News / Events : Archive : Department News 2009
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December 14 - Weeks on AAG Editorial Board
Professor John Weeks is confirmed to join the Editorial Board of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers starting January 1, 2010. A term on the board lasts four years.
The position involves active participation on the Board, providing several manuscript reviews per year, suggesting reviewers to the editor, and fulfilling other responsibilities as needed.
Dr. Weeks will attend his first Annals Editorial Board during the AAG's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in April, 2010.
December 14 - Getis Book Released
The Handbook of Applied Spatial Analysis: Software Tools, Methods, and Applications edited by Manfred Fischer and SDSU Professor Emeritus Arthur Getis has recently been published by Springer-Verlag.
The book has 35 chapters of which a number were written by current and former faculty and former Ph.D. students fo the Geography Department. These include: Jared Aldstadt (Ph.D. 2007), Janet Franklin (former faculty), Arthur Getis, Mark Janikas (Ph.D. 2006), Jennifer Miller (Ph.D. 2003), Sergio Rey (former faculty), Lauren Scott (Ph.D. 1999), and Douglas Stow.
December 11 - Aitken Book Released
The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Geography has just been released. SDSU Professor Stuart Aitken is one of the co-editors of the book.
From the book cover: “Exploring the dynamic growth, chang, and complexity of qualitative research in human geography. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Geography brings together leading scholars in the field to examine its history, assess the current state of the art, and project future directions. MOving beyond textbook rehearsals of standard issues, the Handbook shows how empirical details of qualitative research can be linked to the broader social, theoretical, political, and policy concerns of qualitative geographers and the communities within which they work.
December 10 - Bremer Blogs on Conference
Doctoral student Leah Bremer will be attending the COP 15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 7-18, 2009. She will be attending as part of the Tropical Forest Group's (TRG) delegation. Click on this link to visit her blog.
November 30 - Curti Keynote Speaker
Giorgio Hadi Curti recently returned from Campinas, Brazil where he served as the keynote speaker and a panelist on publishing at the Colóquio Internacional: A educação pelas imagens a suas geografias, held at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) from November 9-11, 2009. His keynote speech, titled “Tropa de elite: um filme e sua geografia,” was based on a paper collaboratively written with former Joint Doctoral Program student Jim Craine and recently published in the 20th anniversary issue of the Brazilian journal Pro-Posições
November 30 - Aitken at Global Child Rights Conference
Dr. Stuart Aitken is an invited participant at the Global Conference on Research and Child Rights in Addis Ababa, at the United Nations Conference Center, from November 30th to December 2nd , 2009. He has organized a two-day roundtable discussion on child migration and dislocation that involves academics, policy makers, NGO workers and young people from Addis Ababa. The conference is organized by Childwatch International Research Network, The African Policy Forum (ACPF) and UNICEF in collaboration with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
To obtain more information, please use the following links:
November 17 - Golden Monkey and Environment Colloquium
There will be a presentation Thursday, November 19 2009, 3:30 – 5 pm at Storm Hall 136. The presentation is titled "People, Golden Monkeys, and the Environment: Sustainability into the Future". It will begin with opening remarks from Dr. Paul Wong (Dean of CAL), Dr. Lei Guang (Asian and Pacific Studies Director), and Dr. Stuart Aitken (Geography Chair). The two main presentations will be on Conservation and Research of the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey in Xiaoping Lei, Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, China and Evolutionary History of Snub-nosed Monkeys and Population Genetic Structure of the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey in Mouyu Yang, German Primate Center (DPZ), Germany. Following this there will be other presentations from Dr. Stuart Aitken (Geography) on Community Mapping and Participation in Fanjingshan, Dr. Erin P. Riley (Anthropology) on Niche Separation in Sympatric Guizhou Snub-Nosed Monkeys and Tibetan Macaques in Fanjingshan, Sarah Wandersee (Geography), and Amanda Sheres (Anthropology). If you are interested please plan on attending.
