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News / Events : Archive : Department News 2011

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December 7 - Book Dedicated to Arthur Getis

“Perspectives on Spatial Data Analysis” edited by Luc Anselin and Sergio J. Rey, is dedicated to SDSU Emeritus Professor Arthur Getis. The hefty novel, which includes a 20-page introduction that analyzes Getis’s impact, takes both a retrospective and prospective view of the field of spatial analysis. The book includes selected reprints of classic articles by Dr. Getis with current observations by leading experts in the field and is a fitting tribute.

Congrats Art!

December 1 - Weeks Comments on Population

Disinguished Professor John Weeks was quoted in a front-page story on “Senior Population Grows” in today’s (12/1/11) San Diego Union-Tribune. That story is not yet available on the web. He was also quoted in another front page story two weeks ago: 11/16/2011, “Census: Fewer on the Move in America,” San Diego Union-Tribune (page A1).

November 8 - Skupin Speaks in Utah

Dr. André Skupin has been invited to give the capstone presentation within the University of Utah’s Geography Awareness Week events. The presentation will be on November 18, 2011. His lecture, entitled How to Map Practically Anything: Towards a Cartography of High-Dimensional Space, will argue for the applicability of such notions as reference systems, base maps, overlays, or the duality of discrete object and continuous field conceptualizations, far beyond geographic phenomena. Paired with the concept of high-dimensional space, we are in a position to tackle anything from large collections of scientific papers to social media artifacts, from crime statistics to climate monitoring data. This presentation will review some recent efforts in dealing with such data through a series of conceptual, computational, and visual transformations, with examples from the medical, environmental, and other domains, with the goal of demonstrating that it is indeed possible to map practically anything.

Composite snippet of two multidimensional maps, 
        one for medicine and the other music.

November 3 - Jankowska Interviewed Regarding Climate Change

The journal Nature Climate Change interviewed SDSU doctoral student Marta Jankowska along with UCSB Geography Professor Dr. David Lopez-Carr about the collaborative research effort they led looking at climate change in Mali, Africa. The effort examined spatial modelling of water availabilty, malnutrition, and livelihoods. Other contributors included Chris Funk and Gregory Husak from the Climate Hazards Group at UCSB, and Zoe Chafe from UC Berkley.

The interview, “Stunted by climate” (behind a pay wall) is part of a segment called “Beyond Boundaries”.

November 1 - Aitken Speaks at Literacy Conference

As a precursor to Geographic Awareness Week, the Greater San Diego Reading Association put on a Literacy and Geography Conference on Saturday Oct 29th. The conference was at the San Diego County Education Offices and was attended primarily by K-12 teachers and student teachers. Dr. Stuart Aitken spoke on the ways that teachers should think about using the Geography Department at SDSU as a resource. He also spoke about several of the department’s local and international projects and invited audience members to get in touch if they wanted to learn more. His talk generated significant interest and several of the teachers have been getting in touch this week.

Banner for Geaography Awareness Week, November 
        13-19, 2011

October 31 - Weeks Quoted in Aljazeera

Distinguished Professor John Weeks was quoted extensively in an article from Aljazeera about the world population reaching seven billion. Discussing the milestone, Weeks addresses the challenges we face in feeding and providing for an ever growing population.

Read the full article, entitled “Are we facing a crisis of overpopulation?”

October 21 - SDSU Geographers win AEP Awards

Diana Richardson receives her award at AEP dinner. Jaime Speed-Rossiter receives her award at AEP dinner

The Association of Environmental Professionals held their annual dinner on October 20, 2011, at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. The Department of Geography was well represented at the event with Diana Richardson receiving the award for Outstanding Contributions to the Environmental Profession. Doctoral candidate Jaime Speed-Rossiter received a “big” check from the AEP scholarship program.

Congratulations to both Diana and Jaime!

October 7 - Tsou Project Highlighted in 360

The latest 360 Magazine has a wonderful article on Professor Ming Hsiang-Tsou’s National Science Foundation funded Mapping Cyberspace project.

October 7 - Joassart Cited in Salon

Professor Pascale Joassart discusses the “Shadow Economy” in the latest issue of Salon Magazine. This is their first piece in a series on the shadow economy and they cite Pascale's work in LA as ground-breaking.

Congratulations, Pascale!

October 3 - Richardson Receives AEP Award

Diana Richardson is this year’s recipient of the Association of Environmental Professionals’ Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Profession award.

