Academic Year News

October 2, 2019

Fall Colloquia Series Begins

The SDSU Geography Colloquium series for the Fall 2019 semester has officially begun. Visiting scholar Dr. Eran Feitelson of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem kicked off the series with his talk “Resilience to Earthquakes and Droughts: Some Insights from the Israeli Experience.” We've also had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Eyal Oren from SDSU’s School of Public Health to speak on “Tracking infectious diseases using big data: a primer using search data and social media.” We look forward to hosting more speakers in the coming weeks and months, covering various topics of relevance to our domain. Continue to check our Colloquia Series page for up-to-date details.

collage of colloquium speakers and department reception


ming-hsiang tsouNovember 5, 2019

HDMA Featured in ArcNews

The HDMA center has developed two social media analytics tools, SMART dashboard and GeoViewer, which are highlighted in the Fall 2019 issue of ArcNews. Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou also provides his vision of creating “geospatial data science” by combining GIScience with data science domains together.

See full Fall 2019 ArcNews article.


krista westNovember 5, 2019

West Contributes to Video News Wildfire Discussion

On Monday, November 4, Doctoral Candidate Krista West was approached by a journalist and associate producer for Al Jazeera’s (AJ) English “The Stream” to contribute to a segment — “A World On Fire.” Leave geography site Within the past week, at least 13 wildfires have burned in California alone; in the last few months, there have been wildfire incidents in parts of Lebanon, Turkey, Russia, France, Greece, Indonesia, the Amazon, the Arctic, and sub-Saharan Africa. As someone living in California and studying the effects of wildfires, AJ requested that Krista provide a 30-second video comment discussing how to get through a wildfire safely and how she has been impacted by incidents in the state. “Thirty seconds is not enough time to share this information,” she said, “so I focused on covering the most critical points — how residents can find resources that will help them prepare for a wildland fire and evacuate safely. I was honored to have been included in this segment, and appreciate what the panel of experts shared with the AJ hosts.” Krista’s segment starts around the 24:10 mark.

Krista began working with Dr. Doug Stow as a Joint Doctoral Program Research Scholar in Fall 2019, and is also a member of the Climate Science Alliance Connecting Wildlands & Communities Leave geography site team. She intends to focus on utilizing remote sensing technologies to study landscapes and wildland-urban interface zones before, during, and after wildfires.


li anDecember 4, 2019

Complex Human-Environment Systems Center to Provide for Collaboration between SDSU and Peking University

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU hereafter) regarding the Complex Human-Environment Systems Center has been recently signed and approved by San Diego State University (SDSU) President de la Torre, San Diego State University Research Foundation Director Sandra M. Nordahl, and Dean of College of Urban and Environmental Sciences (CUES) at Peking University (PKU) Dr. Canfei He. This MOU was also approved by California State University Chancellor’s office. This MOU provides terms for collaboration between SDSU faculty and CUES-PKU faculty through Dr. Li An’s Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES) Center. The CHES Center seeks to promote scholarship, education, and outreach in the area of computational human-environmental science, building up the capacity of SDSU and PKU to become leading research universities in human-environmental science. The Center will bring together researchers at SDSU, PKU and beyond to form a cluster of scholars engaged in externally funded, complementary research, integrating human and environment sciences that include ecology, biology, spatial science, geography, sociology, demography, and other related disciplines. The CHES Center has also received financial and space support from Department of Geography, College of Arts and Letters, and Vice President Stephen Welter.


December 11, 2019

Nara and Herman Working to Increase Geo-computational Thinking in K-14 Education

thomas herman atsushi naraDrs. Atsushi Nara and Thomas Herman are working to develop computational thinking in K-14 geography education. With advances in geospatial technologies producing large volumes of data that need to be managed and analyzed, geo-computational thinking and methods are vital to the future workforce. Working alongside researchers from the American Association of Geographers, University of California Riverside, and Texas State University, they are preparing teachers to use geospatially- and computationally-enriched programs. These programs can be used to guide underrepresented students towards careers in geo-spatial technologies.

The research is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The research has been highlighted in the San Diego State University 2018-2019 Research Highlights publication PDF file.


atsushi naraJanuary 29, 2020

Nara Receives the Michael Breheny Prize

Dr. Atsushi Nara’s co-authored paper with Drs. Joseph Gibbons (Sociology) and Bruce Appleyard (City Planning/Urban Design) won the Breheny Prize for the most innovative paper Leave geography site in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. Their paper, “Exploring the Imprint of Social Media Networks on Neighborhood Community Through the Lens of Gentrification,” analyzed neighborhood communities and gentrification in Washington, DC by exploring location-based social media networks.

The Michael Breheny Prize is awarded annually for the most innovative paper in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science during the preceding year. It is awarded in recognition of the contribution of Michael Breheny, who was a co-editor of the journal from 1989 until his untimely death in 2003.


li anMay 18, 2020

An Elected Councillor-at-Large for IALE-NA

Dr. Li An was elected to be Councillor-at-large and memeber of the 2020-2022 Executive Committee for the International Association of Landscape Ecology - North America (IALE-NA) Leave geography site, which stands out as a recognition of Li’s contributions in the field of Landscape Ecology. IALE-NA is a prestigious international organization that promotes research, practice, education, and outreach activities in relation to landscape ecology. Its members come from the US, Canada, and Mexico.


May 21, 2020

HDMA Creates COVID-19 Research Hub

Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile AgeThe Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age Leave geography site has created a research hub Leave geography site to track and monitor COVID-19 outbreaks and impacts in San Diego. By utilizing GIS, web mapping, and social media analytics, these web apps and dashboards can provide a better understanding of COVID-19 disease spread patterns related to vulnerable population, medical comorbidity, and health service resources in San Diego.


May 21, 2020

Coronavirus Project Generates Global Impact and Industry Accolades

front page of coronavirus applicationSince its launch two months ago, the “Coronavirus SoS” project initiated by CICS Leave geography site Co-Director André Skupin has been warmly received by users in almost 40 countries that have accessed project results Leave geography site. Meanwhile, GIS industry leader Esri has recognized the project’s story map portion as one of twelve “Innovative Story Maps for COVID-19 Communication”.

In a departure from the traditional approach of mapping disease cases in geographic space, this project instead revolves around an interactive map of the coronavirus knowledge space, derived from more than 15,000 scientific papers going back to the 1960s. Anyone can now explore this space and learn about the research fields and concepts that drive scientific advances in this domain.


May 26, 2020

Levine Recommends a Teal Deal for Climate-Friendly Economic Recovery

teal deal graphicDr. Arielle Levine recently co-authored an op-ed Leave geography site featured in the Capitol Weekly, based on a recent article in the journal Conservation Letters Leave geography site she co-authored on integrating oceans into Green New Deal style climate solutions. The authors, including Rebecca Lewison (SDSU Biology) and Steve Dundas (Oregon State University) recommend that investing in coastal and ocean-based infrastructure, including sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, marine transportation, offshore renewable energy, and coastal restoration, can support a shift to a more sustainable economic system.