November 17 - Community College Day
SDSU Geography devoted an afternoon to our community college colleagues and their students. About 50 people were in attendance for tours of the department and presentations by students (Leah Bremer, Sean Crotty, Sam Cortez and Emily Power Neder) and faculty (Diana Richardson, Stuart Aitken, Ed Aguado, Pascale Joassart, Trent Biggs and Ming Tsou). The afternoon ended with a reception on our balcony, and some considerable excitement about the possible of an SDSU transfer for many of the community college students.
November 3 - Lippitt to Receive Inamori Fellowship
Doctoral Student Christopher Lippitt has been selected to receive one of the inaugural Inamori Fellowships. Chris was one of 10 recipients of the award. There were a total of 179 applicants from masters and doctoral programs across the university. The award is for $5000.00.
The Inamori Fellowships are made possible by the contribution from Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corporation and the Inamori Foundation.
November 3 - Jankowski Book Released
The first edition of Regional and Urban GIS: A Decision Support Approach has been published by Guilford Publications. This new text is co-authored by our own Dr. Piotr Jankowski. The book illustrates how GIS can guide community and environmental decision making.
November 3 - Geography Awareness Week is Coming
Since 1987, Geography Awareness Week (GAW) has been held the third week of November. For 2009, it will be held November 16–18. Geography Awareness Week is used to promote geographic education in schools and throughout the general population.
The SDSU Department of Geography will be holding two events to commemorate GAW. The first will be a Photo Contest open to all faculty, staff, and students of SDSU. The deadline for submissions is November 13, 2009 at 4:00pm. Entry forms can be found in the department office, Storm Hall 323. Photos will be posted in the third floor corridors of Storm Hall for judging by popular vote during the week. Balloting closes November 20, at 4:00pm. Prizes will be awarded in various categories on Tuesday, December 1.
The second event is the Careers in Geography Panel Presentation. This panel brings together various professionals to speak about their job experiences, career opportunities, job searching tips and much more. The Panel convenes on Wednesday, November 18, 5:00pm–6:00pm in Storm Hall 150. Presenters include:
- Brian Mooney, AICP, Interim Planning and Community Development Director, City of Del Mar
- Charles Marchesano, Chief, Park Development, Parks and Recreation Department, County of San Diego
- Teri Fenner, Project Director, Environmental and Ecological Planning Practice, AECOM
- Emily Kochert, GIS Analyst, County of San Diego
- Courtney Jones, GIS Technician, SDG&E
We hope to see you all there.
November 2 - Getis Appointed Hooker Distinguished Professor
Professor Emeritus Arthur Getis has been appointed as Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Business at McMaster University. He will be affiliated with the School of Geography and Earth Sciences for a period in February 2010. Dr. Getis will give a series of lectures and consult with undergraduate and graduate students.
McMaster University is located in Hamilton, Ontario, and has one of the leading geography departments in Canada. Its spatial analysis program has a strong international reputation. The Hooker award is given to a “distinguished visiting scholar whose teaching and research interests enhance the quality of academic life in specific departments and throughout the University generally.”
November 2 - Getis Book Released
The eleventh edition of Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities has been published by McGraw Hill this month. This popular world-famous human geography textbook is co-authored by our world-renown emeritus faculty, Dr. Arthur Getis, his wife, Judith Getis, along with two other geographers. Dr. Arthur Getis and his wife are also the co-authors of another famous book, Introduction to Geography (the twelfth edition) also published by McGraw Hill.
October 13 - CEQA Workshop held at SDSU
The CEQA Workshop for Students was held on October 10, at the SDSU Extended Studies/Gateway Centers. This four hour workshop is the first building block to understanding how to use and implement the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and completion of the Workshop provides students with a strong base to develop further CEQA knowledge. Potential employers in agencies and companies that deal with CEQA and sustainable development often require some knowledge of CEQA from new employees, and the graduate with CEQA knowledge often win a position over a candidate without this.
