Affiliated Research Scientist
Ed.D., Urban Education Leadership, Morgan State University
M.H.S., Human Services, Lincoln University
James Peterson, EdD, MHS is a research scientist with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at George Washington University, where he teaches a course “Ethnographic Methods as Applied in Public Health” and has participated with and managed ethnographic and qualitative research activities on multiple projects including:
Qualitative Component of the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Washington, DC routine testing campaign.
Ethnographic study of the House/Ball scene and accessing HIV/AIDS care among young men of color who have sex with men.
Lead Investigator for the District of Columbia Department of Health Community Services Assessment (CSA).
Ethnographic Interviews conducted as a component of the HIV Prevention Trial Network (HPTN) studies (061 & 064) in the District of Columbia.
His interests are conducting ethnographic research among substance abusers, HIV AIDS fieldwork and using social research strategies to gain access to hard-to-reach populations, applying a variety of ethnographic and qualitative research methods including types of street and institutional interviewing, observations, and focus group research. He has continued to focus his professional experience in the areas of public health and the human services; encompassing various types of health research, community-based research, teaching and training, consultation, and direct work with research among incarcerated populations and reentrants, HIV+ individuals and substance users. He has significant ethnographic experience conducting fieldwork, using social research strategies to gain access to hard-to-reach populations, applying a variety of qualitative research methods. Dr. Peterson holds a Doctorate of Urban Education Leadership from Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD and a Master of Human Services Degree from Lincoln University, Lincoln, PA.
Currently, Dr. Peterson conducts ethnographic research with high-risk populations in Washington, D.C. on a CDC-funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) study. The NHBS is conducted in 25 cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C. The purpose of this serial cross-sectional study is to yield information about what people do that puts them at risk for HIV. The NHBS has three cycles focusing on different risk groups: men who have sex with men (NHBS-MSM), injecting drug users (NHBS-IDU), and heterosexuals at risk of HIV infection (NHBS-HET). Information gained from the NHBS will guide prevention and HIV counseling and testing services in Washington, D.C. It will also help guide and improve overall HIV/AIDS surveillance, and provide a better understanding of trends in HIV infection in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States. His current work involves:
- Lead Ethnographer for formative research on the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS)
- Community Research Coordinator for the District of Columbia
- Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR)
- Community Activities Coordinator for the DC Cohort Study
- Co-investigator on Needs Assessment among HIV AIDS patients in care who have co-morbidity issues of substance abuse and or mental health diagnoses