2010 to 2011 Academic Year News

August 17, 2010

Geography Workshops Offered

The Department of Geography is offering six (6) one-day workshops during the 2010 Fall Semester. The workshops will showcase the research being conducted in the department. As such, the workshops are structured on the assumption that participants will have a degree and extensive course work or experience in GIS or Remote Sensing.


August 17, 2010

Remote Sensing History in the Department

The ERDAS Corporation has produced “San Diego State University: An ERDAS Legacy” PDF file that discusses the department’s use of ERDAS products since the 1980’s.


partnership groupAugust 23, 2010

Partnership between SDSU and FNNR

Research and Education Partnership between SDSU and FNNR (China):

On August 6, 2010, a Research-Education-Outreach agreement was signed between the College of Arts and Letters at SDSU and Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR) in China. Many of you may have heard of this reserve as part of the Golden Monkey Project, but the partnership extends beyond the Guizhou golden monkey, encompassing other protected species in this biodiversity ‘hotspot’, community development, and human-environment interaction. This is a major step in international collaboration between SDSU and FNNR and involves not only faculty and students from Geography, but also from Anthology, Biology, and the San Diego Zoo. Thanks to Drs. Paul Wong, Stuart Aitken, and Li An for their substantial efforts in establishing this partnership!


frederick stutzAugust 26, 2010

Stutz Book Out

The sixth edition of The World Economy co-authored by Dr. Frederick Stutz will be available in January 2011. The textbook is used at 200 to 300 colleges and universities each year.


patti o’learyAugust 27, 2010

Patti O'Leary Receives Teaching Award

It is with great pleasure that the department announces that Patti O’Leary is to be recognized by the National Urban League (NUL) as a recipient of a teaching award for three years or more earlier this decade.

Patti is recognized for her work with at-risk youth in both teaching math/science and in tutoring and SAT preparation. She received the Best Practice Teaching Award three years in a row (nominated by parents and/or students) from NUL and, as such, is considered an “Educator of the Decade.”

As a volunteer, Patti taught math and science to high risk high school youth (previously dropped out or expelled) in Southeast San Diego. She personalized a text and lessons to include funny situations with the names of the students and used activities that they enjoyed in order to make the lessons fun (e.g. football arcs on field goals, for chemistry she set up a crime scene and used math to make measurements of velocity, etc.). Patti’s students entered a national math competition and placed in the upper 25th percentile. All of the students in the years she taught went on to a 4-year college. Two majored in math at a UC campus and have since graduated; 18 have graduated from college or are in their last year of their undergraduate program.

Patti will be honored at a dinner on Saturday Oct 2, 2010 in New York City.

Congratulations Patti.


September 13, 2010

An and Tsou Receive NSF Grant

Search results for H1N1 April 29 and May 6 2009, ploted in ArcGIS softwareScreen capture of H1N1 distribution in the United States shown as a surface in ArcGIS.

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou and Dr. Li An received a new National Science Foundation award for $1,300,213 for support of their project, entitled “CDI-Type II: Mapping Cyberspace to Realspace: Visualizing and Understanding the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Global Diffusion of Ideas and the Semantic Web.” This project will start on October 1, 2010 and last for four years. This project is a multidisciplinary collaboration with Dr. Dipak K Gupta (Political Science), Dr. Jean Marc Gawron (Linguistics), and Dr. Brian Spitzberg (Communication), all from San Diego State University.

This project will form a new multidisciplinary research framework in connecting social science and computer science for analyzing the dynamic information landscape on the Internet in which ideas spread quickly. By combining GIScience and geo-locating skills in a Web search mechanism, this project illustrates a new approach to information query, retrieval, and analysis methods. The creation of semantic knowledge bases will upgrade traditional “data mining” methods to advanced “information mining” approaches. This research will facilitate the development of space-time analysis methodology, a rapidly growing field in the context of the traditional separation between time series analysis and spatial analysis. The innovative semantic and spatiotemporal analysis framework will provide a new direction for social science research to track the spread of ideas, to analyze where they go and how fast, and to analyze the ideological, social, and religious conditions that promote that spread.


