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News / Events : Archive : Department News 2007

December 6 - Zhang Defends Dissertation

Tong Zhang successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of California Santa Barbara as part of the joint doctoral program. His dissertation title is Developing Grid-enabled Internet GIService Portals to Support Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure: A Pilot Study in Accessibility..

His committee members are Ming-Hsiang Tsou (Chair), Piotr Jankowski, Keith Clarke, and Konstadinos Goulias.

December 5 - Wright to Receive Abler Honors

Dr. Richard Wright will receive the Ronald F. Abler Honors for Distinguished Service of the Association of American Geographers for 2008. This award is in recognition of Richard's exceptional leadership in advancing geography and geographic information science at the state, national and international levels.

The 2008 Annual Meeting of the AAG will be held April 15-19 in Boston, Massachusetts.

November 26 - SDSU Geography is Number 7

SDSU Geography Joint Doctoral Program Ranked No. 7 in the United States as reported by the “The Chronicle of Higher Education” in 2007.

For the analysis conducted by Academic Analytics, faculty members can be judged on as many as five factors, depending on the most important variables in the given discipline: books published, journal publications, citations of journal articles, federal-grant dollars awarded and honors and awards.

The 2007 national ranking of geography PhD awarding departments is as follows:

  1. University of California, Los Angeles
  2. University of California, Santa Barbara
  3. University of California, Berkeley
  4. Ohio State University
  5. University of Colorado, Boulder
  6. UNC, Chapel Hill
  7. San Diego State University
  8. University of Illinois, UC
  9. Cornell University
  10. Texas A&M

September 10 - Christakos Visits China

Professor George Christakos visited China this summer. His visit was sponsored by an award from the Chinese Ministry of Education through its “Internationally Renowned Scholars” program.

Christakos gave lectures at the following universities:

  • The College of Environment and Natural Resources at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou
  • The School of Life Sciences at Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University in Guangzhou
  • The Department of Environmental Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing
  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing

He was also the Keynote Speaker of the 2007 International Groundwater Forum at Nanjing University.

September 10 - Aitken Delivers Keynote

Professor Stuart Aitken will give the keynote address at the first International Conference on Geographies of Children Youth and Families (ICGCYF) at the University of Reading in England on September 17.

As part of his keynote address Professor Aitken's will discuss his work on child labor and citizenship in Tijuana and South San Diego. His talk is entitled “La Frontera Portátil: Child Labor, Citizenship and Portable Frontiers”.

Professor Aitken is director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Youth and Space (ISYS) in the College of Arts and Letters and is a founding editor of the Routledge journal, Children's Geographies: Advancing interdisciplinary understanding of younger people's lives.

September 7 - An Awarded NSF Grant

Professor Li An and four collaborators successfully secured a five-year National Science Foundation award totaling $2.5 million.

The project, titled "NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Collaborative Research and Training in Social Context, Population Processes and Environmental Change", is an interdisciplinary, multi-site project designed to train the next generation of scientists to conduct the international collaborative research in global environmental change, human population change and their dynamic relationships.

The research will focus on biodiversity, wildlife habitat, land-use and land-cover change, agricultural practices, population changes and social context in Nepal and China. The training will focus on research methods in studying human-environment interactions at multiple scales and in multiple international settings.

The project will hold a series of workshops that aim to educate trainees in project- and setting-specific concepts, measures and methods. Each trainee will visit Nepal, China or both, work on collaborative research projects at these sites, and obtain hands-on training in social and ecological research methods.

The collaborators come from universities across the country:

  • William Axinn, from the University of Michigan
  • Jianguo (Jack) Liu, from Michigan State University
  • Scott T. Yabiku, from Arizona State University
  • Lisa D. Pearce, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

July 15 - Joassart-Marcelli Joins the Department

Professor Pascale Joassart joins the Geography faculty. Pascale received a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Public Policy from the University of Southern California in 1999. Her dissertation focused on informal employment among recent Latina immigrants in Los Angeles. From 1999 to 2001, she studied poverty concentration and its fiscal implications for the Los Angeles region as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research associate in the department of Geography at USC, where she also taught urban geography and spatial statistics. In 2001, she became assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. For the past five years, she has been teaching courses in economic development, state and local governments, statistics, and the regional economic environment. In 2004, she was awarded a National Academies/US Department of Housing and Urban Development's urban scholar fellowship to study the geography of rental housing subsidies and its relationship to employment outcomes. Her research focuses primarily on urban poverty. She is specifically interested in local labor markets and issues of accessibility to public and nonprofit resources (i.e., affordable housing, employment services, antipoverty voluntary organizations, parks and recreation facilities) among low-income populations.

July 6 - Farley Completes Triathlon

Professor Kathleen Farley successfully completed the Coeur d'Alene Ironman Triathlon held June 23, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This was a full ironman, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. She finished in under 13 hours, ahead of more than one half of the field. Congratulations, Kathleen!

