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Curtis Noonan, Associate Professor

Location: SB 159

Phone: (406) 243-4957
Fax: (406) 243-2807


Curtis Noonan received his Ph.D. in Environmental Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from Colorado State University in 2000. He is also a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (B.A., 1989) and the George Washington University (M.A., 1995). After receiving his Ph.D., Curtis worked as an epidemiologist at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta. In 2004, he was hired as Assistant Professor for Epidemiology in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Research Interests

Dr. Noonan’s laboratory is focused on the human health effects of exposures to environmental agents. His current research includes the investigation of the impact of biomass smoke exposure on the respiratory health of susceptible human populations. One of his studies is the first randomized trial in the US to utilize a woodstove intervention to assess the impact of the consequent reductions in indoor particulate matter on health outcomes in a susceptible population. In addition to clinically-relevant health outcomes measures among asthmatic children, his laboratory investigates sub-clinical biomarkers of respiratory inflammation and oxidative stress. Another study conducted by Dr. Noonan tracks a community-wide woodstove changeout program and evaluates the impact on ambient levels of particulate matter and children’s health. He is also actively engaged in identifying reliable biomarkers of exposure to biomass smoke. The results of these and similar studies will be translatable to other regions in the US and the world where biomass burning is commonly used for heating and cooking and is a large contributor to global burden of disease. Dr. Noonan is also actively engaged in studying environmental risk factors for diabetes and asthma among Northern Plains Native American populations.

Selected Publications

Biomass combustion exposures and health:

Noonan CW, Ward TJ, Navidi W, Sheppard L. A rural community intervention targeting biomass combustion sources: effects on air quality and reporting of children’s respiratory outcomes. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2012; doi:10.1136/oemed-2011-100394.

McNamara ML, Semmens EO, Gaskill S, Palmer C, Noonan CW, Ward T. Base Camp Personnel Exposure to Particulate Matter During Wildland Fire Suppression Activities. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene 2011;9:149-56.

Ward TJ, Palmer CP, Bergauff M, Jayanty RKM, Noonan CW. Organic/Elemental Carbon And Woodsmoke Tracer Concentrations Following A Community Wide Woodstove Changeout Program. Atmospheric Environment 2011;45:5554-5560.

Giles LV, Barn P, Kuenzli N, Romieu I, Mittleman MA, van Eeden S, Allen R, Carlsten C, Stieb D, Noonan C, Smargiassi A, Kaufman JD, Hajat S, Kosatsky T, Brauer M. From Good Intentions to Proven Interventions: Effectiveness of Actions to Reduce the Health Impacts of Air Pollution. Environ Health Perspect 2011;119:29-36. PMCID: PMC3018496

Ward TJ, Noonan CW, Palmer, CP. Fine particulate matter source apportionment following a large woodstove changeout program in Libby, Montana. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2010;60:688-693. PMID: 20564994.


Noonan CW, Balmes J. Biomass Smoke Exposures: Health Outcomes and Study Design. Inhal Toxicol. 2010 Feb;22:108-12.  PMID: 20044883


Bergauff MA, Ward TJ, Noonan CW, Migliaccio CT, Simpson CD, Evanoski1 AR, Palmer CP. Urinary Levoglucosan as a Biomarker for Wood Smoke: Results of Human Exposure Studies. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 2010;20:385-92. PMCID: PMC2874078


Migliaccio CT, Berghauff MA, Palmer CP, Jessop F, Noonan CW, Ward TJ. Urinary Levoglucosan as a Biomarker of Woodsmoke Exposure: Observations in a Mouse Model and in Children. Environ Health Perspect 2009;117:74-79. PMCID: PMC2627869


Bergauff M, Ward TJ, Noonan CW, Palmer CP. The Effect of a Woodstove Changeout on Ambient Levels of PM2.5 and Chemical Tracers for Woodsmoke in Libby, Montana. Atmospheric Environment 2009;43:2938-2943. PMCID: PMC2627869.


Ward TJ, Palmer CP, Houck JE, Navidi WC, Geinitz S, Noonan CW. A Community Woodstove Changeout and Impact on Ambient Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Phenolics. Environmental Science & Technology 2009 Environ Sci Technol. 2009;43:5345-50. PMCID: PMC2735050


Bergauff M, Ward T, Noonan CW, Palmer C. Determination and evaluation of selected organic chemical tracers for wood smoke in airbourne particulate matter. Int J Environ Anal Chem 2008;88:473-486.


Ward TJ, Palmer C, Bergauff M, Hooper K, Noonan CW. Results of a Residential Indoor PM2.5 Sampling Program Before and After a Woodstove Changeout. Indoor Air 2008;18:408-415. PMID: 18665872


Noonan CW, Ward TJ. Environmental tobacco smoke, woodstove heating and risk of asthma symptoms. Journal of Asthma 2007;44:735-738.


Rural and Native American Communities:

Ward T, Boulafentis J, Julie Simpson J, Hester C, Moliga T, Warden K, Noonan C. Lessons Learned from a Woodstove Changeout on the Nez Perce Reservation. Sci Total Environ 2011;409:664-70. PMID: 21144555

Ricci C, Brown B, Noonan C, Harris KJ, Dybdal L, Parker M, Gress S. Parental influence on obesity in Northern Plains American Indian youth. Fam Community Health 2011;35:68-75.

Noonan CW, Brown BD, Bentley B, Conway K, Corcoran M, FourStar K, Freide P, Hemlock B, Wagner S, Wilson T. Variability in childhood asthma and body mass index across Northern Plains American Indian communities. Journal of Asthma 2010;47:496-500. PMID: 20560824

Brown B, Noonan CW, Bentley B, Conway K, Corcoran M, FourStar K, Gress S and Wagner S. Acanthosis Nigricans among Northern Plains American Indian children. Journal of School Nursing 2010;26:450-60. PMID: 20595701

Brown B, Harris KJ, Wilson T, Parker M, Ricci C, Noonan C. Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program for Northern Plains Indian Youth through Community-Based Participatory Research Methods. Diabetes Educator 2010;36:924-935. PMID: 20944056.

Brown B, Noonan CW, Nord M. Prevalence of food insecurity and health associated outcomes and food characteristics of Northern Plains Indian households. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 2007;1:37-44.

Schumpert JC, Noonan CW, Sylvester J, et al. Patterns of Asthma Symptoms and Perceptions of Harm from Seasonal Atmospheric Events in Rural Western Montana. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2006;12:52-58.