Diana has taught environmental and natural resource conservation courses for the Geography Department at SDSU since the mid-1980s. During that time she has mentored countless environmental professionals and won numerous teaching awards. In the past she has been involved in a number of extra-curricular environmental drives on campus including GreenFest, the Green Campus Newsletter, The Common Experience 2010 - 2013 Social Justice and Environmental Integrity program, and getting students involved with Council-member Donna Frye’s environmental initiatives. She is impassioned about the environment and will organize fieldtrips around sustainability issues just about anywhere in the Southwest United States and Baja California. She is also involved in a number of local issues that relate to EPA and CEQA, including organizing workshops to help local professionals.

Diana’s recognition as one of the region’s top environmental teachers and activists is well overdue. She will receive the award at the AEP’s Awards and Scholarship benefit on October 20, 2011, at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.

Congratulations, Diana!

September 19 - Getis Paper Reaches 1000 Citations

According to Google Scholar, the paper by SDSU Emeritus Professor Arthur Getis and J. Keith Ord, “The Analysis of Spatial Association by Use of Distance Statistics,” Geographical Analysis, 1992, has had its 1000th citation.

Congratulations, Art!

September 15 - Beginning of Semester Picnic

The Department of Geography's beginning of the year picnic was held on September 9, at Coronado's Tideland Park. The Pizza/Potluck affair included current faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students. Even the little geographers came out. The weather was great and the food superb.

Check out the photos.

Panorama of the Geography Picnic Conversing around the food table Talking with a little Geographer Conversing with Ph.D. students A big and little Geographer Conversing with Master's students Conversing around the food table Conversing around the food table

September 13 - Weeks Discusses Poverty on KPBS

Professor John Weeks, was a guest today on KPBS’s Midday Edition program, discussing the latest Census Bureau report on poverty.

September 12 - Christakos Appointed Adjunct Professor in China

Professor George Christakos, Birch Endowed Chair in Geographic Studies in the SDSU Geography Department, has recently been appointed as Yongqian Chair Professor at Zhejiang University, one of the top five universities in China. Dr. Christakos’ appointment is based on his “broad knowledge and outstanding achievements” (quote from the certificate signed by the president of Zhejiang University).

Congratulations, George!

August 26 - Salim Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

Joint doctoral student Zia Salim has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program fellowship to Bahrain. His project will focus on urban planning, land use, and development in Bahrain.

The Fulbright Program is America’s flagship international educational exchange program. It strives to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 American and foreign scholars the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Congratulations, Zia!

August 11 - Jankowska Awarded NSF Dissertation Research Improvement Grant

Marta Jankowska has just been officially notified from the National Science Foundation that she has been awarded a Dissertation Research Improvement Grant for her project “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Integrating Space and Place into Children’s Perceptions of Environmental Health Hazards.” The work is under the direction of John R. Weeks (Principal Investigator). This award is effective September 1, 2011 and expires August 31, 2013.

August 3 - Tsou Pronounced Full Professor

From this month, Dr. MIng-Hsiang Tsou will be a Professor of Geography. Congratulations, Ming

Dr. Tsou received a B.S. from National Taiwan University in 1991, an M.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1996, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001, all in Geography. His research interests are in Mapping Cyberspace, Internet mapping and distributed GIS applications, mobile GIS and wireless communication, multimedia cartography and user interface design, and cyberinfrastructure with GRID computing technology. He has applied his research interests in applications such as wildfire mapping, environmental monitoring and management, habitat conservation, K-12 education, and homeland border security. He is co-author of the book, Internet GIS, published in 2003 and served on the editorial boards of the Annals of GIS (2008-) and The Professional Geographers (2011-). Tsou was the co-chair of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Data System Working Group (ESEDWG) Standard Process Group (SPG) from 2004 to 2007 and the 2007-2008 Chair of the Cartographic Specialty Group in the Association of American Geographers (AAG). He is the Webmaster for the Geographic Information Science and System (GISS) Specialty Group in AAG since 2006. Tsou received the 2004 and 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award at San Diego State University, and his name was listed in Marquis Publishing Who's Who in America in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Tsou was appointed by the National Academy of Science in 2006 to serve on the committee on “Research Priorities for the USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science”. In 2007, he created and maintained an interactive Web-based mapping services for San Diego Wildfires 2007 and his efforts have been recognized by the AAG newsletters and the San Diego Union Tribune (newspaper). In 2008, Tsou served as a senior researcher in the GeoTech Center. In 2010, Tsou served as the Principle Investigator (PI) of a NSF-CDI project, “Mapping ideas from Cyberspace to Realspace”, funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Computer and Network Systems, NSF Program CDI-Type II Award #1028177. He also initiated an open web mapping project in 2011, called “We Help Each Other” (WHEO).

August 1 - Weeks Quoted in Science

Distinguished Professor John Weeks contributed to an article in Science magazine on Youth Bulges in the Middle East. The story is entitled Young and Restless Can be a Volatile Mix

July 15 - 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.