July 2 - Biggs Joins the Department

Professor Trent Biggs has joined the Geography faculty. Trent received his bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and his PhD in Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara with an emphasis in hydrology and biogeochemistry. For his dissertation, he investigated the effect of regional deforestation on stream biogeochemistry in the Amazon Basin. As a post-doctoral scientist at the International Water Management Institute in Hyderabad, India, he quantified the effects of irrigation development on basin-scale hydrology, and played trumpet in a jazz band. He is interested in the effect of land cover change on water quality and quantity, particularly in developing countries. In spare moments he sings baritone in choirs that appreciate geographers.

June 12 - NIH Funding for Weeks

Professor John Weeks has just received word from the National Institutes of Health that he and several colleagues have been funded for their R01 application titled Health, Poverty and Place: Modeling Inequalities in Accra Using RS and GIS. The project continues the team’s current work in Accra, Ghana, which aims to provide a model for the interpretation of urban health inequalities in cities in poor countries, building on emerging geospatial techniques. Weeks is Principal Investigator, and Co-PIs in the Geography Department are Professors Arthur Getis, Doug Stow, and Li An. Professor Stephanie Brodine from the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health is also involved. Professor Allan Hill at the Harvard School of Public Health heads up the team from Harvard working on the project, and Professors David Rain and Ryan Engstrom from George Washington University are also participating. Professor Deborah Balk from City University of New York and Professor Mark Montgomery from the University at Stony Brook and the Population Council are consultants to the project. Funding for the project is $2.5 million, spread over five years.

May 20 - Recent Graduate Rogan Honored at Clark U.

Recent Ph.D. graduate Dr. John Rogan was named the 2007-08 Hayden Junior Faculty Fellow for excellence in teaching and scholarship at Clark University. The award was given at 2007 Convocation, May 20, and includes $4500.

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: Ryan Burns, Dante Carlesimo, Shelly Hejza
The Alvena Storm Memorial Scholarship: Martin Lacayo-Emery
The International Human Award: Steve Jareb
The N.H. Greenwood Award: Ryan Bart
The William and Vivian Finch Scholarship: Dillon Fitch
The Cotton-Bridges Award for GIS Emphasizing Techniques: Charles Schmidt
The Cotton-Bridges Award for Environmental GIS: Zlatina Anguelova
The Caldwell, Flores, Winters Award in GIS Emphasizing Human Geography: Justin Stoler
The Richard Wright Award in Cartography: Aude Esperbé
The Outstanding Graduating Senior: Jess Huettl
The Most Influential Faculty Member: Dr. John Weeks

April 25 - Student Presentations at the AAGs

Congratulations to our graduate students who won awards for their presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in San Francisco (April 17-21):

Giorgio Hadi Curti - From a Wall of Bodies to a Body of Walls: The politics of memory/the politics of war in Palestine/Israel
Best PhD Level Paper, Student Paper Competition - Middle East and North Africa Specialty Group

Aude Esperbé - A High-Resolution Self-Organizing Map Based on Physical and Human Attributes of Geographic Space
3rd Place, Student Illustrated Paper Competition - GIS, Remote Sensing, and Cartography Specialty Groups

Young-Sik Kim - Investigating Intra-urban Dualism: The Case of the Seoul Housing Market
3rd Place, Student Paper Competition - Applied Geography Specialty Group

Sarah Hinton - A Spatial Analysis of Fertility in Accra, Ghana Using the K-Function
Honorable Mention, Student Paper Competition - Population Specialty Group

March 1 - Kayzar Heads to Minnesota

Dr. Brenda Kayzar has accepted a position in the geography Department at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities). UMN's top ranked Geography Department has undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Geography, Urban Studies and Geographic Information Science. Dr. Kayzar will be tenured in the Geography Department, advise geography graduate students, and teach courses primarily in the Urban Studies program. UMN is a major research institution and she will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty in various programs at the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, such as the Center for Urban and Regional Studies and the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs. Working under the direction of Dr. Judith Martin, Director of the Urban Studies Program, she is looking forward to integrating herself into the civic and planning communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul in order to facilitate research, internship, and employment opportunities for UMN students, and expand her research focus as well. Dr. Kayzar will be leaving for UMN’s downtown Minneapolis campus and her new career as a Gopher in August.

February 1 - Aldstadt Finishes Up

Jared Aldstadt has successfully defended his dissertation, Spatial Spatiotemporal Analysis of Dengue Virus Transmission and “Aedes aegypti” Abundance. Jared is in his first year as an Assistant Professor at University of Buffalo. His committee consisted of Art Getis (Chair), Serge Rey, Phaedon Kyriakidis, and Michael Goodchild.

Jan 15 - Yu and Christakos Reach #5

Dr. Hwa-Lung Yu's paper (co-authored with Prof George Christakos) on the 'Spatiotemporal modelling and mapping of the bubonic plague epidemic in India' (International Journal of Health Geographics) was No. 5 among the top 10 most-accessed papers for 2006

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In fact, since the first 4 articles were editorials or reviews, the SDSU paper was essentially #1 among the research/methodology papers.

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