September 13, 2010

Department Welcomes the New Semester

lecturer giorgio curti seated on a picnic table, talks with graduate students.faculty and students help themselves to food and drink under the trees at tidelands parkfaculty and students gathered at tidelands park

The annual department “Welcome to the New School Year” picnic was held on September 3, at Tidelands Park on Coronado Island across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. This is a time when the department welcomes all incoming and returning students to the new school year.

Click on the photos to enlarge.


stuart aitkenSeptember 15, 2010

Aitken to Give Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Stuart C. Aitken is to give the First Annual Distinguished Lecture in Human Geography at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada on Thursday, September 30, 2010.

The title of the talk is “Doing Geography at the Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim.”

Lecture Flyer PDF file


September 20, 2010

SDSU Group Edits New Book

tom hermanfernando boscokate swansonstuart aitken

Dr. Stuart C. Aitken, Dr. Kate Swanson, Dr. Fernando Bosco, and Dr. Tom Herman are the co-editors of a new book, Young People, Border Spaces and Revolutionary Imaginations. The book is currently in press with Routledge.

This book advances new theoretical and empirical work on the ways young people negotiate, resist and revolutionize border spaces The ideas in this collection began with a workshop at San Diego State University that brought together researchers interested in borders and young people. The workshop, entitled “Mapping North American Youth Cultures,” was convened in August 2008 and funded by the Canadian Government and San Diego State University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Youth and Space (ISYS).

Based upon discussions that pulled together child researchers living and working close to the borders of Mexico, the United States and Canada, the essays in this collection highlight the idea that material and metaphoric borders give way to young people’s material experimentation with cultural, social and political relations. None of the participants in this collection came to the initial discussions with concrete ideas much less polished research papers, but talk brimmed with stories of young people’s experimentations. Discussions continued after the initial workshop and the result is this collection of essays, which is very much a collaboration between the editors and each participant. The collection does not comprise polished empirical research papers nor practiced theoretical arguments, but rather stories of young people’s lives, variously experienced and reported upon. The borders discussed run the gamut from bodies, families, communities, institutions and nations and they are not exclusively focused on North American contexts. What is offer here is a taste of, and ongoing insight into, literal and metaphorically bordered lives of young people and the revolutionary imaginations that transcend those borders.


serge reySeptember 21, 2010

Rey to Give Getis Lecture

The Sixth Annual Arthur Getis Lecture in Spatial Analysis will take place on October 1, 2010, West Commons 220, at 3:00 PM. The speaker will be Professor Sergio J. Rey of Arizona State University. Dr. Rey is an outstanding spatial analyst and software developer. He is well known for his pioneering work on STARS, Space-Time Analysis of Regional Systems and GEODA. Dr. Rey was a faculty member in the department of Geography at SDSU until 2008. His topic is New Approaches for Exploratory Space-Time Data Analysis (ESTDA).

All are invited to attend.


martin swobodzinskiSeptember 23, 2010

Swobodzinski Receives APCG Award

Doctoral candidate Martin Swobodzinski was awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Paper by a Ph.D. student at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG) held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, September 15 to 18, 2010.

The title of Martin's paper is Sequence alignment and regression analysis for the exploration of human-computer interaction.

In his paper, Martin elaborates on the motivation, challenges, and benefits of analyzing data on human-computer interaction that was collected via an Internet platform for public-participation transportation planning. He applies sequence alignment analysis in combination with logistic regression analysis to determine the significance and strength of association between individual-level variables (ie., socio-demographics) and usage patterns of the various components of the Internet platform. The goal of the analysis is to gain insight into the preferences of the subjects for analytical and/or deliberative participatory tools, knowledge that is instrumental for a better understanding of the requirements of and expectation towards future public-participation systems.

Congratulations, Martin.


john weeksNovember 9, 2010

Weeks to Give Keynote

Professor John R. Weeks will be the opening keynote speaker on November 17th at the 35th Annual Meeting of the California Association for Institutional Research, to be held here in San Diego. The theme of the conference is the how the census relates to planning for higher education, and Dr. Weeks’ address will focus on that issue. The California Association for Institutional Research (CAIR) is dedicated to the fostering of unity and cooperation among persons having interests and activities related to institutional research and/or planning in California institutions of postsecondary education.


philip prydeNovember 9, 2010

Pryde to Receive Gilbert F. White Award

Emeritus Professor Philip Pryde has been selected to receive the Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for 2011.

