2015 to 2016 Academic Year News

crystal englishAugust 24, 2015

English Selected for USGIF Scholarship Award, Again

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Academic Committee has once again selected Doctoral Candidate Crystal English as one of 5 doctoral students to receive scholarship awards this past 2015 summer Leave geography site. This will be the second time Crystal has received the scholarship award. She previously won the award in 2013.

The mission of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is to promote the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and to develop a stronger community of interest between government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals who share a mission focused around the development and application of geospatial intelligence to address national security objectives. One of USGIF’s objectives is to award scholarships to students at accredited institutions of higher education to pursue geospatial intelligence disciplines, to include such areas as: geographic information systems, remote sensing, intelligence analysis, and other related topical areas. The Foundation is dedicated to helping students succeed within the field of geospatial sciences with its scholarship program, which in turn helps further the advancement of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft.


September 14, 2015

Big Data Visualization Selected for Contemporary Art Exhibition

Art Institute visitors view Big Data Visualization

A big data visualization derived from a dataset containing 8 million social media tags is currently on display in the exhibit “Ephemeral Objects” at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Organized by SDAI’s Curator-in-Residence Andrew Horwitz, the exhibit features 34 contemporary artists from Southern California and Baja California. Marinta and André Skupin (CICS Co-Director) combined natural language processing and machine learning with GIS to produce their “You on Music” installation, which invites viewers to mark their own location in the social media space. The exhibit remains open until September 27.


September 24, 2015

HDMA Hosts Big Data Hackathon

The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age will host the Big Data Hackathon Leave geography site Oct 3-4 and Oct 10.


fernando boscoOctober 28, 2015

Bosco Joins Human Geography AP Development Committee

Professor Fernando J. Bosco has accepted an invitation to join the Human Geography AP (Advanced Placement) Development Committee. As member of the Development Committee, Bosco will contribute to the continuing development of the AP Human Geography Exam and Course for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. The AP Human Geography course and exam have been very successful at attracting high school students to the discipline, and the exam is now in the top 10 of all AP exams taken in the United States. Professor Bosco was a discussant at a special session on the AP Human Geography exam at the recent meeting of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers held in Palm Springs October 21-24. He will join the development committee at ETS (Educational Testing Services) headquarters in Princeton, NJ in November 2015, and then again in San Francisco in April 2016 after the next annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers.


November 10, 2015

Dara Seidl Wins an International Award for her M.S. Thesis

Dara Seidl, a JDP student, has been selected the winner of the Prize for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis in Cartography, Geodesy and Geo-Information awarded by Pan-American Institute of Geography and History. This is the first time that the prize has been awarded. The selection was made by a jury of experts who evaluated 14 international submissions. Dara's thesis is titled “Striking the Balance: Privacy and Spatial Pattern Preservation in Masked GPS.” An article with results of her research has been recently accepted for publication in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science.

Congratulations Dara!


jay yangDecember 7, 2015

Jiue-An (Jay) Yang selected as Inamori Fellows

Jiue-An (Jay) Yang, a Ph.D. Candidate in our JDP program, has been selected as one of ten graduate students to receive the Inamori Fellowship Award for 2016. The Inamori Fellows are selected in recognition of their scholarly accomplishments through the graduate program to date. Competition for this award is intense with applicants from almost every college of our university. Jay will be awarded at the Kyoto Prize Symposium at SDSU on March 16, 2016.

Inamori foundation, founded by Dr. Kazuo Inamori in 1984, seeks to actively promote peace and prosperity among all people on earth through the promotion of mutual understanding. It does this through programs, such as the Kyoto Prize and the SDSU Inamori Fellowship program, to publicly recognize and supports creative activities to foster science, culture, and the enrichment of the human spirit.


skupin and pottathil at pediatrics 2040January 21, 2016

CICS Co-Directors Speak at Pediatrics 2040

CICS Leave geography site Co-Directors Pottathil and Skupin followed invitations to speak at Pediatrics 2040 Leave geography site, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dana Point. Pottathil spoke about the potential that persuasive messaging technology holds for empowering patients and improve health outcomes. Skupin discussed the need for a more integrated pediatric knowledge ecosystem. He provided a first glimpse of an analysis of the pediatric domain, using patent-pending technology that was first conceived at SDSU and is now being developed into a commercial product. Program chair of Pediatrics 2040 was Dr. Anthony Chang Leave geography site, who previously spoke at CICS’ inaugural Left of Boom conference in May 2015.


places and spaces logoFebruary 13, 2016

Skupin map in CDC exhibit through June 2016

André Skupin’s iconic “In Terms of Geography” Leave geography site is on display at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Leave geography site (CDC) as part of the most recent installation of the “Places & Spaces: Mapping Science” exhibition. Out of 100 visual artifacts that make up the ten-year Places & Spaces Leave geography site project, Skupin’s piece was highlighted as the signature graphic in the media statement Leave geography site announcing the exhibit, which is displayed in the only CDC facility open to the public, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum Leave geography site.


john weeksMarch 8, 2016

Weeks to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Emeritus Professor John Weeks will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of American Geographers’ (AAG’s) Population Specialty Group.

