- Undergrad Program
- Grad Program
- About Us
It is an exciting time to be in the field of GIS! Technologies have evolved making the collection and analysis of spatial data much easier. Although there has been an explosion in the availability of geospatial data, asking pertinent questions and sifting through streams of data making sense of the world in which we live remains a challenge.
I use GIS and spatial analysis methods to address applied research questions to a wide variety of topics that take into consideration social/behavioural and environmental factors and range from host-parasite interactions, vector-borne diseases, animal/human mobility, food, to sports analysis.
Much of my work concerns issues related to human health either indirectly through examining threats to food supply (via crop pests and crop diseases) or more directly via disease, mobility and health care accessibility. I use GIS to understand the ecology of disease and connectivity between locations using novel data sources and technologies. These have included looking at movement patterns in data-poor regions, in relation to vaccination needs, by identifying key travel routes; accessibility to healthcare; identifying disease epicenters and mapping people’s activity space at a national and international level.
The fun part of using GIS is that it can be used in all disciplines to view where something is, explore patterns and relationships, model different outcomes and develop hypothesis. To do so may require the use of large datasets, data-driven and/or theoretical approaches.
In my research I use GIS (and spatial analysis) to better understand
Some current projects I am involved in are:
Twitter data: Using Twitter data to understand mobility, perception and cyberbullying
Food Environments: understanding food environments and the role of availability vs accessibility of different food store types.
Vector-borne diseases: these include vectors that transmit malaria, dengue, zika, WNV and Lyme disease.
Mapuana O'Sullivan (MGIS in progress) Optimizing management practices in Kauai’s natural area reserve systems: development of a database and offline system.
Thomas Whitfield (MGIS in progress) Food Deserts in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota: Refining Healthy Food Access through Demographic Analysis and Spatial Weighting of Food Store Locations.
Steve Gilbert (MGIS in progress) Analyzing the impact of climate change on drought in Jordan.
David Siders (MGIS in progress) Profiling Zika impact on urban communities in the Caribbean U.S. Territories to identify risk and impact to U.S. Cities
Angela Chang (MGIS in progress) Using GIS to Measure the Impact of Development on Urban Green Spaces in DC.
Nouman Hussain (MGIS in progress) Where to place refugee camps? Suitable sites in Turkey for Syrian Refugees.
Patrick Didier (MGIS '16) Analysis of Airborne Snow Survey Sample Size: An investigation of sampling efficiency using historical data.
Mark Brady (MGIS '16) Identifying spatially dynamic variables affecting the distribution of West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania.
Sherry Roth (MGIS '16) Geovisualizing Collections of Penn State University Libraries:a geographical and statistical perspective of use, age, and relevancy.
Nathan Teigland (MGIS '15) Finding Balance: Estimating rebalancing events using bikeshare trip data.
Melody Ovard (MGIS '15) Oyster habitat mapping in the Chesapeake Bay with hydrographic acoustic data.
Kimberly Struthers (MGIS '15) Conservation Strategy: Where it matters most. Integrating demographics, socio-economic lifestyles and biodiversity.
Teri Vlasak (MGIS '15) Spatial and temporal analysis of rabid wild terrestrial animals along the Colorado Front Range.
Rosemary Alles (MGIS '15) Exploring Open Source Geospatial technologies in the context of monitoring and analyzing the behavior of highly vulnerable migratory species: Boundless Geo and African elephants as a case study.
Ryan Warne (MGIS '15) Spatial analysis of pertussis outbreaks and herd immunity in the USA.
John Cirucci (MGIS '15) Retrospective GIS-based multiple criteria decision analysis: A case study of California waste transfer station siting decisions.
Lori Weingartner (MGIS '15) Rapid assessment of invasive plant species for establishing management priorities: progressive, strategic invasive plant management for resource managers.
Stephen Perrine (MGIS ‘14) International Food Imports: Identification of Vulnerabilities and Risks.
Kristina Kwiatkowski (MGIS ‘14) GIS analysis of commercial trucking movements from a Canadian perspective.
Susan Swinson-Williams (MGIS ‘14) Lyme disease in Texas? Enhancing prevention through the identification of areas of risk.
Jay Tompkins (MGIS ‘14) Social and spatial clustering of personal relationships: Understanding the impact of behavioural risks on sexually transmitted disease transmission.
Loren Pfau (MGIS '13). Sources and Uses of Geospatial Information in Wilderness Search and Rescue.
Mark Aurit (MGIS '12). Winter Strawberry Production in West Central Florida, at what cost? A GIS Analysis of the relationship between groundwater pumping for frost-freeze protection and sinkhole development.
Linda Foster (MGIS '11). Improving Cadastre: Development of a Workflow Prototype Utilizing ESRI’s Parcel Fabric.