Medical Anthropologist
Applied Researcher
Extreme Heat Activist

Rose Jones, Ph.D.

Founder/Principal, Rapid Anthropology Consulting

I have a doctorate in medical anthropology and extensive experience in academic medicine, applied research, and nonprofit consultancy. I have held faculty and research positions at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Parkland Health and Hospital System, Children’s Health, and Southern Methodist University. My research has taken me to St. Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, the Texas/Mexico Border, Native America, and throughout urban and rural Texas. The primary focus of my research is health and equity and includes diverse topics – urban heat islands, the unhoused, food insecurity, pediatric trauma, HIV/AIDS, health literacy, museum studies, and gender disparities.

Three principles are core to my work – quality, integrity, and empathy. I use mixed methods and the power of storytelling to generate empirical insights that drive change for real world problems. As an applied anthropologist, I focus on understanding and contextualizing human behaviors, experiences, and perspectives so that new narratives of engagement can be generated and applied to problem-solving, building awareness, and action for change.

Why I started Rapid Anthropology Consulting

Rapid Anthropology grew out of an awakening I had while working at Texas Trees Foundation. As I was developing a health initiative to anchor the Foundation’s urban forestry programs, I became aware of the gravity and urgency of extreme heat on public health. I saw many troubling problems that were not being addressed, including gross underreporting of heat-related mortality and morbidity, a lack of awareness and training among healthcare providers, generic and stereotypical public health messaging, and neglect of critical equity and justice issues.

During the summer of 2023 as temperature records were being smashed my concerns escalated. I saw states begin to withdraw heat protection rights and safety protocols from outdoor workers, prisoners become violently ill and die in unprecedented numbers under inhumane conditions in un-airconditioned facilities, medics being instructed to withhold water from families crossing the Border during heat domes, and scores of homeless people filling burn units with life-threatening injuries sustained from the scorching heat of urban concrete. I also saw that more attention was being placed on the phenomena of record-breaking temperatures than on the public health and humanitarian crises that were unfolding.

And then it happened – my light bulb moment

As I was being interviewed by a local reporter for a story on extreme heat and ethics, I realized at that precise moment that heat was transitioning from a public health crisis into a full-blown humanitarian crisis; extreme heat was being used as an, political weapon and marginalized people were the collateral.

I knew in that instant that I could not sit on the sidelines.

A few weeks later, I resigned from my position to launch Rapid Anthropology Consulting.

I’m still thinking and hoping there’s an opportunity for people to have better lives and that significant change can occur.” ~ Tracy Chapman