During his over forty year scholarly career, John has amassed an impressive record of scholarship that has gained him international recognition as a population geographer with expertise in demography, spatial demographics and Geographic Information Science (GIScience). His work is well known in sociology, geography, urban planning, public health and demography. He is sought by colleagues and policy-makers for his knowledge in, and development of, techniques in demography that utilize geographical techniques such as remote sensing, spatial analyses and Geographic Information Science (GIScience). His research abilities are matched by excellence in the classroom and with graduate student advising; John truly exemplifies the teacher-scholar model.

The award will be presented at a special session of the AAG meeting on Thursday, March 31stfrom 1:20 - 3:00 PM in the Golden Gate Room on the 25th floor at Hotel Nikko. All SDSU Geographers going to the AAG meeting are encouraged to attend.


March 11, 2016

California Geographic Alliances Collaborates on Webcast Featuring AAG President Bednarz

tom herman with michelle herczog and emily schell

The California Geographic Alliance recently collaborated with the LA County Office of Education to produce a webcast about the The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History. The webcast (one in a series) focuses on the implications for geography education. Michelle Herczog, of LACOE, hosted the program and was joined in studio by CGA Director Tom Herman and California International Studies Project Director Emily Schell. The webcast also features an interview with AAG President Sarah Bednarz, who points out that geography has been ahead of the curve on inquiry-driven learning and applied scholarship. There are also two examples of teaching and learning activities that were filmed in (and sometimes outside!) the classrooms of outstanding CGA Teacher Consultants Stephanie Buttell-Maxin and Sylvia McBride. Thanks to everyone who participated in making this happen, including Dr. Zia Salim who allowed us to use his CSU-Fullerton office to film the interview with Dr. Bednarz!

California Geographic Alliance Webcast Leave geography site


arielle levineApril 5, 2016

Levine Article Published in Science

Arielle Levine is a co-author of a new Policy Forum article published April 1 in Science Leave geography site. The article advocates concrete engagement with key social concepts in the sustainability sciences, providing examples of tested indicators as well as areas for indicator development. The article is a product of the Social Wellbeing Indicators for Marine Management (SWIMM) working group (supported by NOAA and Sea Grant), which Levine has been involved with for the past 2 years. The working group’s focus is to develop indicators of human wellbeing for the integrated ecosystem assessment of the California current, as well as contribute insights from the social sciences to current thinking in environment science, policy, and management.

More information about the article is available at SDSU News Center Leave geography site.


dara seidlMay 10, 2016

Seidl Wins Nesvold Award

Congratulations to Doctoral Student Dara Seidl who won the Betty Nesvold Award for Best Graduate Paper at the 41st annual CSU Social Science Student Symposium (S4) for the paper “False Identification Risk in Geomasking Techniques.”

The symposium presenters included undergraduate and graduate students from CSU schools. In total, there were 3 awards given for $5,000 each: best graduate paper, best undergraduate paper, and best quantitative paper. This year, there were 80 presentations from 16 CSU campuses with approximately half by graduate students. Departments represented included: Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Public Health, History, Political Science, Journalism, Communications, Economics, Linguistics, Latin American Studies, Philosophy.


award plaquesJune 14, 2016

Geography Students Win Over $35,000 in Scholarships

Congratulations to SDSU Geography Students who were collectively awarded over $35,000 in scholarships from the department and who were recognized in the 26th Annual Awards Ceremony on May 3rd, 2016.

This year's awardees:

  • Caldwell, Flores, and Winters Award in GIS Emphasizing Human Geography Applications: Jessica Dozier, Shuang Yang
  • Cotton-Bridges Award for GIS Emphasizing Techniques: Elias Issa
  • Cotton-Bridges Award for Environmental GIS: Whitney Seymour
  • Montaha Deek Curti Scholarship for Work in Social and Environmental Justice: Lydia Wood
  • Departmental Citizenship Award: Greg McCormick, Thomas Strand
  • ESRI Development Center Student of the Year Award: Seda Şalap-Ayça
  • William & Vivian Finch Award (Remote Sensing): Ace Shih
  • Human Geography Award: Jay Gilliam
  • Social Geography Award: Lydia Wood
  • McFarland Geography: Bridget Hicks, Nathaniel Molina, Jeanne Patton, Lydia Wood
  • Lauren C. Post Memorial: Frank Mowery
  • Wright Cartography Award: Garland McNew


CGIA awardJune 21, 2016

Dr. Tsou received “Excellence in Education Award” from CGIA

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou received the “Excellence in Education Award” from the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) for his commitment in supporting K-12 education. He was presented with the award at the 2016 CalGIS Conference held in Anaheim on May 11th, 2016.