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Center for Earth System Analysis Research (CESAR)
The Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) is a computer-based research and instruction facility administered by the Department of Geography. The purpose of the Center is to apply state-of-the-art technology in image processing, remote sensing, geographic information systems, automated cartography and numerical modeling to problems with a spatial dimension. Research conducted by the CESAR is directed at both applied and fundamental problems in fields ranging from biophysical remote sensing to urban planning. This research includes computer-based map and image data processing and spatial simulation modeling as well as field experimentation.
CESAR has extensive GIS, Remote Sensing, and cartography software resources including ArcGIS and related products, IDRISI, and ERDAS. The Center research equipment is augmented by facilities in the Department of Geography including three field vehicles, a wide array of field measuring devices, a class "A" weather station and a physical geography laboratory.
Stephen and Mary Birch Endowed Chair in Geographic Studies
Professor George Christakos occupies the Stephen and Mary Birch Endowed Chair in Geographic Studies.
The previous chair, Dr. Arthur Getis is a specialist in the development and application of spatial statistics. Currently, he works in the area of spatial modeling in the context of geographic information systems. His recent research concerns the development of models of urban growth and change using new statistics of spatial association. Within that framework, he attempts to identify the influence of spatial scale and spatial configuration on research results. He co-edits the journal, Geographical Systems.
Research projects and contracts are primarily directed by Drs. Allen Hope, Piotr Jankowski, Douglas Stow, Ming-Hsiang Tsou and Richard Wright. Advanced graduate students, working under the close supervision of the project directors, are used as staff on many of the projects. Dr. Stuart Aitken, Chairman of the Department of Geography, is the general administrator and Mr. David McKinsey is the technical manager.