overlook of California desert with plant in front

Centers and Institutes

The department is home to seven research centers and one institute including the Center for Earth Systems Analysis (CESAR), the International Population Center (IPC), the Young People's Environments, Society and Space Research Center (YESS), the Complex Human-Environment Systems Center (CHES), the Center for Regional Sustainability (CRS), the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA), the Center for Information Convergence and Strategy (CICS), and the Watershed Science Institute. These centers and institutes fund faculty and graduate scholarship, help serve the local community, and provide a fulcrum for research locally and in several countries worldwide.

The Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) applies state-of-the-art technology in image processing, remote sensing, geographic information systems, automated cartography, and numerical modeling to problems with a spatial dimension.

The Young People's Environments, Society and Space Research Center (YESS) supports research that deepens our knowledge base regarding the geographic spaces of children, families, and communities at scales from personal to local to global. 

The International Population Center (IPC) promotes applied demographic research and provides demographic technical assistance and consulting, focusing primarily on population issues along the U.S.-Mexico border and elsewhere in the world. 

The group aims to achieve better CHES understanding, envisioning, planning, and sustainability via a hybrid of data science, artificial intelligence, and spatial/applied statistics approach. They view human-environment systems as complex systems, which are often characterized by a variety of complexity features such as high dimensionality, hierarchical structure, heterogeneity, nonlinearity, feedback, path dependence, emergence, and multi-finality.

The Center for Regional Sustainability (CRS) fosters research; establishes collaborations across campus and with partners from business, government, and education; and generates solutions that enhance the natural environment, economic vitality, and social equity in the greater San Diego-Tijuana region.

The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) integrates spatial science, mobile technologies, and big data sources to build transformative scientific theories and computational models for understanding human dynamics.

The Center for Information Convergence and Strategy (CICS) is active in diverse domains and emphasizes data acquisition and analytics, social media solutions, strategic mapping, data mining, and systems integration and development.  

The Watershed Science Institute (WSI) fosters communication between university faculty and regional water management agencies and develops interdisciplinary funded research on watershed science and management.