Colloquium Series

Socioeconomic Impacts of China’s Recent Forest Restoration
and Conservation Programs

Dr. Conghe Song
Professor of Geography
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Friday, September 4, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

Since late 1990s China adopted a series of forest restoration and conservation programs after serious natural disasters resulting from long-term environmental degradation caused by unsustainable use of natural resources. In this talk, I will present the socioeconomic effects of the Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) and Ecological Welfare Forest Program (EWFP) on rural land use, out migration and household fuel choice and consumption in a remote mountainous township, Tiantangzhai, Anhui Province. CCFP is a forest restoration program that encourages farmers to convert croplands on slopes to forests for soil and water conservation based on the scheme of payment for ecosystem services. EWFP pays farmers to conserve forests that are of vital ecological value to the public. After controlling for other socioeconomic and environmental factors, we found CCFP strongly facilitated out migration and temporarily reduce cropland abandonment, while EWFP demotivated out migration and encouraged stable cropland usage. Neither program had a strong influence on rural household energy choice and fuelwood use. These findings highlight the need to coordinate concurrent conservation programs for achieving the targeted socioeconomic and ecological goals.

Conghe Song is currently a Professor of Geography and fellow in the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained his PhD degree from Boston University in Geography in 2001 and joined the Department of Geography at UNC Chapel Hill in the same year as an assistant professor, and subsequently rose through the ranks. He served as the Associate Chair and the Director for the Graduate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Sciences in the Department of Geography at UNC Chapel Hill during 2013-2019.

Dr. Song’s research focuses on three thematic questions: (1) how the land surfaces are changing through time? (2) what are the socioeconomic and ecological consequences of these changes? and (3) what are the forces that drive these changes? He uses remotely sensed data to measure land surface changes through time, such as biophysical parameters, land cover/land-use, and land surface phenology. He employs ecological models to integrate remote sensing and ground observation to understand how terrestrial ecosystem functions change as a result of land-cover/land-use change and climate change. He integrates household surveys, remote sensing and GIS, statistical models and agent-based models to understand the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems. He served as the PI for multiple grants funded by NSF, NASA and US Forest Service. His publications appeared on Remote Sensing of Environment, Global Change Biology, Nature, Ecology, Ecological Economics, Forest Policy and Economics, Population and Environment, and Land Use Policy et cetera. According to Google Scholar, his works had been cited for more than 7,000 times.


Continental-Scale Hydraulic Gradients

Dr. Scott Jesechko
Assistant Professor of Water Resources
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, September 25, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. scott jesechkoScott Jasechko is an Assistant Professor of water resources with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB. He completed his masters at the University of Waterloo, his doctorate at The University of New Mexico, three years as faculty at the University of Calgary, before joining UCSB in November 2017. Scott’s research uses large datasets to understand how we can preserve the quality and sustain the quantity of river water and groundwater resources around the globe. Scott’s work has been recognized by numerous early career awards, including the Horton Hydrology Research Award from the American Geophysical Union (2013), the Young Scientist Award from the Canadian Geophysical Union (2016), and the Kohout Early Career Award from the Geological Society of America (2018).


How Should We Scale From Trees to Landscapes?
Predictions and Uncertainties for Forest Ecology
in a Changing Climate

Dr. Anna Trugman
Assistant Professor of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, October 2, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. anna trugmanClimate change has the potential to massively disrupt terrestrial ecosystem productivity, impacting biodiversity and ecosystem services, and driving Earth’s forests to release carbon into the atmosphere, which would further exacerbate climate change. Critically, the physiological mechanisms underpinning forest responses to climate are not fully understood due to complex interactions between climate, tree physiology, and community ecology. Here, I will talk about research leveraging an extensive trait database and a long-term continental forest plot network to map changes in community trait distributions and quantify ‘trait velocities’ (the rate of change in community-weighted traits) for different regions and different forest types across the U.S. from 2000 to the present. Next, I will highlight strengths and limitations in current traits-based approaches used to scale individual-based responses to processes, with a particular focus on drought driven tree mortality.

Anna Trugman received her bachelors degree from Stanford University in Geological and Environmental Sciences and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at UC Santa Barbara since 2019.


To be Announced

Dr. Nick Nidzieko
Assistant Professor of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, October 9, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. nick nidzieko


Transit and Service Routing:
Are We Really Finding Optimal Solutions,
Does it Matter?

Dr. Richard Church
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, October 16, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

richard churchThe Arthur Getis Distinguished Lecture

This presentation discusses the three formulations, regarding transit and service routing, by Current et al. (1984; 1985) and Curtin and Biba (2011) and analyzes these three models when applied to a simple network. We demonstrate that these formulations may prevent optimal solutions or even feasible solutions from being found, even when they appear to be general and completely encompassing. Part of this can be explained as the result of a patently false premise under which these models were formulated and another part can be explained as the result of embedded errors in their formulations. New formulations will be developed which overcome these deficiencies and computational results will be presented.

