GGS Departmental News
Please see the information on new research grants awarded to our GGS Faculty.
GIS Day- November 20, 2013 at the Centre for the Arts
Check out GIS Day 2012
5/2013: Congratulations to all of our 2013 Graduates! At our Awards and Convocation Brunch Celebration the following students were recognized for special achievements. All of these student’s names are engraved on plaques in the department. See Pictures!
Jonathan Hansel and Shuyao Hong received the Alice C. Andrews Outstanding Senior in Geography Award. The award recognizes the senior in Geography with the highest GPA in the graduating class in honor of Alice C. Andrews, a founding member of the Department. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500.
Elena Sava received the John Gruber Memorial Award. The award recognizes a senior in Geography for academic excellence and service. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 from funds donated by John Gruber's parents in memory of their son, faculty, alumni and friends.
Mathew Miyares received the GGS Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. The award recognizes an outstanding undergraduate student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Christa Goldsborough received the GGS Oustanding Graduate Certificate Student Award. The award recognizes the outstanding graduate certificate student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $250 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Joshua Magarick received the GGS Outstanding MS Student Award. The award recognizes an outstanding MS student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Barton Pfautz received the GGS Outstanding MS Graduate Service Award. The award recognizes an outstanding MS student for academic excellence and service. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Jing Li received the GGS Outstanding PhD Student Award. The award recognizes an outstanding Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences PhD student for their academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $1000 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Christopher Oxendine received the GGS Outstanding PhD Graduate Service Award. The award recognizes an outstanding Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences PhD student for their academic excellence and service. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
04/2013 Congratulations to recent GGS graduate Dr. Qunying Huang:
We are proud to report that our student, Dr.Qunying Huang, will join Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (a top institute and geography dept.) as a tenure track faculty. This signifies that our students are recognized by the top research institutions as the best for their academic positions.
04/2013 Mason Launches New Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute
George Mason University launched a new institute focusing on sustainable solutions for natural resources. The Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute (GENRI) will be housed in the College of Science and directed by Professors John J. Qu and Ray Motha.
GENRI will provide interdisciplinary research, education and training on global agriculture, water and other natural resources to help preserve the environment and ecosystems for future generations. GENRI will collaborate with other Mason programs to develop place-specific sustainable solutions to globally interdependent problems.
"GENRI has the potential to become a vital global resource for research and education on water security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity preservation," says Vikas Chandhoke, dean of the College of Science. "Some of the most influential environmental researchers and policy experts in the world are part of our faculty, and they will contribute unparalleled expertise to this international, interdisciplinary collaboration."
University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Thomas Lovejoy will chair the institute's Executive Advisory Board.
Motha believes that this center is especially important in today's changing climate.
"Severe droughts and floods in the United States and other major crop areas have caused multibillion-dollar crop losses and famine, and deepened a global food crisis," he says. "Agriculture and water security are global interconnected issues that include protecting and preserving our land, water and air for future generations. The security of universal natural resources is an aspiration for all, and its absence is an affront to human dignity."
The institute hopes to conduct research that both embraces ecologically sound practices and biodiversity and also the vast experiences and local customs and practices of indigenous people in order to cope with climate extremes and their impacts on agriculture and water security, says Motha.
"A wealth of knowledge in these areas already exists in institutions of academic and research excellence around the world, and much research has been done on the issues of managing the increasingly scarce water resources, preserving fragile ecosystems, promoting better land management and improving agricultural productivity," says Qu.
"At Mason, GENRI will be an integral partner of an international consortium that will offer academic studies and research opportunities in the interlinked thematic scientific areas of an ecosystems approach to agriculture production and marketing, and sustainable use of water resources."
The key goals of the institute will be to:
- Broaden academic programs on international and institutional perspectives on agriculture and water security
- Promote research on the application of science and technology to both agriculture and water security
- Advance the fundamental importance of environment, ecosystems and biodiversity to sustainable agriculture and water security
- Develop new synergistic approaches to water and agriculture security
"Today's agriculture sector faces major challenges, and natural resources and ecosystems and water supply systems will be at even greater risk in the 21st century due to climate extremes," says Motha. "We hope that GENRI will be a world leader in solving some of these global issues."
