Author Archives: Zachary Christman

Ballot for the GISS Specialty Group Board Member Elections, 2018

Please find linked here the ballot for the constitutional amendments and new members of theBoard of Directors of the GISS Specialty Group:

Voting will be open until 8:00 AM US Central Time April 10, 2018, coinciding with the start of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Please see your membership email for more information.

Call for Abstracts: AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group Annual Student Paper Competition

The Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISS-SG) of the Association of American Geographers is pleased to announce the 2018 Honors Competition for Student Papers on Geographic Information Science (GIS) topics to be presented at the annual meeting. The purpose of this competition is to promote scholarship and written and oral presentation by students in the field of GIS. Papers are invited from current graduate and undergraduate students on any topic in geographical information systems and geographic information science. 

Please see detailed information under the Awards –> Student Paper Competition link.

National Assessment of GIS & T in higher education

Please see below for information regarding a National Assessment of GIS & T in higher education. Survey link here:

Over the past three decades there has been a proliferation of courses in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T), and this makes it challenging to have a sense of the size and diversity of the discipline. Therefore, there is strong support for a national assessment of the current scope and major trends in the teaching of GIS&T. This assessment should be a valuable resource for every segment of our discipline including those that impact workforce issues. The results will provide a basis for evaluating some of the assumptions about the growth of the discipline. With the new digital production of the GIS&T Body of Knowledge, we are interested in understanding how well our coverage of topics is consistent with what is taught in GIS&T classes.

In addition to measuring the scope of the field, this project also aims to chronicle the diverse ways GIS&T education has expanded across disciplines; how instructional methods and content have changed; and how well graduates are prepared for the workplace.

We would also like to capture the impact of technological and societal changes on the faculty teaching GIS&T courses. For example, how are instructors dealing with changing technology and do they find it rewarding and enjoyable.

Thus our goal is to conduct a nationwide assessment of all higher education courses that provide instruction in the use of GIS&T those that deal with the design, implementation and impact of the technology and those that cover new frontiers of GI Science.. We aim to include every course from two-year certificate programs to Ph.D. level seminars.

This survey is endorsed by Esri, the University Consortium on Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and the American Association of Geographers. Once completed, the summary results will be openly available in several formats but individual responses will be not be released.

We would like anyone who teaches GIS & T to complete a survey for each course. This includes courses in cartography, remote sensing, surveying etc. that utilize GIS software.

The effort is directed by David Cowen, professor emeritus, University of South Carolina.

Position: MSU Director of RS&GIS Research and Outreach Services

The Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University is seeking a candidate to fill the position of Director for the program, Remote Sensing & GIS Research and Outreach Services (RS&GIS). Successful candidates are expected to conduct research at the forefront of Geographic Information Science (GIScience) to solve problems from local to global scales and will be expected to teach one class per year within the Department. Primary responsibilities include obtaining external grant funding and conducting research that utilizes the skillset of existing staff employed by RS&GIS and the Department. The Director will also serve as the principal investigator for the program’s outreach opportunities. This position will both pursue their own research interests, as well as integrate geospatial technologies into research initiatives through interdisciplinary collaboration across campus. To assist with this, the Director will have access to a successful, innovative, collaborative team of analysts and developers, as well as talented and ambitious Department faculty.

Please see linked document for more information, or contact Dr. Alan F. Arbogast, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences

Assistant Professor Tenure Track Position at Utah State


Assistant Professor, Geospatial Analysis of Environment and Society

The Department of Environment and Society (EnvS) at Utah State University (USU) invites applications for the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor with expertise in geo-informatics and geospatial modeling of social-environmental systems. This position is part of a cluster of hires focusing on analysis of large data sets across multiple colleges at Utah State University. This is a permanent, full-time (nine-month) position based at the USU main campus in Logan. The relative emphasis for the position is 50% research, 40% teaching/advising, and 10% service. The position will start August 2017.