Further Reading:
Current, J., C. ReVelle, and J. Cohon (1984) “The shortest covering path problem: an application of locational constraints to network design,” Journal of Regional Science 24: 161-183.
Current, J. R., C.S. ReVelle, and J.L. Cohon (1985) “The maximum covering/shortest path problem: a multiobjective network design and routing formulation,” European Journal of Operational Research 21: 189-199.
Curtin, K.M., and S. Biba (2011) “The transit route arc-node service maximization problem,” European Journal of Operational Research 208: 46-56.

Richard Church is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is an expert in Operations Research and Management Science. Before coming to UCSB he was an associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has formally taught courses in Geography, Industrial Engineering, Management Science, and Civil Engineering. He has published two books on Location Science and more than 250 papers in Regional Science, Geography, Transportation, Operations Research, Environmental Modeling, and Engineering.


To be Announced

Dr. Barbara Quimby
Research Scholar
Kyl Center for Water Policy
Arizona State University

Friday, October 23, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session


Monitoring the COVID-19 Outbreaks
in San Diego with Social Media, GIS, and Big Data

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou
Professor of Geography
San Diego State University

Friday, November 6, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. ming tsouSocial media, GIS and Big Data can have important applications in public health, disaster management, transportation, and urban planning. The HDMA Center at SDSU are working with data scientists to monitor and track COVID-19 outbreaks in San Diego using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), machine learning algorithms and natural language processing and to study human communications and movements during this outbreak (https://hdma-sdsu.github.io/). This talk will provide an overview of the current research efforts dedicated to track and monitor COVID-19 in San Diego. However, these technologies also monitor users’ digital footprints, opinions and geolocations and they can be used for the invasion of privacy. The talk will also address the privacy concerns and how to balance between scientific research works and privacy protection.

Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou is a Professor of Geography and the Founding Director of the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age at SDSU. His research interests are in Big Data, Human Dynamics, Social Media, Cancer Disparity, Web GIS, and Cartography. Dr. Tsou has published 92 refereed articles and received over $4 million federal funding (as PI or Co-PI) in the last ten years from NSF, NASA, and NIH.


Bridging the Gap:
Integrating Critical Human and Physical Geography in Practice

Dr. Rebecca Lave
Professor of Geography
University of Indiana, Bloomington

Friday, November 13, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. rebecca laveThe relationship (or lack thereof) between physical and human geography is a longstanding discussion within our field. Some commentators assume the possibility of synthesis and call for integrated work; others assume that deep integration is neither possible nor desirable. But even a brief review of the literature makes two points glaringly clear: this discussion has been going on for a long, long time and, given its regular reoccurrence, it would seem we have little to show for it. Rather than debate the possibility or desirability of such integration, I argue here that there is already a strong and growing body of work that draws together critical human and physical geography in an emerging sub-field: critical physical geography. Individually or in teams, critical physical geographers are bridging the gap, combining insights from geomorphology, ecology, and biogeography with approaches from political ecology, science and technology studies, and environmental history. The key characteristics that unify this work are its emphasis on treating physical processes and unequal power relations with equal seriousness, its acknowledgement of the politics of knowledge production, and its normative agenda of using research to promote eco-social transformation. By way of illustration, I present the results of a critical physical geography study of market-based environmental management in the US that I conducted with Martin Doyle (Duke), and Morgan Robertson (U Wisconsin). Drawing on social science data from document analysis and interviews and natural science data from geomorphic fieldwork, I argue that while the fluvial landscape bears a clear signature of environmental policy, the development of ecosystem service markets in “stream credits” has different consequences than could be expected.

Rebecca Lave is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at Indiana University. Her research takes a critical physical geography approach, combining political economy, STS, and fluvial geomorphology. She has published in journals ranging from Science to Social Studies of Science, and is the author of Fields and Streams: Stream Restoration, Neoliberalism, and the Future of Environmental Science (2012), the lead editor of the Handbook of Critical Physical Geography (2018), and the co-author (with Martin Doyle) of Streams of Revenue: The Restoration Landscape and Ecosystems it Creates (2021). Her current research focuses on the eco-social history of the U.S. Midwest.


To be Announced

Dr. Charles Jones
Professor of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, December 4, 2020
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Zoom Session

dr. charles jonesI am a Professor in the Department of Geography and Researcher at the Earth Research Institute, UCSB. I have a B.S. in Meteorology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, M.Sc. in Meteorology from the University of Utah and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California Davis. I have a broad research interests in Dynamic Meteorology and Climate Sciences. Research topics include: the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), predictability of extreme events including precipitation, monsoon systems, climate change, regional modeling and wildfires. His current research projects include the dynamics of the low-level jet and precipitation variability in South America, regional modeling of Sundowner winds and wildfires in Santa Barbara, fog variability in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and climate change in southern California.