research Synopsis

Dr. O'Rourke has conducted interdisciplinary research relating environmental exposure to human health for more than 30 years. Throughout her career, she has worked on aggregate and cumulative exposure to a variety of agents including pollen, mold, house dust mites, metals (particularly arsenic) and pesticides (particularly organophosphates. These studies include the National Human Exposure Assessment Survey, the Arizona Border Survey, two surveys examining pesticide exposure among children in Yuma Co. Arizona, pesticide exposure in the Gila River Indian Community and arsenic exposure through food. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing exposure assessment field surveys, quality assurance programs and the data processing protocols for large studies. Her current research, in collaboration with Dr. Harris, focuses on multimedia, multipathway exposure to PM2.5, arsenic and uranium among the Hopi of Arizona. 

Curriculum Vitae: 

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