11/2012 Reactions of two GGS students, who sent their vote from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
It's great to see Samuel Estabrook and Michael DeMarr in the Italian News! Samuel and Michael are in Cagliari, Italy along with Patricia Pease studying this year as part of the GISESP program
10/2012 USGIF 2012 Achievement Award for the Center for Geospatial Intelligence
USGIF 2012 Achievement Award for Academic Research was awared to the Center for Geospatial Intelligence for its pioneering work on harvesting geospatial intelligence from social media.
Pictured above are the Center Director, Dr. Anthony Stefanidis, Dr. Andrew Crooks from the Deptartment of Computational Social Science and a member of the Center for Social Complexity, Dr. Arie Croitoru, GGS, and Mr. Jacek Radzikowski, IT analyst and engineer for the Center.
10/2012 COS Researchers work to measure Rain from Space (From Periodic Elements)
Inside the renowned NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., sits a bit of the College of Science. It's neither a traditional classroom nor a campus lab but a substantial part of a research center nonetheless, the Center for Earth Observing and Space Research — or CEOSR, pronounced Caesar, as in hail to. And hail may be an apt pun as hail is a form of precipitation, and John Kwiatkowski, a research professor in the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science (GGS), is working on microwave remote sensing for measuring precipitation. NASA wants to measure global precipitation from space. "Peggy Agouris, GGS department chair and CEOSR director, brings the science, research and real-world data that comes from the center to the classroom," explains Kwiatkowski. "Mason's location near NASA Goddard is ideal for students who are interested in working on real-world data models and their applications to global climate studies." For his part, Kwiatkowski teaches as well, and this semester, he will be lecturing in several 500-level classes. This current CEOSR contract to Agouris and Kwiatkowski for $11,575,025 will run for the next four and a half years and is funded by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. More..
8/2012 Geoinformation Training held for Chinese Professionals
The Center of Intelligent Spatial Computing for Water/Energy Science (CISC), hosted the first Advanced Executive Certificate program for geoinformation management last month. The program is the highest level of geoinformation training ever hosted by the United States for China.
The training was a joint effort between Mason, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping, and GeoInformation (NASG), and the international association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS). Twenty-one executives including deputy director generals from NASG and surveying and mapping bureaus in China participated in the training program.
The program covered a wide variety of topics including geoinformation in U.S. federal agencies, GIScience past and future, the 2012 U.S. election, international executive management, global and U.S. economy, how to run a U.S. university, how to operate an international company and how to run an international organization. President Ángel Cabrera, Provost Peter Stearns, Vice President Anne Schiller, and College of Science Dean Vikas Chandhoke welcomed the class.
The program was coordinated by Chaowei Yang, co-director of CISC, and Madelyn Ross, Mason's China coordinator.
8/2012 Dr. Patrick Mendis, adjunct professor, just returned from summer teaching tour!
Dr. Mendis just returned from teaching in China and a 9-nation book/lectur tour in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He was appointed by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.
7/2012 Congratulations to Summer 2012 graduate Jing Li!
She will be moving to Denver, CO, to a tenure-track Assistant Professor position (expertise in GIS) in the Department of Geography at the University of Denver.
7/2012 Congratulations to recent graduate and post doc Dr. Caixia Wang!
She is leaving us to take on a new position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Missouri State University which is located at Springfield MO, where she will join the Department of Geography, Geology and Planning.
5/2012: Congratulations to all of our 2012 Graduates! At our Awards and Convocation Luncheon Celebration the following students were recognized for special achievements. All of these student’s names are engraved on plaques in the department. See Pictures!
William Lightner received the Alice C. Andrews Outstanding Senior in Geography Award. The award recognizes the senior in Geography with the highest GPA in the graduating class in honor of Alice C. Andrews, a founding member of the Department. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500.
Cory O'Dell received the John Gruber MemorialAward. The award recognizes a senior in Geography for academic excellence and service. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 from funds donated by John Gruber’s parents in memory of their son, faculty, alumni and friends.
Chelsea Cook received the GGS Outstanding Undergraduate StudentAward. The award recognizes an outstanding undergraduate student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Pete Walton received the GeoEye Scholarship Award. The award provides scholarships for rising junior students studying geography, GIS, geospatial, or mapping to be used toward their tuition and books their senior year. The award consists of an annual gift of $5,000 from GeoEye which can be awarded to one student or split between two students for $2,500 each.
Robin Rodgers received the GGS Oustanding Graduate Certificate Student Award. The award recognizes the outstanding graduate certificate student for academic excellence.