Position Summary: The successful candidate must have a strong conceptual and theoretical background in geospatial analytics, large data sets, social-environmental science, Geographic Information Systems, and associated quantitative methods. Quantitative, policy-relevant work concerning land use, natural resource management, environmental perceptions and conflict, ecosystem services, global change, energy, or transportation networks would interface well with the collaborative interests of EnvS faculty. Teaching would include up to three courses per academic year. Courses would be taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Topics may include Intro or Advanced GIS, Geovisualization, Geospatial analytics, and land change modeling. Courses may be delivered face-to-face, via distance learning, or in a blended format. Service includes participation in faculty duties on campus as well as professional involvement off-campus.

Minimum Qualifications: Candidates must have an earned doctorate at the date-of-hire in geography or a related field. They also should have a publication record consistent with their career stage, and be able to show the potential to build and maintain a productive research program, including the ability to secure competitive external funding. Candidates must also have the ability to effectively collaborate in an interdisciplinary academic setting that may include stakeholders such as government agencies and private sector entities.

Preferred Qualifications: Prior teaching experience is welcomed. Experience with or the desire to learn about distance-education course delivery is advantageous. The ideal candidate will have a proven record in geospatial analysis of large social-environmental data sets and a background in social science.

Review of applications begins December 5, 2016. Applicants should submit (a) a cover letter, which should also include your “Research Statement” and “Teaching Philosophy;” (b) a curriculum vitae; and (c) the names of three persons who can provide letters of reference. See for more information and to apply online.

For further information contact Dr. Joseph Tainter, Search Committee Chair at

tenure-track GIScience position at USF

The School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida seeks to fill a 9 month, full-time and tenure-earning, Assistant Professor position in the field of GIScience with an emphasis on spatial analysis, statistics, and modelling. The successful candidate could have any research specialty, though preference may be given to candidates with strengths in medical geography, transportation, or human security. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an externally funded research program, mentor graduate students, and teach undergraduate and/or graduate courses.

PhD in Geography or related field is required and must be conferred by appointment start date. Salary is negotiable. To apply, please visit and attach a cover letter, CV, teaching philosophy, evidence of successful research, and provide names and contact information for three references. Review of applications begin on November 15, 2016. Additional information is available at the School of Geosciences website: and by emailing the search committee chair, Dr. Joni Downs (

USF is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. For information regarding the USF System, please visit our website at Conclusion of this search is subject to final budget approval. According to Florida Law, applications and meetings regarding them are open to the public. USF is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution.

Second announcement: GISS-SG Annual Student Paper Competition

AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group: Annual Student Paper Competition

AAG Meeting: Boston, MA – April 5-9, 2017

The Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group (GISS-SG) of the Association of American Geographers is pleased to announce the 2017 Honors Competition for Student Papers on Geographic Information Science (GIS) topics to be presented at the annual meeting. The purpose of this competition is to promote scholarship and written and oral presentation by students in the field of GIS. Papers are invited from current graduate and undergraduate students on any topic in geographical information systems and geographic information science.

Any paper that advances any aspect of GIS is welcome. We encourage papers on theoretical, conceptual, and methodological developments in GIS as well as on particular innovative GIS applications. Papers must be based upon original work, completed as an undergraduate or graduate student, relevant to the field of GIS and current GIS research. Papers must be mainly written by the applicant, but having co-authors is allowed. Students who are selected as finalists will be placed in a special session at the annual meeting. The only exception is a student who is also selected as a Nystrom Dissertation Award finalist, in which case, he or she may present in the Nystrom paper session instead.


October 14, 2016 – Abstract Due
February 1, 2017 – Full Paper Due


Up to five finalists (one session) will be selected on the basis of the quality of extended abstracts and provided with $500 each to attend the conference. The extended abstract of about 1,000 words is used by the GISS-SG Awards Committee to choose the competition finalists. Finalists must submit a paper of a substantive nature that constitutes an expanded discussion of the material to be presented orally at the annual meeting. Subsequent to the oral presentations by the finalists, there will be special awards for the 1st and 2nd-place presenters. The prizes of $500 for 1st place and $250 for 2nd place will be determined immediately following the special presentation session.

The awards committee reserves the right to not offer such prizes if the papers are not of sufficiently high quality. The 1st and 2nd-place awards are decided on the basis of the written paper and the oral presentation. They will also receive tickets to attend the AAG Awards Luncheon, and results of the competition will be published in the AAG Newsletter and the GISSSG newsletter, as well as on the specialty group’s web page.