Dr. Pryde has distinguished himself as a scholar in many ways, including authoring several books and publications in prestigious outlets such as Nature, Science, and disciplinary journals such as The Geographical Review, and the Professional Geographer of the Association of American Geographers, but he has truly brought distinction to the discipline through his tireless devotion to public service. For the past four decades he has been involved with local governmental bodies and regional conservation groups, frequently serving as their chair or president, or sitting on their governing board.

Phil has been a major force in the implementation of both community and scientific based watershed approaches in addressing water resource problems in San Diego County and other locations. He has been instrumental in the establishment of river parks along coastal streams in southern California. But what distinguishes Phil’s public involvement is the superb manner in which he has been able to blend teaching, research, and community service in the area of environmental protection.

Phil has been a tremendous representative of Geography and of the AAG and is extremely deserving of the AAG Gilbert F. White Distinguished Public Service Honors.

Text taken from AAG Press Announcement


andré skupinNovember 15, 2010

Skupin Gives Invited Talks in Ireland

This month, Dr. André Skupin will give two talks in Ireland, following an invitation from University College Dublin. On November 15, he will be a guest speaker at a conference on Cultural Dimensions of Innovation, with a talk entitled Visualizing Déjà Vu: A Computational Exploration of Geographic Attribute Space. The following day he will give a second presentation, at the Humanities Institute of Ireland.


andré skupinNovember 15, 2010

Skupin Begins Work on NSF Grant

A team of researchers at Hunter College - CUNY, New Mexico State University, Brigham Young University, and SDSU has been awarded an NSF grant in support of a project entitled Geographic Information Science and Technology BoK2: Foundational Research. Building on the success of the initial GIS&T Body of Knowledge (BoK1), the project will work on a framework for its future evolution, toward maintaining and expanding this knowledge base of GIS&T in a dynamic, interactive and collaborative fashion. With BoK1 as its organic point of departure, BoK2 aims at creating a transformational, dynamic environment for pedagogy, knowledge building, discourse, collaboration, and research in GIS&T. It will leverage immersive synthetic environments, ontological analysis, and knowledge visualization approaches. The SDSU team will focus on the latter, building on Dr. André Skupin’s expertise in the visualization of abstract information spaces, including the semantic mapping of text documents (see In Terms of Geography Leave geography site). Researchers from the four participating universities will meet here in the Department for a kick-off meeting, November 11 to 12. The current project will run through 2013.

Partial result showing the interactions of different Geography research areas


fernando boscoNovember 16, 2010

Bosco Gives Invited Talk

Professor Fernando Bosco is giving an invited talk in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto in Canada on November 19th. The talk is part of the “Intersections” Lectures Series. The talk is entitled“Place and the Politics of Memory in Buenos Aires” PDF file.


john weeksNovember 22, 2010

Weeks Receives Research Award

Professor John Weeks is this year’s recipient of the Albert Johnson Research Award and Distinguished Professorship.

During his thirty-six years at SDSU, John has assembled an impressive record of research and scholarship that has gained him national and international recognition as a social scientist with expertise in demography, spatial demographics and GIScience.

With around seventy articles and chapters in academic journals and books, John has compiled an impressive record of scholarly publication. In addition, he has published seven books both as single authored monographs and as an editor of anthologies. It is no mean achievement that one of his single authored books has been the leading introductory text in demography for the last thirty years. Although Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues is a textbook intended for undergraduates, the bulk of John’s publication are for high level academic consumption. He has published several times in the prestigious International Journal of Remote Sensing. One of his more recent articles appeared in American geography’s flagship journal, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers. He publishes in a variety of disciplinary outlets including the Journal of Community Health and The Journal of Immigrant Health and Latino/a Research Review. In the last couple of years, he has published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Population, Space and Place, and International Migration. That his work is published in a substantial number of non-geography journals is testimony to the broad academic appeal of John’s work.

There is no doubt that John’s work has helped the Department of Geography achieve its top ranking as a graduate program in the United States. He is an inspiration to his colleagues and students.

