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News / Events : Archive : Department News 2006

October 27 - Kayzar Defends Dissertation

Brenda Kayzar successfully defended her dissertation, Analyzing Revitalization Outcomes in Downtown San Diego. Utilizing a multi-method approach set within a network framework to examine change in downtown San Diego, Brenda explored the role various planning strategies and policies played in shaping the city's redevelopment outcomes through interaction with a multiplicity of heterogeneous actors amid changing economic, political, and social contexts.
Brenda's committee consisted of Drs. Larry Ford (Chair), John Weeks, Helen Couclelis (UCSB), Keith Clarke (UCSB).

October 02 - Skupin Paper is Best at GIScience 2006

Dr. André Skupin's presentation on Label Determination for Document Spatialization was voted the best paper presentation at the GIScience 2006 International Conference in Muenster, Germany.

August 28 - Farley Joins the Department

Welcome to Dr. Kathleen Farley! Dr. Farley is an environmental-physical geographer. Her areas of interest include understanding the socioeconomic and policy conditions that promote land use change and how the resulting modification or conversion of landscapes alters ecosystem processes and ecosystem services, in particular water supply. Before coming to SDSU, Dr. Farley spent two years as a post-doctoral research associate in the Center on Global Change at Duke University and one year working as an ecoregional ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in northern California.

Aug 22 - Kolovos Accepts Position with SAS

Dr. Alexander Kolovos, a PostDoc working with Dr. George Christakos, accepted a position with SAS Institute to lead their Spatiotemporal Analysis program. He started with SAS on Aug 1, 2006.

July 26 - NSF Dissertation Grant for Ligmann-Zielinska

Arika Ligmann-Zielinska has received a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant for her project "Agent-Based Exploratory Modeling of Sustainable Land Use Patterns Generated with Multiobjective Spatial Optimization".

Arika joins a distinguished group of recipients from SDSU: Mark Janikas (2005), Jared Aldstadt (2005), Ryan Engstrom (2002), Christine McMichael (2000), and Lauren Scott (1998).

July 25 - Fugate Advances to Candidacy

Debbie Fugate passed her doctoral qualifying exams and is now advanced to candidacy. Her Committee members are Dr. John Weeks (Chair), Dr. Doug Stow, Dr. Keith Clarke (UCSB), and Dr. David Carr (UCSB).

July 17 - Influential Paper Authored by Jankowski

The paper INTEGRATING GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND MULTIPLE CRITERIA DECISION-MAKING METHODS authored by Dr. Piotr Jankowki (1995) has been selected as one of the 19 most influential (top cited) International Journal of Geographical Information Science and Systems (IJGIS) papers over the last 20 years and was reprinted with an update in: Classics from IJGIS: Twenty years of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science and Systems.

Jul 01 - Common Grounds Website Operational

Screen shot of the San Diego Bay Watersheds
	    Common Grounds Project Homepage Screen shot of the San Diego Bay Watersheds Common
		Grounds Internet Map Server page

The San Diego Bay Watersheds Common Ground Project Website ( is officially released for public access on July 1st, 2006. This project is collaboration among SDSU, the City of San Diego, Westons Solutions, and CoastKeeper. The SDSU research team is directed by Dr. Richard Wright, Dr. Piotr Jankowski, and Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, with the help from graduate students Jordan Decker, Jing-Yi Chen, Emily Kochert, Jennifer Larson, and Jochen Bercker. The San Diego Bay Watersheds Common Ground Project incorporates water quality monitoring programs and data gathering, integration, and analysis at a watershed level. The result is a web-based interactive application to serve as a broad communication, education, and decision-making tool. The primary goal of the project is to further develop the region's capacity to understand processes affecting our water resources so that point and non-point pollution sources can be readily identified.

May 29 - Rey Contributes Podcasts

Dr. Serge Rey has started contributing to the Python 411 podcasts. See his first contribution, Numeric Programming with Python, as well as other podcasts at

May 19 - Hope Receives President's Award

Dr. Allen Hope was recently given a President's Top 25 Award for his contributions to SDSU.