The Workshop was a joint effort between the Association of Environmental Professions (AEP), and the Geography Department at SDSU. AEP is a national professional organization with state and local chapters. AEP professionals include people from a wide range of careers including environmental analysts, planners, architects, engineers, biologists, archaeologists, air quality experts, water quality experts, GIS professionals, and many more from areas of interest that all support the idea of sustainable development. The California AEP members do much work in accordance with CEQA, thus a good understanding of this critically important policy in California is crucial to success in the practice of sustainable development. SDSU has an AEP Student Chapter which is supported by the local San Diego chapter of AEP.
October 13 - CIA Cartography Group Interview
The head of the Cartography Center from CIA visited SDSU Geography Department on October 6th, 2009 and made a presentation for recruiting full time cartographers in their Media Presentation Group. The entry level salary of CIA cartographers could be around $50K with full health insurance and benefit. Senior level positions (after 5-8 years) can reach to 90K-110K. Several SDSU graduate students and undergraduate students were interviewed by the CIA staff members during their visit.
October 13 - Pacific Coast Geographers' Distinguished Service Award
Professor Stuart C. Aitken was awarded the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers' Distinguished Service Award for 2009
Oct 8 - Department Hosts the APCG Conference
The Department of Geography successfully hosted the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, September 30 through October 3. The conference was held at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. The conference attracted geographers from all over the west coast. Attendees also came from Arizona and Mexico.
September 24 - Annual Geography Welcome Picnic
September 11 saw the Department head out to its usual spot at Tidelands Park on Coronado for the beginning of the year Welcome Picnic. The festivities started around 5:00 pm and continued well into the darkness.
September 15 - Jankowski Named Science Foundation Ireland Walton Visiting Professor
Professor Piotr Jankowski has been invited by Irish Science Foundation to collaborate with University College Dublin researchers on developing geographic methods of data analysis and visualization that are scalable across different data set sizes. Such methods are expected to enable integrated processing and analysis of diverse types of spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal data including large data sets and model simulations used in spatial decision support. Piotr will be the second Science Foundation Ireland Walton Visiting Professor after Michael Goodchild who held the position in Spring 2008.
August 20 - Beginning of Semester Meetings
The orientation meetings for the new school year are as follows:
- Doctoral Meeting: Wednesday, August 26, 10:00am, Storm Hall 321. All Doctoral student must attend.
- Incoming Master's Student Meeting: Thursday, August 27, 11:00am, Storm Hall 337. All new incoming master's students must attend.
- GA/TA Meeting: Thursday, August 27, 1:00pm, Storm Hall 337. All new and returning master's Graduate and Teaching Assistants must attend.
August 20 - Proposed Classes Posted
A tentative class schedule has been posted on the department site which covers the next five (5) semesters. The schedule has been created to assist students in planning their study programs. The schedule will be updated every semester.
August 5 - Simons Receives Poster Award
Nicole Simons, joint doctoral program student, won the Second Place in the poster competition at 2009 Geoinformatics Forum in Salzburg, Austria. Her presentation on “An Assessment of Emergency Service Operations Prior to, During and After a Fire Hazard Event” was selected from a group of 70 exhibited posters.
The Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg focuses on an international GIScience audience, communicating in English and sharing an interest in translating new methods and techniques into a broad range of application domains in geoinformatics.
July 28 - Aitken to Deliver Keynote
Professor Stuart Aitken is invited to give a keynote address as part of a two-day celebration of the Centenary of Geography, 1909-2009, at the University of Glasgow, August 21 and 22. Professor Aitken’s address is entitled “Fa(r)ther along the road” and reflects some of his recent work on family geographies as well as his indebtedness to the Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow for guiding the beginnings of his professional career. In the picture to the right, a 21 year old Stuart holds his Scientiae Baccalaureum cum honoribus at the entrance to the East Quadrangle of the University, which houses the Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences.
July 17 - MAPS is Launched
July 14th was the launch of the Metropolitan Area Pluralism Study (MAPS), a project of the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Geography. Professor Ming Tsou and PhD student Ick Hoi Kim provided technical and conceptual assistance. This is the first major collaboration between the two departments and as an ongoing project, MAPS promises to be invaluable for students, faculty and the community.