Congratulations, John.


piotr jankowskiDecember 6, 2010

Jankowski Gives Invited Talk

Professor Piotr Jankowski gave an invited talk at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona on December 9, 2010. The title of the talk was Geovisual Analytics and Volunteered Geographic Information.


justin stolerDecember 16, 2010

Stoler Received Fellowship

Doctoral student Justin Stoler s one of this year's recipients of the very prestigious Inamori Fellowships.

The award letter from Vice President Tom Scott noted that: Competition for Inamori Fellowships was intense. There were 70 applicants representing masters and doctoral candidates from every college of our university. The review committee pared the applicant list to 24 finalists and met this week to discuss and select the ten recipients.

Congratulations, Justin!


nao hisakawaDecember 21, 2010

Hisakawa Receives Scholarship

Master’s student Nao Hisakawa has been awarded an Austrian Marshall Plan Scholarship. The Austrian Marshall Plan funds scholarships and fellowships for academic exchanges between Austria and the U.S. with a special focus on universities of applied sciences and technical universities. The Scholarship is a three month fellowship to conduct research at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Villach, Austria.

Nao’s research project will involve analyzing the geographical landscape of the borders between Austria and Hungary, Austria and Slovenia, and Austria and Italy using GIS and remote sensing technologies.

Congratulations, Nao!


piotr jankowskiJanuary 24, 2011

Jankowski to be Visiting Fellow

Dr. Piotr Jankowski will be a William Evans Visiting Fellow during March-April 2011 at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He will collaborate with Brent Hall (University of Otago) and Timothy Nyerges (University of Washington) on the development of decision support geographic information infrastructures.


January 24, 2011

Aitken, Curti to Co-Host Panel

giorgio curtistuart aitken

Dr. Stuart Aitken and Dr. Giorgio Curti will co-host The Fight to Stay Put Tuesday, February 1, at 4:00pm in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The event is hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

This panel uses different media expressions to explore how urban re-productions of space/place often have emotional impacts on people whose values, cultural ways and quality of life are at best secondary to economic interests of growth and development. By theoretically and empirically engaging with literature and debates on gentrification, displacement and urban restructuring and demonstrating how media can both materially impact urban life and provide novel glimpses into its formations, productions and negotiations, “The Fight to Stay Put” makes the case that media/city relations must be fundamental components of both urban studies and media studies. The panel will feature presentations by Sturart Aitken (Geography, SDSU), James Craine (Geography, CSU-Northridge), and Giorgio Curti (Geography, SDSU), and Colin Gardner (Art, UCSB). Aitken, Craine and Curti are coeditors of The Fight to Stay Put, forthcoming from the University of Mainz media geography series.


john weeksJanuary 25, 2011

Weeks to Give Johnson Research Lecture

Dr. John Weeks will present The Power of Pixels: Using GIScience to Understand Global Health at the 21st Annual Albert W. Johnson University Research Lecture. The Johnson lectureship is awarded for outstanding achievement in research and scholarship.

Lecture Abstract: Between now and 2050, the world will add more than two billion people to its total, almost all of whom will live in cities of developing countries. Investing in improved global health is critical to promoting global economic and political stability. Very little is currently known about what is influencing morbidity and mortality in these cities and the research of Professor Weeks and his colleagues seeks to fill that gap by using the tools of geographic information science (including remotely sensed imagery and spatial data analysis, as well as GIS and locational GPS data) to improve our understanding of the spatial inequalities in health within cities of developing countries including Ghana, Egypt and Jordan, and then to develop analytical models that can be applied to cities of other developing nations. Specifically, these tools allow us to use satellite imagery and related techniques to predict health status and risk variables, which can be managed or controlled to influence positive change. These analyses will directly impact the efforts of UN-Habitat to understand the role played by slums within cities of developing countries and that relates directly to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The results will also be immediately useful to the health planners and providers in ministries of health and among the many NGOs working in developing countries.