May 19 - Swobodozinski Wins AAG Paper Competition

The Saarinen Student Paper Competition Award of the Environmental Perception and Behavioral Geography Specialty Group (EPBGSG) was awarded to Martin Swobodozinski at the recent AAG Meetings in Chicago for his presentation "Route Calculation Constraints for an Indoor Navigation Service for the Blind". Martin was also co-awarded a EPBGSG travel grant.

May 11 - Department Awards and Scholarships

Department Awards and Scholarships were presented in a ceremony on the department balcony. Congratulations to all the recipients.

The McFarland Scholarship: Arika Ligmann-Zielinska, Rosanna Petralia, Justin Stoler
The Alvena Storm Memorial Scholarship: Ryan Bart
The International Human Award: Jared Aldstadt
The N.H. Greenwood Award: Lauren Seaby
The William and Vivian Finch Scholarship: Debbie Fugate
The Cotton-Bridges Award for GIS Emphasizing Techniques: Anthony Howser
The Cotton-Bridges Award for Environmental GIS: Jordan Decker
The Caldwell, Flores, Winters Award in GIS Emphasizing Human Geography: Sarah Hinton
The Richard Wright Award in Cartography: Jennifer Larson
The Outstanding Graduating Senior: Justin Raglin
The Most Influential Faculty Member: Dr. Edward Aguado.

May 4 - Two Awarded for Distinguished Service

Dr. Edward Aguado and Department Secretary Bonnie Golden were awarded Distinguished Service Advising Awards at the Exemplary Academic Advising Awards ceremony hosted annually by the Office of Advising and Evaluations. Bonnie was awarded hers for her exemplary service over the past 34 years as Graduate Program Coordinator, and Ed was given his for his exemplary service as Master's Coordinator for a period of 11 years.

May 3 - Ph.D. Exams Passed

Debbie Fugate and Anna Carla Lopez have both successfully passed their written qualifying exams for the joint doctorate. Please extend your congratulations to both of them for a job well done!

April 25 - Fulbright Grant Awarded to Jankowski

Dr. Piotr Jankowski, was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant to present this summer a series of lectures on GIScience topics at the University of Poznan in Poland.

April 12 - Getis Honored at AAG Meetings

At the recent AAG Meeting in Chicago, two sessions were conducted in honor of emeritus professor Dr. Art Getis. The sessions were organized by Serge Rey and Luc Anselin.

April 7 - Ligmann-Zielinska Advanced to Candidacy

Arika Ligmann-Zielinska has advanced to Ph.D. candidacy. On April 7 she presented in Santa Barbara her dissertation proposal "Agent-based Exploratory Modeling of Sustainable Land Use Patterns Generated with Multiobjective Spatial Optimization". The proposal was very favorably received by Arika's dissertation committee including Helen Couclelis, Richard Church, Li Ann and Piotr Jankowski.

April 5 - An Received Outstanding Paper Award

Dr. Li An and his co-authors (Marc Linderrman, Jiaguao Qi, Ashton Shortridge, and Jack Liu) were recently honored by the US Chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecologists with an award as this year's Outstanding Paper in Landscape Ecology.

An, L., Linderman, M., Jiaguo, Q., Shortridge, A. and J. Liu. 2005. Exploring complexity in a human-environment system: an agent-based spatial model for multidisciplinary and multiscale integration. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 95(1):54-79.

This award is a prestigious honor given annually to recognize the most outstanding contribution to the literature of the field of landscape ecology. The award was presented to Li at Thursday night's banquet of the IALE that was held last week here in San Diego. Congratulations Li!

April 5 - Spatial Reasoning Course Appproved for GE

The new Geography 104 course, Geographic Information Science and Spatial Reasoning, has been approved as the General Education (GE) course by the University Senates on March 7, 2006. This course is the first low-level GIS class at SDSU under the GE category of Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning in the Foundations of Natural Science and Quantitative Reasoning. The class website is available at This course will be offered in Fall 2006 semester.

April 5 - CGIA Honors the Department

The Department of Geography received the 2006 Excellence in GIS Education Award from the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA). This award highlights the department commendable achievements in the areas of : 1) the breadth of GIS course offerings; 2) the variety of certificate programs (including the joint doctoral program with U.C. Santa Barbara); 3) support and encouragement of student internships, and 4) the department works with other educational institutions in the development of scaleable GIS curricula. (CGIA website)

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