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Week of October 23rd, 2017

Each Wednesday, Geography & GIS will distribute an e-newsletter to our faculty, students, postdocs/visiting scholars, and staff. Please send any news, announcements, and citations to by noon on Monday for publication in the same week’s newsletter.


Natural History Building - Homecoming Open House
Saturday, October 28th, 2-4:30 p.m.

SESE and SIB will host an open house, allowing visitors to wander through the Natural History Building and enjoy the visual impact of how new and old architectural elements merge. Students posted at locations around the building will explain how facilities will be used. This event will be open to everyone.

Distinguished Alumni Award Presentation
Monday, October 30th, 4:00 p.m.
2049 NHB, Russell Seminar Room
Please join us for the presentation of the inaugural Geography & GIS Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Janice Monk (MA ’63, PhD ’72) is widely known for her path-breaking research on geographies of women and gender, and her distinguished scholarly and service contributions to the discipline of geography. We are honored to welcome her back to campus to accept this award.

Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP) Colloquium
Friday, November 3rd, 3:00
2049 NHB, Russell Seminar Room
Sara Vigil,
University of Liège
Climate Change and Migration in the Midst of Elusion

School of Earth, Society, and Environment | Natural History Building Dedication Event *RSVP*
Saturday, November 4th

SESE and its departments will host tours of the building in the morning, and then a lunch for current and former students, faculty, and staff. After lunch, we will host an Afternoon Symposium with speakers and a panel from all components of the school, to converse about the past, present, and future of studies related to the Earth, its atmosphere, its environment, and its human dimensions at the University of Illinois.
All alumni and friends, and students, staff, and faculty of SESE, Atmospheric Sciences, Geography & GIS, and Geology are welcome! For further information on these events please contact Lana Holben, the SESE Office Administrator, at

Illinois GIS Day
I-Hotel and Conference Center
Thursday, November 16th
On November 16, 2017 join the University of Illinois in a celebration of GIS Day, the annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and improve our lives. The event includes a keynote address, practical GIS presentations, lightning talk sessions to deliver GIS implementation strategies, a map/poster competition, and a late afternoon career connection session for students and employers.


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Graduate Students

PhD Student Li Xu (advisor: Mei-Po Kwan) won First Prize in the John Deere SMART Co-Creation Series Hackathon 2017. Li's work in the hackathon applied deep learning models and computer vision algorithms to identify downed or fallen crops (corn and wheat) due to wind or other reasons and the direction in which these crops fell. Since downed crops need to be harvested as soon as possible, accurately identifying their location and the direction in which they fell can provide critical guidance for precisely and effectively reaping the fallen crops (as harvesters work better by going against the crops' downed direction).

Donald Planey won second prize, and Zhuo Chen won third prize in the PhD student paper competition during last week's AAG West Lakes Regional Division meeting at Missouri State University-West Plains.

American Geographical Society (AGS) Council Fellowship - Now accepting applications for 2018
Deadline: November 1
The AGS Council Fellowship program supports graduate students in pursuit of geographic research, especially research that includes a field component. The fellowship is open to all graduate students who are members of the Society. Each fellowship is worth $1,500 and four will be awarded in the Spring.

Professional Science Master's (PSM)

PSM in GIS student Daniel Zhang has accepted a job offer from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) in Redlands, California. He will join the Geodatabase team as a Software Product Engineer in early 2018.

M.S. in GIS + Business = Professional Science Master's (PSM)
Thursday, November 9th, 5-6:00 p.m.
Room 2049 NHB, Russell Seminar Room
Are you contemplating graduate school, but don’t know if you are up for research and a thesis? