Richard Rheingans, Ph.D., Department Chair

Research & Teaching Interests: 

Interaction between socio-economic factors, the environment and health, global environmental health and equity issues, small farm agroforestry, basic food production, global health and development, water and sanitation, the effect of disparities on vaccine preventable diseases, and poverty.


  • Ph.D. Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale
  • M.A. International Relations, Yale
  • B.A. Political Science, Yale


Sustainable Development and Health, Principles of Sustainable Development, Principles of Agroecology, Science for Sustainability


Prior to joining Appalachian State in 2016, Dr. Rheingans was a faculty member in the Department of Environmental and Global Health and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. His teaching and research experience includes positions as impact director and visiting researcher at the SHARE Research Consortium at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as assistant and associate professor at Emory University’s Hubert Department of Global Health and health economist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheingans was recognized as the University of Florida International Educator of the Year in 2012 and has several active grants funded by organizations including the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Representative Publications

  1. Anderson, J., Bagamian, K., Muhib, F., Amaya, M., Laytner, L. & Rheingans, R. (in press). Burden of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and shigella non-fatal diarrhoeal infections in 79 low-income and lower middle-income countries: a modelling analysis, Lancet Global Health.
  2. Rheingans, R., Anderson, J., Bagamian, K. & Pecenka, C. 2018. Effects of Geographic and Economic Heterogeneity on Rotavirus Diarrhea Burden and Vaccination Impact and Cost-effectiveness in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Vaccine, 36(51):7868-7877.
  3. Orenstein, E. W., Orenstein, L. A., Diarra, K., Djiteye, M., Sidibé, D., Haidara, F. C., Doumbia, M. F., Diallo, F., Coulibaly, F., Keita, A. M., Onwuchekwa, U., Teguete, I., Tapia, M. D., Sow, S. O., Levine, M. M. & Rheingans, R. 2017. Cost-effectiveness of maternal influenza immunization in Bamako, Mali: A decision analysis., PloS one, (vol. 12, issue 2, pp. e0171499).
  4. Simiyu, S., Swilling, M., Cairncross, S. & Rheingans, R. 2017. Determinants of quality of shared sanitation facilities in informal settlements: case study of Kisumu, Kenya., BMC public health, (vol. 17, issue 1, pp. 68).
  5. Brown J, Cumming O, Bartram J, Cairncross S, Ensink J, Holcomb D, Knee J, Kolsky P, Liang K, Liang S, Nala R, Norman G, Rheingans R, Stewart J, Zavale O, Zuin V, Schmidt WP. 2015. A controlled, before and after trial of an urban sanitation intervention to reduce enteric infections in children: research protocol for the Maputo Sanitation (MapSan) study, Mozambique. BMJ Open, 5(6).
  6. Cohen CR, Steinfeld RL, Weke E, Bukusi EA, Hatcher AM, Shiboski S, Rheingans R, Scow KM, Butler LM, Otieno P, Dworkin SL, Weiser SD. Shamba Maisha: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya: design, methods, baseline results and process evaluation of a cluster randomized controlled trial. 2015. Springerplus 4(12).
  7. CarusoB, DreibelbisR, Awino Ogutu E, Rheingans R (2014) If you build it will they come? Factors influencing rural primary pupils' urination and defecation practices at school in western Kenya, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustainable Development, 4(4): 642-53.
  8. Rheingans R, Anderson JD, Luyendijk R, Cumming O. 2014. Measuring disparities in sanitation access: Does the measure matter? Tropical Medicine and International Health. 19(1):2-13.
  9. Freeman MC, Clasen T, Brooker S, Akoko D, Rheingans RD. 2013. The impact of a school-based hygiene, water treatment, and sanitation intervention on reinfection with soil transmitted helminths in western Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 89(5):875-83. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0237.
  10. Dreibelbis R, Greene LE, Freeman MC, Saboori S, Chase, R, Rheingans R. 2013. Water, sanitation, and primary school attendance: a multi-level assessment of determinants of household-reported absence in Kenya. International Journal of Educational Development 33:1.
  11. Rheingans R, Kukla M, Faruque ASG, Sur D, Zaidi A, Nasrin D, Farag T, Levine MM, Kotloff KL. 2012. Determinants of household costs associated childhood diarrhea in three South Asian settings. Clinical Infectious Diseases 55:S4: S317-326.
  12. Greene L, Saboori S, Freeman M, Dreibelbis R, Caruso B and Rheingans R. 2012. Impact of school water, sanitation intervention on fecal hand contamination in western Kenya.  Am J Trop Med Hyg 87(3):385-93.
  13. Stevenson EGJ, Greene LE, Maes KC, Ambelu A, Tesfaye YA, Rheingans RD and Hadley C. Water insecurity in 3 dimensions: An anthropological perspective on water and women’s psychosocial distress in Ethiopia. 2012. Social Science & Medicine 75(2012) pp. 392-400
  14. Freeman MC, Greene LE, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Muga R, Brumback B and Rheingans RD. 2012. A cluster-randomized trial assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene program, and sanitation program on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Tropical Medicine and International Health 17(3) pp. 380-391.
  15. McMahon SA, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Okumu F and Rheingans RD. 2011. Anal cleansing practices and fecal contamination: a preliminary investigation of behaviors and conditions in schools in rural Nyanza province, Kenya. Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Sep 12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02879 pp.1536-1540
  16. McMahon SA, Winch PJ, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Ogutu EA, Ochari IA and Rheingans RD. 2011. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head’ Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 16;11 (1): 7.
  17. Saboori S, Mwaki A, Porter SE, Okech B, Freeman MC and Rheingans RD. 2011.  Sustaining School Hand Washing and Water Treatment Programs: Lessons Learned and to be Learned. Waterlines. pp.298-311
  18. Rheingans RD, Constenla D, Antil L, Innis BL and Breuer T.  2007. Cost-effectiveness of Vaccination for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis in Latin America. J Pan Am Health Org, 21(4): pp. 205-216.
  19. Rheingans RD, Dreibelbis R and Freeman M. 2006. Beyond the Millennium Development Goals: Public Health Challenges in Water and Sanitation. Global Public Health, 1(1): pp. 31-48.
  20. Rheingans RD, Haddix AC, Messonnier ML, Meltzer M, Mayard G and Addiss DG. 2004. Willingness to pay for prevention and treatment of lymphatic filariasis in Leogane, Haiti. Filarial Journal, 3(2): pp. 1-11.
  21. Haggar J, Rheingans RD, Arroyo P and Alvarado B. 2003. Benefits and costs of intercropping reforestation in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. New Forests, 25(1): pp. 41-48.
  22. Guariguata MR, Rheingans RD and Montagnini F. 1995. Patterns of understory woody invasion in plantations of native tree species in lowland Costa Rica: implications for restoration. Restoration Ecology. 3: pp. 252‑260.
Department: Sustainable Development

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7248

Office address
222 Living Learning Academic


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