Kyle Foster received the GGS Outstanding MS Student Award. The award recognizes an outstanding MS student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Xu Lu received the GGS Outstanding MS Student Award. The award recognizes an outstanding MS student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Qunying Huang received the GGS Outstanding PhD StudentAward. The award recognizes these outstanding Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences PhD students for their academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $750 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
4/2012 Professors, Instructional Designers Team Up in Mason's Online Education Program
Professors and instructional designers team up to create virtual courses that meet the needs of a growing number of students who require more options than the traditional classroom setting. Mason’s online education program is coordinated through the Office of Distance Education in collaboration with the Division of Instructional Technology (DoIT). See details about our Prof. Patricia Boudinot's success!
4/2012 Congratulations to Professor Burl Self for his recent accomplishments!
He has been appointed to be a grader/reader by the Educational Testing Services (ETS) for their AP Human Geography exams. He was also appointed to be a Judge by the University of Maryland (College Park) for their History Research Competition, and he has recently passed the US Coast Guard Vessel Examiner's test.
3/2012 Dr. Wenwen Li has Received and Accepted an offer from Arizona State University
Recent PhD graduate, Dr. Wenwen Li, has received and accepted an offer from Arizona State University. After a year and a half of Postdoc with Dr. Goodchild, she will join the Arizona State University in August as a tenure track faculty with their School of Geography and the GeoData Center.
3/2012 College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium
The 2nd Annual College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium will be held on April 27, 2012 10:00am-1:30pm in Research Hall Room 163. It will be open to the University Community. Lunch will be provided!
2/2012 GGS Student, Priyanka Roy, has Received First Place Student Poster Award
GGS student, Priyanka Roy, has received the First Place Student Poster Award at the 13th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry & The Thirs Symposium on Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions in conjunction with The 91st Annual American Meteorological Society Meeting, Seattle, WA, in January 2011. His poster was titled "Numerical Study of the impact of aerosol-cloud interactions during mesoscale convective system."
1/2012 New Tenure Track Faculty Position Available January 2013
The Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science at George Mason University, located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, invites applications for a faculty position at the Assistant Professor level beginning January 2013 with specialization in spatio-temporal databases. We seek candidates who will conduct research and teach both core and advanced courses in the design, development and application of spatio-temporal databases as applied to the areas of interest of the department, which include (but are not limited to) geographic information, digital imagery, sensor networks, social media and other related fields. Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Engineering, Geography, Geoinformatics, or related fields, with a strong quantitative background.
The successful candidate should have a strong commitment to research and teaching excellence, and is expected to develop an externally funded research program. Strong consideration will be given to candidates with demonstrated research and teaching experience in one or more of the above-mentioned areas. Excellent oral and written communication skills, a proven record of external research funding, as well as graduate student supervision, is highly desirable. In addition, the ability to work in interdisciplinary research teams would be considered an asset.
Interested candidates must complete the online application (go to https://jobs.gmu.edu, select "SEARCH Jobs" using the position number F8350z. Candidates must also submit with their online application an application letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of the candidate’s teaching philosophy and research statement, names and contact information of at least three references. The position will remain open until filled. To ensure full consideration candidates should submit their application by March 25, 2012
1/2012 Great News for the GMU ASPRS Student Chapter and Dr. Frederick Doyle Forum!
12/2011 Relocation of the GGS Computer Lab Spring Semester, 2012
The GGS Student Computer Lab will be relocating to our main department space in Research Hall (Room 249), effective with the beginning of the Spring Semester 2012. This move has been directed due to ongoing construction and renovation at the university. There is no change to the remote sensing lab in A110. In order to be the least disruptive to our students, this move will take place during winter break, after all finals have ended. The good news is:
1. The lab will continue to have exactly what it has now
2. Access to the building, hall and lab will continue to be 24/7 and will be via your student ID card
3. Faculty, staff, and resources of the department will be more easily accessible
11/2011 - The GGS Department hosted GIS Day 2011 on Wednesday, November 16th at the Center for the Performing arts. Thank you to all of our students, sponsors, and participants for making GIS Day 2011 a great success!Congratulations to Karen Owen, Xu Lu, Kyle Foster and Brandon Cypress, our student research poster winners! Join us for next years GIS Day! Please join us for next year's GIS Day on November 14th, 2012!
9/2011 Sally Ride Science Festival, Saturday, Sept. 17.
With a mission to bring some “girl power” to science and math, the Sally Ride Science Festival is returning to George Mason University on Saturday, Sept. 17.