The competition is open to students at all academic levels. Any paper first-authored and presented by a student is eligible for the competition, provided the paper has not already been published or presented somewhere. There is no limitation on the number of co-authors, however, the applicant student is required to be the first author.

Applicants must be a current member of the AAG GISS Specialty Group (GISS-SG). For instructions on how to become a member of the Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, simply contact the AAG. There are no student dues for the GISS-SG.


Extended abstracts and written papers will be judged by the GISS-SG Awards Committee (Chair, Vice Chair, Academic Counselor, and Student Representative) on several criteria: potential contribution to the field of GIS, originality, appropriate use of methodology, scholarship, organization, and written composition. The oral presentation of papers will be judged on professional delivery, organization, clarity, and appropriate use of graphics. Judging will take into account the academic level of the applicants.


Up to five competition finalists will be notified no later than October 21, 2016. Each finalist will be asked to submit a written paper of about 7,500 words, expanding on the material in the extended abstract.

This paper will be due no later than February 1, 2017. Details about the final written paper are provided lower on this page.


To be considered for participation in the GIS paper competition, an extended abstract must be submitted (about 1000 words). Electronic submission of the extended abstracts is encouraged (in Microsoft Word format, with 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and single-spaced lines). Applicants must clearly indicate that they wish to be considered for the GISS-SG Student Paper Competition. All submissions not accepted for the competition by the awards committee will be incorporated into the AAG meeting program in other sessions.

Applicants must also submit an AAG participant number which is issued when successfully registering for the AAG meeting (in other words, you must register for the AAG meeting and submit a short abstract using the AAG’s registration website, before submitting your longer abstract to the GISS-SG competition). For detailed instructions on how to acquire a participant number for the annual meeting, see the AAG web page. The extended abstract and participant code are due to the GISS-SG Academic Councilor by October 14nd, 2016. Please send abstracts via email as an attachment (Microsoft Word or PDF) to Dr. Tom Crawford (


Papers, including the related bibliography and associated tables and figures, must be submitted in the format used by the International Journal Geographical Information Science (see for details). A cover page listing the student authors’ name, academic affiliation, faculty advisor for the paper, mailing address, phone numbers, and email address should also be included. The second page should include only the title of the paper and the abstract. The content of the paper should begin on the third page.

The final written paper should be submitted electronically via email to Dr. Tom Crawford ( as a Microsoft Word document attachment (12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, double spaced). The content of the paper is limited to about 20 pages in length (text, references, figures and tables, about 5000-7500 words total).



Send all submissions and inquiries to:

Dr. Tom Crawford
Academic Councilor, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
Center for Sustainability
Saint Louis University
3694 West Pine Mall
Saint Louis, MO 63108



Final Call for Submissions – ICC 2017

Please submit abstracts and papers on mapping and geographic information science for the International Cartographic Conference by October 26, 2016.

The conference is in Washington DC, July 2-7, 2017.
The conference announcement PDF and list of themes is linked to this post.
Look to the bottom of this web page to begin your submission:

Abstracts, Full Papers, and Posters

E. Lynn Usery
Conference Director and Chair, LOC ICC 2017
Research Geographer and Director
Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science
U.S. Geological Survey
1400 Independence Rd.
Rolla, MO 65401-2502

Ph. 573-308-3837
Fax 573-308-3652

Assistant Professor Job in Health Geography at the University of Toronto Mississsagua

The Department of Geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) invites applications for a tenure-stream appointment in Health Geography with a focus on urban settings at the rank of Assistant Professor, effective July 1, 2017.

Please see linked job ad below for details. Additional information on the Department can be obtained online at

Any inquiries about the application should be sent to the Department Chair, Professor Kathi Wilson, at


Assistant Professor in Cartography/Geovisualization Appalachian State University

The Department of Geography and Planning ( at Appalachian State University invites applications for a tenure track Cartography/Geovisualization specialist position at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning August, 2017. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in Geography or a closely related field by August, 2017. The Department of Geography and Planning seeks applicants with expertise in one or more of the following areas: digital cartography, web-based mapping, and geovisualization.

Please see linked ad and contact Dr. Jeffrey Colby for more information,