Please join Dr. Weeks on March 11, 2011 at 3:00pm in AL-201. A reception will follow the Lecture.


geoff fouadFebruary 1, 2011

Fouad Receives ASPRS Award

Doctoral student Geoff Fouad has been awarded the 2011 Graduate Student Achievement Award for Image-based Studies. The award is given by the Southwest Region of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

The award is based on Geoff’s dissertation research which addresses the interaction of vegetation and water using GIScience and Remote Sensing technologies coupled with spatially explicit hydrologic modeling. More specifically, Geoff’s dissertation examines how seasonal vegetation behavior as monitored by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data responds to hydrologic variability in California at the watershed scale. Results from this research identify and describe the hydrologic controls of seasonal vegetation events in water-limited ecosystems. For his dissertation, Geoff is developing approaches that link hydrologic patterns to landscape-scale seasonal vegetation behavior, such as the emergence (i.e. green-up) or loss (i.e. brown-down) of plant foliage. This research also seeks to understand how wildland fire and its obvious relation to hydrologic conditions regulate plant life cycles in water-limited ecosystems of California. Finally, the research assesses the relation of drought and seasonal plant behavior using an index that integrates spatially distributed vegetation and hydrologic data.

The award will be presented at the National ASPRS annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from May 1 to May 5, 2011.

Congratulations, Geoff!


sarah wanderseeFebruary 3, 2011

Wandersee Receives WEC Award

Sarah Wandersee, a third year Joint Doctoral Student working with Dr. Li An and Dr. David Lopez-Carr has been awarded a Women’s Environmental Council Scholarship for 2011. The Women’s Environmental Council grants awards, participates in community outreach, and provides career development opportunities and support for women working towards and in environmental professions. The scholarship includes a monetary award and a one-year organizational membership. Sarah is thankful for the opportunity and support.

Sarah was selected for the award based upon her motivation, volunteer and environmental activities, academic and career performance, and professional goals. The award is granted annually, so keep it in mind for next year!

Congratulations, Sarah!


marta jankowskaFebruary 8, 2011

Jankowska Receives GRASSS Award

Doctoral student Marta Jankowska has been awarded a Graduate Research Award for Social Science Surveys (GRASSS) from UC Santa Barbara. The award was given by the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research (ISBER) for Marta’s proposal Children’s Spatial Perceptions of Environmental Health Hazards in Accra, Ghana. ISBER only funded four awards this cycle.

Marta will use the funds from the award to help with the pilot project for her dissertation reserarch.

Congratulations, Marta!


February 15, 2011

Geography to Assist in Web Map

Del Mar Healthcare has provided funding to develop a web-based, GIS map that will enable gap analysis related to targeting of services for older adult populations in San Diego County. Agencies (both nonprofit and government) will be able to utilize the map to understand the demographics of current and potential clients in their service area, collaborate with other service providers, understand which areas lack various services, and develop strategies to reach out to underserved populations.

The Web GIS map will include dynamic overlay of multiple types of demographic information, including aggregate older population density and age strata, income level, education level, marital status, veteran status, ethnicity, and gender overlaid with information related to the service boundaries of individual service providers, major public transportation lines, hospital locations, resource centers, physical activity centers, and others.

Each service provider will be able to define and update their service area boundaries by using a web-based input method. The web-based input method will utilize Google Map APIs to allow agency staff to draw the boundary directly on the Google Map and then submit the new boundary to the web server for update.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Maurizio Antoninetti, School of Public Affairs. Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, Department of Geography and Dr. Mario D. Garrett, School of Social Work.

Project description taken from San Diego Foundation press release.


stuart aitkenFebruary 18, 2011

Aitken to Present McConnell Lecture

Dr. Stuart Aitken will present the McConnnell Lecture at Miami University, Ohio, on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 7:30pm in 215 Shideler Hall. The topic will be Doing Geography at the Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim.