The festival, geared toward young women in grades five through eight, features hands-on workshops, guest speakers and a street fair complete with food, booths and music. The keynote speaker will be former NASA astronaut Pam Melroy, who in 2007 became the second woman to command a Space Shuttle mission.
Many Mason science faculty and graduate students will host the workshops and represent their research projects and expertise at the festival, which is sponsored by Sally Ride Science and the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
The Sally Ride Science Festival has been hosted several times at Mason since 2002, and geography and earth science professor Sheryl Beach says each year attracts more excited students.
“I love seeing the students run around with enthusiasm in their eyes,” she says. “The festival emphasizes women scientists and presenters, hoping to provide these girls with role models and show that a career in science is not only possible, but exciting.”
The workshops span a wide variety of science fields. Among those with Mason connections are
“The festival targets middle school girls because studies show that this is the time when these students make decisions about their future careers, and also at the same time become frustrated and drop out of science and math courses,” says Beach. “We really hope to reach out to this critical age group and show them how fun and interesting these areas can be.”
Registration and fees for students and adults to attend the festival and workshops can be found at www.sallyridescience.com/festivals/11gmu0917/signup. Attendees must register by Wednesday, Sept. 14, so that students can be placed in the workshops of their choice.
Volunteers from Mason are also needed for general onsite duties. Email Sheryl Beach at firstname.lastname@example.org you are interested in participating.
6/2011 Research Team Works at the Forefront of Geoinformatics
By Robin Herron
One of the huge video monitors in Anthony Stefanidis’s lab displays a computer model of Mason’s Fairfax Campus rendered in Google Earth. All the buildings are easily recognizable and drawn to scale. Every few seconds, the model spins to show another perspective of the campus.
“This is practically a precise three-dimensional map,” says Stefanidis, director of Mason’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence. “It describes what the buildings look like, and the general public can access that through Google Earth. But despite its visual appeal, this representation is static.”
Stefanidis’s group plans to enhance the map by adding complementary information and the “spatiotemporal aspect.” The map could become a user interface and provide access to different bits of existing information. For example, one could click on a building and see what events were taking place there. Stefanidis also sees the potential for safety and security applications. “By linking with class schedules and rosters, the university could have a precise list of all students present in a building in the case of an emergency.”
He adds that video fed through cameras around campus could be overlaid on the model to animate it by showing people’s movement at a given instance or movement patterns over time — information that could be useful for planning.
Adding a Dynamic Element to Geospatial Intelligence
The campus map project, which resulted from a request by Mason’s Facilities unit, began as a service to the university but actually laid the groundwork for a proposal that won Stefanidis and Matt Rice, assistant professor of geography and geoinformation science, and Jana Kosecka, associate professor of computer science, a competitive grant from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
Another of Stefanidis’s current grants is from Draper Laboratory, a prestigious independent research and development institution. For this project, he also relies heavily on distributed video information but is considering adding sensor data that can be used, for example, to monitor the presence of pollutants in the atmosphere and where they are moving, in collaboration with assistant professor Guido Cervone.
Stefanidis’s work has evolved from simply looking at buildings and landscapes to incorporating the human activity element of geospatial intelligence. To do this, he has partnered with colleagues in Mason’s Computer Science Department, who use video processing to capture movement, and researchers in Mason’s Center for Social Complexity, who model social networks.
“By linking all these pieces of information, we can make valuable observations relating to, and contributing toward, the automatic capturing of ‘human terrain,’” Stefanidis says. “This is probably one of the prominent research themes that will be emerging in the future in our field. It is the evolution of geoinformatics to be addressing much more dynamic phenomena.”
Extracting Information from Satellites
Peggy Agouris, his wife and partner in science, says she is more traditional when explaining her research. Her expertise is centered on remote sensing; more specifically on automating geospatial information extraction from high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery.
She has developed techniques to automatically take in live satellite images and compare them with existing geographic information systems databases. For example, in a war zone, previously collected data can be compared with current visual data to see whether and how roads or buildings have changed, especially after heavy destruction. The data can then be quickly relayed to troops on the ground, so they can update their records.
“Embedding our automated approaches in a dynamic environment, with data collection and information extraction integrated in it, and taking into account the ongoing evolution of sensing, visualization, and communication devices, not only allow us to observe events but also incorporate in real time what is actually happening in a way that can provide immediate solutions. This is what we are shooting for,” says Agouris, who directs Mason’s Center for Earth Observing and Space Research and chairs the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science.