June 27 - Video Augments Aitken's 360 Magazine Article

Fathering as an Act of Heroism: The 360 MAGAZINE article on Dr. Aitken's work with fathers was recently augmented with a video that is now on the main SDSU web-site. It's the first slide in the banner.

June 2 - 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 campus Swedish University campus Stuart Aitken gives the keynote at the conference Drs. Bosco and Joassart-Marcelli on a bike excursion Swedish University campus

May 13 - 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: Sara 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: Sara 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

May 11 - ISYS Assists with Little Italy Event

The 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 peopl’'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. You can read more about the project and follow its progress on the ISYS web pages.

Boys holding toy pistols circa 1930 Fishing Mural public art exhibit Photo of a Machado ancestor Looking south from Olive and Columbia towards San Diego Bay, circa 1910

April 25 - 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.

April 21 - 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/U. of the Aegean).

Congratulations, Kris!

April 19 - AAG Awards for SDSU Geography

SDSU Geography had a good showing at the Association of American Geographers award luncheon last week. Official pictures will be posted soon on the AAG web-site and in the AAG newsletter.

Congratulations to:

  • Dr. Philip Pryde for receiving the Gilbert F. White Award for his work in the fields of applied and environmental geography
  • Dr. Arthur Getis for 50 years continuous membership of the AAG
  • Doctoral student Nathan Wang for the International Geographic Information Fund Student Paper Award for his paper Analyzing Crime Displacement with a Simulation Approach
  • Master's student Jennifer Smith for receiving the Cartography Specialty Group Thesis Research Grant
  • Doctoral student Zia Salim for being voted Most Valuable Player in the Geography Bowl

April 12 - 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 – 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.

April 12 - 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 award Dr. Tsou speaking with colleages

March 28 - 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.

March 28 - Weeks and the 2010 Census

As data from the 2010 census is released, Distinguished Professor John Weeks has been a popular interviewee for the local media.

Dr. Weeks was interviewed by the San Diego Union- Tribune. He was also interviewed for the evening broadcast of the KUSI Evening News. Both interviews were for the March 25 editions of the respective outlets.

March 21 - Weeks Appears on KPBS-TV

Distinguished Professor John Weeks was interviewed last night on KPBS-TV's San Diego Week.

March 21 - Stoler to GIve Invited Talk in DC

Doctoral student Justin Stoler recently received an award from SDSU's Graduate Student Travel Fund to serve as a panelist in the 2011 World Water Day Symposium: Urban Water Issues from Global to Local held by the George Washington University in DC on March 22

Justin's talk, Urban Drinking Water Privatization in Western Africa: A Fourth World Contradiction, explores trends in drinking water privatization that seem to be simultaneously benefiting and marginalizing poor urban populations. His research is rooted in Distinguished Professor John Weeks' NIH-funded project Health, Poverty, and Place in Accra, Ghana.

March 15 - 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 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). 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

March 14 - 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!

March 10 - 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.

March 7 - Geographers in the News

SDSU Geography Faculty have been in the news lately.

Dr. Stuart Aitken is featured in the latest issue of SDSU 360 Magazine. The article explores Dr. Aitken's work on defining family dynamics and fathering.

Diana Richardson has written an article for the Spring 2011 edition of Edible San Diego. The article ilustrates how SDSU has been involved in the sustainable food movement. The article highlights the work of Dr. Pascale Joassart-Marcelli.

Disinguished Professor John Weeks is interviewed for a San Diego Union-Tribune article on population growth in San Diego over the past decade.

March 7 - 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 coverage of the meetings.

Congratulations, Alex!

March 7 - 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!

March 4 - Weeks Featured in 360 Magazine

Distinguished Professor John Weeks is featured in the SDSU 360 Magazine in advance of his Albert W. Johnson University Research Lecture.

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

February 24 - 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!

February 23 - SDSU Geography at AAAS Symposium

Some of the attendees at AAAS

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 journal Ecological Modelling.

February 18 - 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.

February 15 - 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.

February 8 - 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 3 - 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! Other upcoming opportunities include the Association for Women in Science Scholarship due on Feb. 18.

Congratulations, Sarah!

February 1 - Fouad Receives ASPRS Award

Doctoral student Geoff Fouad has been awarded the 2011 Graduate Student Achievement Award for Image-bases 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!

January 25 - 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.

January 24 - Aitken, Curti to Co-Host Panel

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.

January 24 - 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 (Univ. of Otago) and Timothy Nyerges (Univ. of Washington) on the development of decision support geographic information infrastructures.

January 19 - Baby Biggs Arrives

Dr. Trent Biggs and Dr. Arielle Levine are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Sierra Katheryn Biggs, on January 16, 2011. Arielle is feeling good, and Sierra is healthy and adorable.

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