July 6 - An, Aitken, and Wandersee in China: Dancing with the Geographers
As part of ongoing research on golden monkey conservation and human activities in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Dr. Li An, Dr. Stuart Aitken, and Joint Doctoral student Sarah Wandersee traveled to Guizhou Province in China this summer. Working on the project “Does ecotourism help nature conservation? A case study of the Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, China”, Dr. An and Dr. Aitken conducted interviews of local villagers. Sarah Wandersee, with her advisor Dr. An, mapped reserve areas and interviewed locals and rangers on conservation and human activities as part of her project "Documenting illegal mining impacts on Guizhou golden monkey habitat in China". At times, these interviews involved several hours of hiking through the surrounding mountains to reach remote villages (including hair-raising motorcycle rides for An and Aitken). Collaboration with the director of the reserve was a huge asset to the team. In addition to logistical assistance, he provided them with opportunities to learn about the local culture. This was not only vital to the research, but also fun. Check out the dance moves from the team's visit to the Tujia, a minority ethnic group in China, where everyone had the chance to try their hands, and feet, at traditional dances!
July 6 - Anna Carla Lopez Defends Dissertation
Congratulations to Anna Carla Lopez who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation titled “Spatial Patterns of Urban Food Security in Accra, Ghana: A Geographic Analysis of Household Hunger in an African City” on July 1, 2009. An abstract of her dissertation follows:
Food is a sine qua non of human life. Yet, tragically, for an increasing proportion of the world’s population, it has become unaffordable. Rapid rates of urban population growth over the past twenty years have yielded higher numbers of undernourished urban households. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 40% of the population lives in cities, with 72% of those living in impoverished slums or slum-like conditions. As cities continue to grow rapidly and become home to higher concentrations of people, the need for disaggregated figures which can improve our knowledge of population, health and environment issues have become a priority. This study examined intra-urban patterns of food insecurity in Accra, the capital city of Ghana in West Africa. Mixed methods were used to determine the underlying socio-economic, environmental, and spatial predictors of urban household food insecurity. In a novel approach, this study integrated survey and remote sensing data to map the distribution of food insecurity in Accra and determine significant predictor variables. Results were then compared with and interpreted by qualitative data derived from in-depth household interviews. Questions explored household demographics, health, socio-economic characteristics, knowledge and attitudes about food consumption, household distribution and hygiene, and economic security. The results of this study diverged from traditional rural-based food security research. Factors influencing household food security were quintessentially urban and included data derived from the satellite imagery. Geographic factors emerged as critical to household well being. Families living in neighborhoods serviced by fresh food markets were better nourished regardless of socio-economic status. The results substantiate the role of neighborhood environments in regards to food security. Implications for policy include the need to engage urban planners when designing food policy. Tailoring food programs for urban areas of the developing world such as Accra would be a wise and worthwhile strategy for decision makers, at a time when most of the world is urbanized and when pressure on agricultural resources is intensified.
Anna is currently appointed to a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to continue her research in Accra.
July 2 - GeoTech Center Presented Innovative Program Award
The HI-TEC Innovative Program Award will be presented July 21, 2009 to the GeoTech Center for its Two-to-Four Year Articulation Program in Geographic Information Systems. The articulation program is led by the Co-PI of the GeoTech Center, Kenneth Yanow, M.A. Geography, SDSU 1999, Professor of Geographical Sciences at Southwestern College.
In collaboration with Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou Kenneth has led the effort to provide a seamless articulation between Southwestern College, a two year community college, and San Diego State University's baccalaureate program. As part of this program, Dr. Tsou developed Geography 104, a new general education level GIS course that features fully online, publicly accessible lecture notes and web-based exercises. This new course has been successfully articulated with several community colleges in San Diego.