some of the attendees at AAASFebruary 23, 2011

SDSU Geography at AAAS Symposium

On Feb. 18, 2011 Dr. Stuart Aitken, Dr. Li An, and Doctoral Candidates Alex Zvoleff and Sarah Wandersee presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; the sponsor of the journal Science) annual meeting in Washington D.C. entitled Science Without Borders. Drs. Li An (SDSU), Stuart Aitken (SDSU), and Janet Silbernagel (University of Wisconsin, Madison) organized the symposium focusing on coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) under the overarching theme of “Mapping and Disentangling Human Decisions in Complex Human-Nature Systems.” Although AAAS meetings mostly highlight work from senior scientists (less than 50% of applications are accepted for presentations), Sarah and Alex did exceptionally well in their presentations including handling questions from people of various backgrounds. The symposium further benefited from the participation of Dr. Xiaodong Chen (Harvard University; speaker), Dr. David Lopez-Carr (UCSB; moderator and speaker), and MSU Distinguished Professor Dr. Jianguo Liu (Michigan State University; discussant). The symposium successfully highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of CHANS research and contributed to advancing the research on understanding human-environment interactions towards enabling sustainable policy development. All the papers presented in this symposium will contribute to a special issue Dr. An is guest-editing for the journalEcological Modelling Leave geography site PDF file.


chris lippittFebruary 24, 2011

Lippitt to Receive ASPRS Award

Doctoral student Christopher Lippitt was recently selected to receive the Robert N. Colwell Memorial Fellowship from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). This is the most prestigious of the student awards provided by ASPRS.

The purpose of the Award is to encourage and commend college/university graduate students or post-doctoral researchers who display exceptional interest, desire, ability, and aptitude in the field of remote sensing or other related geospatial information technologies, and who have a special interest in developing practical uses of these technologies.

Chris will receive his award at the ASPRS Annual Conference in Milwaukee in early May. Chris also received a student travel award from the ASPRS Southwest Region to attend the conference.

Congratulations, Chris!


nathan wangMarch 7, 2011

Wang Invited to SFI

Ninghua (Nathan) Wang, second year joint doctoral student, was recently invited to attend the Santa Fe Institute Complex System Summer School from June 8 to July 1. The Complex Systems Summer School is a very competitive program with six to eight applications for each position available in the program.

The Santa Fe Institute is an acknowledged leader in transdisciplinary scientific research and the founding institution of complexity science. The Complex Systems Summer School—now in its 26th year—is the premier program in training graduate and postdoctoral fellows in the fundamentals and practice of complex systems scholarship. It offers an intensive three-and-a-half-week introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems. It is designed for those who seek hands-on experience in transdisciplinary research of complex adaptive systems.

Along with this invitation, Nathan was awarded with a scholarship of $1500 to defray part of the tuition and living cost during his stay in Santa Fe Institute.

Congratulations, Nathan!


alex zvoleffMarch 7, 2011

Zvoleff Wins Dean’s Award

Doctoral student Alex Zvoleff won a Dean’s Award at the SDSU Student Research Symposium over the weekend. Alex also received additional recognition from Scholars Without Borders for his presentation.

Alex presented part of his dissertation related to building an agent-based model (ABM) to explore the feedback between population processes and Land Use/Land Cover Changes. He presented similar work at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Washington D.C. in February this year. Alex was featured in the National Association of Science Writers Leave geography site coverage of the meetings.

Congratulations, Alex!


john weeksMarch 10, 2011

Interview With Distinguished Professor Weeks

A new interview with Distinguished Professor John Weeks has been posted to YouTube.

The Weeks interview comes a day before Dr. Weeks presents The Power of Pixels: Using GIScience to Understand Global Health at the 21st Annual Albert W. Johnson University Research Lecture. The lecture will be at 3:00pm, Friday, March 11 in AL-201. A reception will follow the Lecture.


nathan wangMarch 14, 2011

Wang Receives AAG Award

Doctoral student Ninghua (Nathan) Wang recently won the Association of American Geographers International Geographic Information Fund Student Paper Award for his paper Analyzing Crime Displacement with a Simulation Approach.

The AAG IGIF Award is given to recognize outstanding student papers in any area of spatial analysis or geographic information science or systems that was given at a national and international conference or specialized meetings. Nathan is the only recipient for this year, along with a prize of $200.

Congratulations, Nathan!


andré skupinMarch 15, 2011

Skupin Gives Invited Lecture in Paris

On March 24, 2011, Dr. André Skupin will be a keynote speaker at the Mining the Digital Traces of Science Leave geography site workshop organized by the Center for Research in Applied Epistemology at the Paris IdF Complex Systems Institute, with funding from the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies Open Scheme (FET-Open) Leave geography site. Dr. Skupin’s lecture is entitled Networks, Growth, and Other Sacred Narratives: Extending the Ontological Foundations of Science Mapping and draws on his work in the visualization of scientific knowledge spaces.