The two Greek natives met as undergraduates, married, and earned PhDs in digital image analysis from Ohio State University. They both worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the University of Maine before joining Mason in 2007.
The scientists have worked together and separately on papers and research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NGA, NASA, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Geological Survey, BAE Systems and the CIA, among others.
While they each have their own areas of expertise, the excitement they feel about their field and the potential it offers is the same.
“We feel very fortunate because the things we do are extremely suitable to be linked with the other things the university is doing,” says Stefanidis, who notes that Mason’s location near the nation’s capital, as well as the faculty’s expertise, ideally position the university to be a leader in geointelligence.
Agouris sees the field as rapidly developing. “For years, we were limited in terms of the applications of our work, but now it’s unlimited.”
Stefanidis adds, “We are working on things now that people will be using in a few years.”
This article originally appeared in Mason Research 2011.
5/2011: Congratulations to all of our 2011 Graduates! At our Awards and Convocation Luncheon Celebration the following students were recognized for special achievements. All of these student’s names are engraved on plaques in the department. See Pictures!
Kaloyan Kostov received the Alice C. Andrews Outstanding Senior in Geography Award. The award recognizes the senior in Geography with the highest GPA in the graduating class in honor of Alice C. Andrews, a founding member of the Department. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500.
Lawrence Jefferson II received the John Gruber MemorialAward. The award recognizes a senior in Geography for academic excellence and service. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 from funds donated by John Gruber’s parents in memory of their son, faculty, alumni and friends.
Saliah Met received the GGS Outstanding Undergraduate StudentAward. The award recognizes an outstanding undergraduate student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Cory O’Dell received the GeoEye Scholarship Award. The award provides scholarships for rising junior students studying geography, GIS, geospatial, or mapping to be used toward their tuition and books their senior year. The award consists of an annual gift of $5,000 from GeoEye which can be awarded to one student or split between two students for $2,500 each.
William Hammill received the GGS Oustanding Graduate Certificate Student (GIS)Award. The award recognizes the outstanding graduate certificate student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $250 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Seth Watson received the GGS Outstanding Graduate Certificate Student (GI) Award.
Rebecca Hill received the GGS Outstanding MS StudentAward. The award recognizes an outstanding MS student for academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $500 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Wenwen Li and Caixia Wang received the GGS Outstanding PhD StudentAward. The award recognizes these outstanding Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences PhD students for their academic excellence. The award consists of a certificate and a check in the amount of $750 funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
5/2011 - Department Assists with Data for Japan Tsunami and Mississippi Flooding
Dr. Donglian Sun, Assistant Professor in GGS, and her research team assisted NOAA analyzing the Japanese tsunami flooding and Mississipi River flooding. Articles are found at:
Japan Flooding Picture:
Mississipi Flood Pictures:
April 29, 2011
May 04, 2011
May 04, 2011
4/2011 - Mason Scientists Help Analyze Satellite Data of Japan’s Coast
Dr. Guido Cervone and Dr. Germana Manca
With the catastrophic disaster in Japan still unfolding, emergency officials are working swiftly to analyze the destruction and help save victims. Mason geography and geoinformation scientists Guido Cervone and Germana Manca have been called in to help with these efforts using satellite images.
The two are working closely with the United States Geological Survey and the United States Agency for International Development to analyze high-resolution satellite imagery from GeoEye and WorldView satellites to perform land-change analysis and create maps for the cities of Ofunato and Rikuzentakata in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan. These two coastal cities were devastated by the tsunami that hit Japan earlier this month, suffering extensive damages and loss of life.
Mason and Clark University in Massachusetts are the only two universities in the United States that the Japanese government asked to work on this project.
“There are too many affected areas to be analyzed, and [the Japanese government] quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of data to be searched, downloaded, processed and analyzed,” says Cervone. “They reached out to some companies and our universities for help in analyzing the data.”
Cervone says the land changes are tremendous: “total destruction after the tsunami.” He says the scientists have seen satellite evidence of bridges, dams, and homes collapsed, extensive areas flooded and basic infrastructure destroyed.
A web page shows some of the maps they have created.
The Japanese government will use the analysis to assess damage and plan relief operations.