Dr. Tsou and Mr. Yanow will receive the award at the HI-TEC conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
July 2 - Ick Hoi Kim Receives EDC Awards
Doctoral student Ick Hoi Kim has received two awards as part of the Geography Department's ESRI Development Center (EDC) program. The first is being named "Student of the Year" for our EDC. Every EDC names one Outstanding Student from their program to receive recognition and a $500 scholarship. Ick Hoi (or Rick as he prefers) is our first student to receive this award.
Rick also has been chosen from all EDC Outstanding Students to receive one of two Special Achievement Awards from ESRI to be presented at the ESRI International Users Conference July 13-19, in San Diego. He will receive a $2000 honorarium along with his award.
Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou is Rick's Doctoral advisor.
July 2 - SDSU Geography Becomes an ESRI Development Center
The Department of Geography at San Diego State University has been recognized as an official ESRI Development Center (EDC)
To become an EDC, the department demonstrated faculty and staff competence in GIS and Computer Science/IT with a commitment to participate in the program; currently provides advanced level coursework in GIS Tool development, integration with computer science, support application development and ESRI platform workflows; and offers a certificate and degree relating to GIScience.
Dr. André Skupin is the EDC Faculty advisor.
June 22 - Stow receives President's Leadership Award
Dr. Doug Stow has received one of five President's Leadership Fund Awards for Faculty and Staff Excellence for 2009. Dr. Stow was recognized for his work in remote sensing of terrestrial environments in order to detect and model environmental change caused by natural processes and human activities.
The President's Leadership Fund (PLF) was established in October 2002 to provide San Diego State University with the flexible resources to respond quickly to strategic opportunities, pursue innovation and reward excellence. The Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards were instituted in 2008. Each award comes with a $5,000 grant which must be re-invested in their work at San Diego State University.
June 2 - Jankowska selected for Young Scholars Summer Program
Marta Jankowska has been selected for participation in the Young Scholars Summer Program (YSSP) of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. This very prestigious program carries with it an $8,000 award to support her travel and living expenses in Austria, funded by the US National Academy of Sciences. IIASA is an international research organization that conducts inter-disciplinary scientific studies on environmental, economic, technological, and social issues in the context of human dimensions of global change. IIASA's research scholars study environmental, economic, technological, and social developments. The research areas covered link a variety of natural and social science disciplines. The work is based on original state-of-the-art methodology and analytical approaches. The methods and tools generated are useful to both decision makers and the scientific community. YSSP experience offers an unparalleled opportunity for young scholars to work with top-flight international scholars and set up a network of international contacts that can serve them well throughout their career.
Marta recently completed her Master’s degree at SDSU and has been accepted into the Doctoral program here as well. Her advisor is Dr. John Weeks.
May 7 - Bremer to Receive Fulbright
Joint doctoral student Leah Bremer had been awarded a Fulbright to study in Ecuador. Her project in Ecuador includes an evaluation of the causes and biophysical outcomes of changing burning regimes in Ecuadorian alpine grasslands, in collaboration with the Fundacion Cordillera Tropical and the University of Azuay.
Leah's advisor is Dr. Kathleen Farley.
May 1 - Wandersee Receives Award
Sarah Wandersee, one of our joint doctoral students, has recently been noticed that she got a very prestigious award of $12,000 from Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation! Her project title is “Documenting Impacts of Illegal Mining on the Guizhou Golden Monkeys, Rhinopithecus brelichi, in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, China”. She will use the grant money to collect data in the summer and fall of 2009 in the reserve.
Sarah's advisor is Dr. Li An.
April 10 - Christakos Keynote Speaker at Harvard CGA Workshop
Dr. George Christakos will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 Harvard University Center for Geographic Analysis Workshop to be held April 10, 2009. The theme of the workshop is Spatial-Temporal Modeling: its implications across disciplines. The title of Dr. Christakos’ talk will be Interdisciplinary Spatiotemporal Modeling: It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.