Partial map of the interrelationships within the discipline of Geography


kate swansonMarch 28, 2011

Swanson to be Invited Speaker

Professor Kate Swanson will be an invited speaker at the Imagining Ecuador Conference organized by University of Michigan Circulo Micaela Bastidas Phuyusqhawa, Michigan Andeanists.

The conference will take place April 2, 2011. Kate’s talk is entitlted Crossing borders from Calhuasí to Quito to Brooklyn: Indigenous Youth’s Rural-to-Urban Migrations and Beyond.


ming-hsiang tsouApril 12, 2011

Tsou Awardee for Teaching

Professor Ming-Hsiang Tsou has been chosen the 2010/2011 College of Arts and Letters Senate Awardee for Excellence in Teaching.

Congratulations, Ming!

Dr. Tsou receiving his teaching awardDr. Tsou speaking with colleages


kate swansonApril 12, 2011

Swanson Book Honored at AAG

Professor Kate Swanson and her book, Begging as a Path to Progress: Indigenous Women and Children and the Struggle for Ecuador’s Urban Spaces are being honored at the Association of American Geographer (AAG) Conference in Seattle with an “Author Meets Critics” session April 12, 2011, from 4:40pm to 6:20pm in the Cedar Room at the Sheraton Hotel.

The panel was organized by Sharlene Mollett of Dartmouth College. Panelists include Jennifer Casolo of the University of California, Berkeley, Steve Herbert of the University of Washington, Lise Nelson of the University of Oregon, and Ulrich Oslender of Florida International University.

Congratulations, Kate, and good luck.


kris kuzeraApril 21, 2011

Kris Kuzera Defends Dissertation

Kris Kuzera successfully defended his doctoral disseration titled Climate and Climate Change and Infectious Disease Risk in Thailand: A Spatial Study of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Using GIS and Remotely-Sensed Imagery on April 14, 2011, in Seattle during the Association of American Geographers Conference.

The scientific community has widely accepted that climate plays a key role in the sustainability and transmission of many infectious diseases. Global climate change can potentially trigger the spread of disease into new regions and increase the intensity of disease in regions where it is endemic. This study explores the association between monthly conditions of climate change to changes in disease risk, emphasizing the potential spread of dengue fever due to climate change in Thailand. This study also develops techniques new to GIS and remote sensing that generate surfaces of daily minimum temperature toward identifying areas at greater transmission risk. Dengue fever expansion due to global warming is a serious concern for Thailand where warming temperatures may increase the size of the habitat of the disease-spreading vector, Aedes aegypti, particularly during cooler months when transmission is limited by environmental conditions. In this study, first, the association between past dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and climate in Thailand is determined. Second, evidence of recent climate change is related to changes in DHF rates. Third, daily minimum temperature is derived from remote sensing toward identifying the spatial and temporal limitations of potential transmission risk. The results indicate that minimum temperature has recently experienced a rapid increase, particularly in the winter months when transmission is low. This is associated with a recent rise in winter DHF cases. As increasing minimum temperatures in these regions are anticipated to continue, we can expect dengue transmission rates to also increase throughout the year.

Dr. Kuzera is currently an instructor in the Geography Department at DePaul University in Chicago. He teaches courses ranging from GIS and statistics, to physical geography and climate. His doctoral committee members were: Dr. Arthur Getis (Chair/SDSU), Dr. Douglas Stow (SDSU), Dr. Michael Goodchild (UCSB), and Dr. Phaedon Kyriakidis (UCSB/Univeristy of the Aegean).

Congratulations, Kris!


arthur getisApril 25, 2011

Getis Gives Invited Talk

On April 7, Emeritus Professor Art Getis gave a talk at UC Santa Barbara entitled “Human Geography: Identifying Spatial Effects.” The point of the presentation was to encourage human geographers to be explicit about the meaning of spatial effects. What we want to understand is how various aspects of space affect a variety of human behaviors. A method for separating out spatial effects from independent variables was proposed and applied to a problem in which the causes of high/low fertility rates in Cairo were identified and the role of spatial effects was explained.


