School of Nursing

David Harris PhD, BSN


Office Location

325 Masterton Hall, Portland Campus


(207) 228-8178

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D. Physiology & Biophysics, University of Vermont Medical School, 1990
  • Certificate - Anesthesia, Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Anesthesia, 1979
  • B.S. Nursing, Salem State College, 1975


Courses taught:

Human Anatomy & Physiology (2 semester sequence with labs); Advanced Pathophysiology; Pathophysiology (2 semester sequence); Human Genetics; Comparative Animal Physiology; General Biology (non-majors course with lab); Neuroanatomy & Physiology; Perception & Cognition; What Is “Race?”; HIV/AIDS- Biology, Social Policy & the Law; The Evolution of Human Cultures; What is Sex?

Research Interests

Since coming to the University of Southern Maine in 1995, I have conducted research directed at understanding chronic disease risk – with a focus on Maine’s population. I have conducted multiple studies assessing the impact of cardiovascular disease risk reduction programs among veterans and in Rural Maine, and I have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to understand the factors associated with the high rates of chronic disease and the spread of infectious disease in the region. I am currently using GIS to explore the spatial aspects of the food environment that contributive to or deter healthy eating. I am collaborating on a project to determine the impact of the availability of soda for purchase near schools on the dietary practices of Maine High School students, and on a Community Food Assessment in Lewiston, Maine.

Recent Publications

Gupta, S., D.E. Harris, N. Carrier, and P. Caron. Predictors of student success in entry-level undergraduate mathematics courses. College Student Journal. 40(1):97-108, 2006.

Harris, D.E., R. Mosher, S. Gupta, and M. Bampton. GIS-based Analysis of Harp and Hooded Seal Sightings On Shore in the Southern Gulf of Maine. Journal of Interdisciplinary Mathematics. 9(2):267-285, 2006.

Harris, D.E. and S. Gupta. GIS-Based Analysis of Ice-Breeding Seal Strandings in the Gulf of Maine. Northeastern Naturalist. 13(3):403-420, 2006.

Lelli, B. & D.E. Harris. Seal Bounty and Seal Protection Laws in Maine, 1872 to 1972: Historic Perspectives on a Current Controversy. Natural Resources Journal. 46(4):881-924, 2006.

Vazquez-Jacobus, M. & D.E. Harris. Mapping Hunger in Maine: A Complex Collaboration. Academic Exchange Quarterly.  11(4):202-209, 2007.

Harris, D.E., D. Hartley, & A. Aboueissa. Myocardial infarction and heart failure hospitalization rates in Maine, USA – variability along the urban-rural. Journal of Rural and Remote Health.  Posted: July 14, 2008.

Lelli, B. D.E. Harris, & A. Aboueissa. Seal Bounties in Maine and Massachusetts, 1888 to 1962. Northeastern Naturalist. 16(2):239–254, 2009.

Hamel, L. & D.E. Harris. License to screen: A new mobile intervention program. Nurse Practitioner. 34(6):42-47, 2009.

Harris, D.E., A. Aboueissa. M. Vazquez Jacobus, Jigna Dharod, & K Walter. Mapping food stores & people at risk for food insecurity in Lewiston, Maine. Journal of Extension. 48(6):1-14, 2010.

Whatley Blum, J., C.M. Beaudoin, L.M. O'Brien, M. Polacsek, D.E. Harris,  & K. A. O'Rourke. Impact of Maine’s state-wide nutrition policy on high school food environments. Preventing Chronic Disease. 8(1)1-10, 2011.

Harris, D.E., J. Whatley Blum, M. Bampton, L. M. O'Brien, C.M. Beaudoin, M. Polacsek, & K. A. O'Rourke. Location of food stores near schools does not predict the weight status of Maine high school students. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. 43:274-278, 2011.

Harris, D.E., L. Hamel, A. Aboueissa, & D. Johnson. A cardiovascular disease risk factor screening program designed to reach rural residents of Maine, USA. Journal of Rural and Remote Health. Posted: August 5, 2011.

Harris, D.E., S. Roy, and S. Mayberry. Outdoor Smoke-Free Policies in Maine. Maine Policy Review. 21(2):92-100, 2012.

Harris, D.E., M. Bampton & A. Aboueissa.Two methods that define the scale of obesogenic environments: A case study of Lewiston–Auburn, Maine. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 8:11–21, 2013.

Harris, D.E., A. Aboueissa, K. Walter, & M. Bampton. Predictors of food insecurity in Lewiston, Maine: A community-level analysis. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 9:96–112, 2014.


Houston, C., D.E. Harris, & E. Zeeman. Going Higher: Oxygen, Man and Mountains.  The Mountaineers Books. 2005.


November, 2005 3nd UMS Diversity and Interdisciplinarity Conference, Farmington, Maine: Hypertension & Congestive Heart Failure in African Americans: Race in the Age of Genomic Medicine. D.E. Harris.

June, 2006 86th Annual Meeting of American Society of Mammalogists, Amherst, Massachusetts: GIS-Based analysis of harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and hooded seal(Cystophora ceistata)stranding locations in the Gulf of Maine. D. E. Harris & S. N. Gupta.

September, 2006 New England American Studies Association Regional Meeting, Portland, Maine: Hypertension in the African American community: Race in the age of genomic medicine. D.E. Harris.

October, 2007 Maine GIS User Group Annual Meeting, Portland, Maine: Use of GIS in health-related research. D.E. Harris.

October, 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society, New Orleans, LA: Examination of beverage consumption in Maine high schools students after elimination of school sources of soda. J. Whatley Blum, C.M. Beaudoin, L.M. O’Brien, D.E. Harris, M. Polacsek, & K. O’Rourke.

November, 2008 Invited presentation to the Maine State Department of Environmental Protection, Augusta, Maine: Use of wood as a heating fuel in Greenville, Maine. D.E. Harris.

January, 2009 Bates College Public Works in Progress series, Lewiston, Maine: Community Food Assessment: Mapping food insecurity in Lewiston. M. Jacobus and D.E. Harris.

April, 2009 36th Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium, Salisbury Cove, Maine. Woodstove use in rural Maine: Implications for air quality. D.E. Harris, N. Anderson, and M.E. Davis.

November, 2009 137th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Impact of Maine's state-wide nutrition policy on the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value" in high schools. J.W. Blum, C. Beaudoin, L. O'Brien, M. Polacsek, D. E. Harris, and K. O'Rourke.