This workshop is aimed at providing a high-level overview of this field, from theoretical research to industrial solutions and multi-disciplinary applications; from 4-dimensional database construction, object manipulation, to simulation and visualization. The audience will come from many disciplines, some with and some without previous experience in spatial-temporal modeling. The keynote address will give a general overview of the field, and the subsequent presenters from Harvard and other local institutions will show-case a sampler of current work in various disciplines. The break-out sessions will give beginners a selection of hands-on learning opportunities while experienced researchers engage in an in-depth discussion of the subject.
March 31 - Gregg Verutes places third in NGS Mapping Contest
Recent Master's graduate Gregg Verutes (2008) has earned the third place prize in the National Geographic Society (NGS) 2009 Mapping Contest in association with the Association of American Geographers/Cartography Specialty Group. He received his award at the AAG conference in Las Vegas.
The competition was open to undergraduates and master's level students. The award recognizes achievement in all aspects of mapping. Submissions may take the form of any of the following: map products in digital and paper formats; web-based maps or cartographic services; dynamic, animated, and/or interactive geovisualization environments; or other cartographic projects.
The Department of Geography at San Diego State University, in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and George Washington University, put together an initial Women's Health Survey for Accra, Ghana. Phase two of this project necessitates relocating the same women that were contacted for the first survey. The ground team in Accra has only a limited amount of information to locate these individuals.
Gregg's submission was an interactive map designed to assist the ground team in their efforts. He created detailed maps of specific Enumeration Area (EA) boundaries. These polygons (analogous to US Census tracts) highlight the areas where field workers still need to locate additional subjects. The interactive map was created in Flash and represents a streamlined version of the original printed field maps created to locate subjects.
March 21 - Geography at SDSU Open House
SDSU Geography graduate students, Jennifer Vaughan, Sarah Champion and Dominic Abbenante, and Ph.D. student Zia Salim were our stellar Geography Department ambassadors at the recent Explore SDSU Open House on Saturday, March 21. This event is part of the SDSU Month activities, and it attracts thousands of people to the campus who are interested in seeing campus departments, clubs and other activities; many of these are graduating high school seniors who are in the process of deciding where they will go to college or what major they'd like to declare.
Our students provided important information about the department in a friendly, energetic and competent manner, truly representative of the high caliber of student we attract in this department. They highlighted the breadth of the undergraduate emphases, the GIS labs and projects, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Youth and Space (ISYS). The mural adjacent to the booth is associated with ISYS and is a multi-national peace project which will eventually be displayed in the North Korea/South Korea DMZ. Finally, they communicated the great variety of interesting and relevant careers that a Geography graduate could obtain, using examples of past graduates.
March 13 - Justin Stoler Receives SRS Dean's Award
Congratulations to Justin Stoler, who has received the Dean's Award in 2009 Student Research Symposium (SRS)! His presentation is “Exploring the Relationships between Dengue Fever Knowledge and Aedes aegypti Breeding in St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica: A Pilot of Enhanced Surveillance”. This is his second time to obtain this type of prestigious award—he got the President's Award last year. Justin Stoler is currently a first-year doctoral student in the SDSU-UCSB joint doctoral program working with Dr. John Weeks.
January 30 - ASPRS Southwest Region Technical Meeting
The American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Southwest U.S. Region Technical Meeting will be held Friday, January 30, 2009 at SDSU in West Commons 201.
The agenda is as follows:
1:00pm - Andres Abeyta, President, IGIS Technologies, Inc.
Status of the Geospatial Industry and How to Prepare Yourself to Enter the Marketplace
2:00pm - Lee Harbers, President of the Southwest Region of the ASPRS, and Director of Surveys &
Photogrammetry, Engineering Surveying & Photogrammetry, LLC
ASPRS Certification Program for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and GIS
3:00pm - Discussion of ASPRS Southwest Region Business
3:30pm - Ms. Kass Green, President of ASPRS
Object-Oriented CART for Land Use/Land Cover Mapping Using ADS40, Lidar, and Ancillary Data
January 5 - Doctoral application deadline extended
The application deadline for the Doctoral program has been extended to Wednesday, February 4.
This extension is due to February 1 being a Sunday and also because of the department web site problems.