The same view after the tsunami. Images courtesy of Mason's Center for Earth Observing and Space Research
4/2011 –Dr. Kevin Curtin (GGS) wins Teaching Excellence Award
Kevin M. Curtin, GGS Associate Professor, is the recipient of a 2011 Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching with Technology. This award was presented to Dr. Curtin in a ceremony at the Center for the Arts.; The award is given by Provost Peter Stearns and the Center for Teaching Excellence.
3/2011 Dr. Kevin Curtin (GGS) performs field research in Kurdistan, Iraq
Kevin M. Curtin, GGS Associate Professor worked with his co-investigator Dr. Lisa Pawloski, and the Kurdish team partners Dr. Hamdia and Dr. Taban to begin the data collection and analysis process for a study of the Spatial Components of Health Outcomes in Erbil, Iraq. The partners worked together to develop the survey instruments, to determine methods of obtaining geographic locations in a developing country, and to collect anthropometric measures of health and nutrition for a sample population. See the Kurdistan Photo Page for pictures taken during this research trip.
11/2010 –Curt Hammill (GGS) wins prestigious 2011 NSF/USNC-ICA Young Scholars Travel Award.
Geography and Geoinformation Sciences graduate student, Curt Hammill, received a prestigious NSF-funded USNC-ICA Young Scholars Travel Award to participate in the 25th International Cartographic Conference in Paris, France, July 3-8, 2011. The United States National Committee of the International Cartographic Association (USNC-ICA) provides generous travel awards on a competitive basis to graduate students and junior faculty. These awards are funded by the National Science Foundation, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), and the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS). Curt’s award, totaling $1300, will be combined with travel funding from his advisor, Dr. Matt Rice (GGS), and George Mason University to cover the conference costs. Curt will assist Dr. Rice as he leads a team from the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Sciences, presenting results of research in the use of volunteered geographic information and assistive geotechnology. The paper, “Integrating User-contributed Geospatial Data With Assistive Geotechnology Using a Localized Gazetteer”, was selected in a peer-review process to be delivered at the conference and to be published in “Advances in Cartography and GIScience. Selections From ICC 2011, Paris”, edited by Anne Ruas. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-19213-5. The paper was one of only thirteen selected for presentation from the entire U.S. Delegation. The team of contributing graduate students from the College of Science also includes Ahmad Aburizaiza, Sara Schwarz, Scott McDermott, and Brandon Shore.
02/2011: GGS Affilate Faculty Member Elected AAAS Fellow
Dr. Susan G. Conard, Research Professor affiliated with the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science (GGS), the EastFIRE Laboratory, and the Mason Center for Climate and Society in the College of Science at George Mason University, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).Each year the AAAS Council elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.”Dr. Conard is honored for her distinguished contributions to fire ecology, includingserving as President of the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), and as Editor of the International Journal of Wildland Fire (IJWF).Prior to joining Mason, Dr. Conard served as National Program Leader for Fire Ecology Research with the United States Forest Service.
11/2010 – The GGS Department hosted GIS Day 2010 on Wednesday, November 17th at the Center for the Performing Arts.
It was a great success! Check out our Activities Flyer, Program of Events, and pictures. We would like to recognize our Student POSTER COMPETITION participants and winners. Congratulations go to: Fabiana Paez for winning the undergraduate prize for Best Poster, Jing Li and Nancy Perry for winning the graduate prize for Best Poster and David Eckly for winning the graduate prize for Best Poster presentation. All the posters and presentations were great and the judges had a hard time choosing. Thanks to the other participants: Qunying Huang,Min Sun, Meredith Hollowell, Xu Lu and David Attaway. The posters are currently hanging in the2nd floor main hallway in Research 1 near the GGS Department. Join us for next years GIS Day – November 16th!
See some of the 2010 entries:
10/2010: Nigel Waters Gives Plenary Address
Professor Nigel Waters from the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science at George Mason University has been asked to give the Plenary Address at the Annual Meeting of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers on Friday, October 15th, 2010. The announcement may be found here.