May 11, 2011

ISYS Assists with Little Italy Event

Photo of a Machado ancestorBoys holding toy pistols circa 1930Fishing Mural public art exhibitLooking south from Olive and Columbia towards San Diego Bay, circa 1910The ISYS Center is collaborating with San Diego’s Little Italy Association on the “Preserve Little Italy Project,” which is supported by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service as well as matching funds from County Supervisor Ron Roberts. The objective of this project is to research and document the rich history and geographies of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, moving toward a long-range goal of increasing opportunities for heritage tourism in Little Italy and thereby creating support for urban preservation. In order to make the project participatory, a “Memories and Memorabilia of Little Italy” event was held at Washington Elementary School on May 7th. The event allowed researchers to document people’s stories, artifacts, and objects from the neighborhood, as well as provide an educational opportunity for students, researchers and members of the community. Faculty and graduate students from the Geography Department conducted interviews and documented the items that people brought to share, and students from Washington Elementary were on hand to provide skillful assistance. The event was a great success and attracted people from inside and outside of the community who shared an interest in this immigrant neighborhood. Participants spoke about childhood in the neighborhood, the building of the Catholic church, the local fishing industry, and everyday life in the area.


May 13, 2011

Department Awards and Scholarships

Annual Department awards and scholarships were presented on May 6, 2011 in a ceremony on the department balcony. Congratulations to all the recipients.

  • The Outstanding Graduating Senior: Mark Christensen
  • The Most Influential Faculty Member: Diana Richardson
  • Students Graduating with Distinction in the Major: Mark Christensen, Tim Fennelly, Tyler Friesen, Devin Haupt, Kimberly Jones, Zachary Kern, Jeremy Metcalf, Eric Nazal, Jeanne Patton, John Rioflorido, Kathryn Swift
  • The McFarland Scholarship: Sarah Wandersee, Marilyn Stowell, Ryan Bart, and Gabriel Sady.
    With Drs. Stuart Aitken and Fernando Bosco

  • The William and Vivian Finch Scholarship: Alex Zvoleff
    With Vivian Finch
  • The Cotton-Bridges Award for GIS Emphasizing Techniques: Michael Caldwell
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken and John Bridges
  • The Cotton-Bridges Award for Environmental GIS: Nicole Simons
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken and John Bridges
  • The Caldwell, Flores, Winters Award in GIS Emphasizing Human Geography: Sarah Wandersee
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken
  • The ESRI Development Award: Joseph Saltenberger
    With Dr. André Skupin
  • The Richard Wright Award in Cartography: Jennifer Smith
    With Drs. Stuart Aitken and Ming Tsou
  • The N.H. Greeenwood Award: Gabriel Sady
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken
  • The Human Geography Award: Sean Crotty
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken
  • The ISYS Social Geography Award: Ryan Goode
  • The Citizenship Award: Zia Salim and Jaime Rossiter
    With Dr. Stuart Aitken


June 2, 2011

Professors Visit Sweden

At the end of May, Geography professors Fernando Bosco, Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Stuart Aitken joined Roger Caves from the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts and Al Sweedler from the Office of International Programs in Alnarp, Sweden, to discuss the possibility of collaboration between programs between SDSU and the Swedish University of Agricultural Studies (SLU). SLU’s Landscape Architecture Department has several faculty interested in sustainable cities and children’s environments. Two days were spent discussing possibilities for joint research and curriculum development. We are discussing the possibility of a joint graduate course as early as Fall 2011.

Swedish University campusSwedish University campusStuart Aitken gives the keynote at the conferenceDrs. Bosco and Joassart-Marcelli on a bike excursionSwedish University campus


john weeksJuly 15, 2011

Weeks quoted in WSJ

Our very own Distinguished Professor John Weeks distinguished himself further with a quoted in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal in what journalists call the “prestigious” kicker quote (last quote in the article).

The article is entitled Births Fuel Hispanic Growth, and the quote is:

“We just have to get through this transition time,” says John R. Weeks, a demographer at San Diego State University. Ultimately, he says, “the children of immigrants are going to buoy up the economy. They are going to pay for Medicare and Social Security for the aging white population.”

Read the entire article on the WSJ site Leave geography site.