Fall 2017 Colloquium Series

Streamflow: Can we measure it, can we forecast it?

Dr. Hilary McMillan
Associate Professor of Water Resources
San Diego State University

Friday, September 22, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

In this seminar, Hilary will discuss why it is important to have accurate streamflow data, for applications such as water resource management, land use planning and hazard mitigation. She will review how streamflow data is measured, and why it can be difficult to calculate accurately, before presenting the results of an international experiment to compare streamflow estimates in three different watersheds in New Zealand, France and the UK. Hydrologists frequently use computer models to provide forecasts of streamflow out to several days ahead. In the second part of the seminar she will describe her research into how accurate these forecasts are, what type of rivers and watersheds are easy or hard to make forecasts for, and why. This research takes advantage of the wide range of hydro-climatic regimes in New Zealand to compare forecast quality across different landscape types.

Hilary McMillan received her PhD in 2006 in Hydrology from the University of Cambridge, UK, and spent 10 years at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Christchurch, NZ before joining San Diego State University in 2016. Her research asks how large-scale watershed hydrology dynamics arise from multiscale water interactions with soils, plants, people and landscape. Her current interests include how to make hydrological predictions on a national or continental scale, how to design and test hypotheses about watershed function, and how to include human impacts in hydrologic predictions. From 2015–17, Hilary was Chair of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences flagship project ‘Panta Rhei: Hydrology, Society and Change’, coordinating 400+ scientists across the globe to understand the interfaces between water and society.


Look, Who’s There!
Foundation and Application of Migration impact Assessment

Peter Nijkamp
Professor of Regional Economics and Economic Geography
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Friday, October 6, 2017
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
West Commons 220

Arthur Getis Distinguished Lecture Series

Cross-border movements of people have prompted intriguing policy and research questions in our ‘age of migration’. The analysis and modelling of pros and cons of international migration have led to the emergence of ‘Migration Impact Assessment’ (MIA). We will outline the backgrounds and principles of MIA and provide various applications in different countries. We will address in particular the importance of education, cultural diversity and language proficiency as critical determinants for a well functioning migration system.


4-Dimensional Visual Delivery of Big Climate Data

Dr. Sam Shen
Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
San Diego State University

Friday, October 20, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

This presentation will describe the 4-Dimensional Visual Delivery (4DVD) technology for big climate data recently developed at SDSU by Julien Pierret and Sam Shen. the delivery system shows climate data in a 4D space-time box and allows users to visualize the data before making a download. Users can zoom in or out to help identify desired information for particular locations. Data can then be downloaded for the spatial maps and historical climate time series of a given location after the maps and time series are identified to be useful. These functions enable a user to quickly reach the core interested feature without downloading the entire database in advance, which saves both time and storage space.


Space-Time Tools for Coastal Studies

Manuel Cobos Budia
Grupo de Dinámica de Flujos Ambientales
Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación del Sistema Tierra en Andalucía (IISTA)
Universidad de Granada, Spain

Friday, October 27, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

In this seminar, I will present some recent projects of the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Group (University of Granada, Spain). These projects cover a wide variety of topics such as: wave oscillations in harbors, creation of bedforms in beaches; maritime weather forecast to design breakwater, shelter dikes or to manage a harbor; and a physical model to improve the water quality in estuaries. All these studies have in common that statistics help us to solve the problem in different ways. I will show some of the most frequent mathematical and statistical tools which are commonly used in the daily work of a coastal and maritime engineer. The application of these tools and the results obtained in each project will be discussed.

Manuel Cobos Budia has an MS degree in Environmental Hydraulics from the University of Granada (2013), and this is the last year of his PhD degree focusing on the uncertainty assessment of the space-time estuarine physical processes. Since 2012 he has worked at the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Group of the Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research. He has participated in several research and development projects, and is currently applying modern spatiotemporal data analysis in the field of coastal and marine environments.

Contact: mcobosb@ugr.es


Workshop on Graduate Student Wellness

Jim Gahen
Founder
International Coaching Society

Friday, November 3, 2017
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Storm Hall 316

The remit of the AAG’s Task Force on Mental Health is to address the current mental health crisis on campuses, particularly amongst graduate students and junior faculty. This workshop is part of SDSU Geography’s initiative to put something in place that encourages dialogue on the crisis.


At the Security School:
Protecting Elite Space with a Smile

Dr. Erika Robb Larkins
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
Director, J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Steifel Program on Brazil
San Diego State University

Friday, November 17, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

Security guard inside basketball arenaPrivate security in Brazil relies on the labor of two different kinds of bodies, which perform two varieties of security behavior. While a militarized hyper masculinity has long been the norm in the industry, it has recently been complemented by what I call a “security- as-hospitality” model. Drawing on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the security industry in Rio de Janeiro, this talk will show how hospitality security is aimed at providing a differentiated form of service to Brazilian (and global) elites in secured spaces of leisure and consumption: shopping malls, concert venues, hotels, and World Cup and Olympic Stadiums.In a society where lower class, dark-skinned bodies are often equated with poverty and criminality, in hospitality security, guards are required to communicate that they are upstanding, law-abiding citizens in order to work in the city’s upper-class neighborhoods. They learn to do this at security schools, where they are taught certain body management techniques to show this. Thus, while some bodies are molded for militarized engagement, others learn to cater hospitably to elite in gentrified areas. This contrast better helps us to understand how security is mapped differentially onto urban space.


From Generative Music to Emergency Management:
There's a Space for That!

Dr. André Skupin
Professor of Geography
San Diego State University

Friday, December 1, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

A fundamental tenet of spatial intelligence is that powerful spatial concepts, metaphors and techniques are at our disposal once notions of space are recognized as relevant to a vast array of domains and circumstances, far beyond the traditional bounds of geography. The impacts can range from revealing non-obvious, hidden patterns to engendering emotional engagement and supporting practical decision-making. The presentation will review several case studies, in which advanced computational and semiotic transformations were applied to diverse data. Among these is a fly-through across the U.S., in 69-dimensional space, coupled with live generation of symphonic sound. Another project, likewise situated in the artistic domain, transformed the social media tag space associated with several hundred thousand music items into an interactive art exhibit. Finally, a recent study is discussed of the intersecting domains of big data and emergency management, aimed at supporting evidence-based curriculum development.

Dr. André Skupin is Professor of Geography and the founder and Co-Director of the Center for Information Convergence and Strategy (CICS) at San Diego State University. He is also an Associate Director of the Center for Data Analytics and Intelligence (CENDAI) at the Czech University of Life Sciences, Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Dubai, and co-founder of commercial spin-off BigKnowledge. Dr. Skupin combines a classic cartographic education and 25+ years of experience with the worldwide GIS market with long-standing interests in geovisualization, visual data mining, and spatio-temporal modeling. He has developed novel methods for analyzing human mobility, demographic change, and environmental indicators in attribute space. Dr. Skupin has been a thought leader in knowledge visualization, where much of his research has addressed how knowledge artifacts can be analyzed by combining traditionally disparate approaches from natural language processing, machine learning, and cartography. He is co-inventor of patent-pending technologies involving ontologies and text mining and has a strong interest in accelerated transition of technological innovation into diverse application areas, from biomedicine to finance, management, and environmental monitoring.