9/2010: GGS Students in the News - "Post-9/11 GI Bill Gains Ground Among Veterans, Mason Students"
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Paul Hurley, a Mason geography major, was able to pursue a college degree while also swimming for the Patriot Masters Swim Team. Hurley suffered an injury while serving as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy. The injury resulted in the loss of his right leg, which derailed his plans of becoming a Navy Seal and forced Hurley to look at alternate career paths. “The Post-9/11 GI Bill has helped me get back into school and find new goals to pursue,” Hurley says. “I get to work with (geography) professionals who know their field inside and out on a day-to-day basis.” As soon as he came back from the war, Hurley was worried about the cost of getting back into school. But as a participant of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, many of his concerns were wiped away because of the bill’s effortless and straightforward structure. “I get to pick and choose what classes I want to take that will help me be better at my job,” Hurley says. “The funds go straight to the school. I have plenty of money for books, parking and a basic housing allowance.” In addition to allowing him to resume his studies, the bill gives Hurley the opportunity to pursue his other interests, especially swimming. “The bill has eliminated a lot of the stress for me and helped me feel normal again,” Hurley says. See a video documenting Paul Hurley's story here.
9/2010: Nigel Waters Appointed Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer
From September 27th to October 1st, 2010, Nigel Waters, Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science at George Mason University, will be the Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer at Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. He will be giving a number of lectures including a public presentation of the 2010 Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecture titled: GIS Research: Why is it important to the University and to the Public? He will be interviewed by the local Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio station and will meet with the members of the senior administration of Memorial University including the President, Vice-President Academic, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and the Head of the Department of Geography. He will also meet with Dr. Wendy Young, Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging, and Dr. Alvin Simms with whom he is conducting ongoing research into the use of Geographic Information Systems for Creating Age Friendly Communities. Details of this Distinguished Lecture Series along with information on recent recipients may be found here.
9/2010: Nigel Waters, Germana Manca, and Andrew Crooks named Editors of Cartographica
Nigel Waters--Professor of Geography and Geoinformation Science (GGS) in the College of Science--has been selected for a three-year term beginning January 2011 as editor of Cartographica, an international journal published by the University of Toronto Press. Germana Manca, GGS and Environmental Science and Policy; and Andrew Crooks, Computational Social Science in the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, were named coeditors. Cartographica is the flagship research publication of the Canadian Cartographic Association. Please see the article in the Mason Gazette describing these appointments.
8/2010: Prof. Nigel Waters and the GIS Center of Excellence host Evidence-Based Crime Policy Workshop
The GIS Center of Excellence at GMU under the direction of Professor Nigel Waters has hosted (in collaboration with the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP)) a workshop to provide introductory training on the use of GIS for crime analysis and criminal justice, and to encourage discussion regarding the use of GIS for criminological research. Please see the article in the Mason Gazette describing this workshop.
7/2010: GGS Graduate Yunbo Geng wins Alice C. Andrews Award for Excellence in Geography
GGS Graduate Yunbo Geng has been awarded the Alice C. Andrews Award for Excellence in Geography. Yunbo was a member of the U.S.-China 1+2+1 Dual Degree Program. Yunbo was presented her award by Provost Peter Stearns during the 1+2+1 graduation ceremony. Please see the Mason Gazette Articles regarding the 1+2+1 graduation and Yunbo's Award.
5/2010: Convocation Spring 2010 - Contratulations to All GGS Graduates!!
Please see photos from the GGS Convocation Celebration held in May 2010. This includes photos of the first ever Graduates of the Graduate Certificate in GeoSpatial Intelligence. Please see the Mason Gazette Article with information regarding the First Certificates in GeoSpatial Intelligence and the involvment of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) with our department.
Dr. Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach (GMU, Geography and Geoinformation Science) and her co-author Dr. Tim Beach (Georgetown Univ. School of Foreign Service), were awarded the Grove Karl Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphological Research by the Association of American Geographers' Geomorphology Specialty Group, on 15 April 2010 for their 2009 article entitled:
"Arising from the wetlands: mechanisms and chronology of landscape aggradation in the Northern Coastal Plain of Belize". Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99, 1-26.
The Grove Karl Gilbert Award is presented to the author(s) of a significant contribution to the published research literature in geomorphology during the past three years. The Award is named for Grove Karl Gilbert, a seminal figure in the geosciences as a pioneering scholar of landscape evolution, erosion, river incision, and planetary science.
Professor Nigel Waters (Director of the Center of Excellence for Geographic Information Science) served with other distinguished GIS experts - including Joe Berry (Berry & Associates) and Xavier Lopez (Director of Spatial Technologies for Oracle Corp.) - on the GeoWorld Industry Outlook panel at the GEOTEC 2010 Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This panel is an annual discussion that looks at the most important industry topics in 2010 and beyond, and it is routinely named one of the most valuable elements of the conference.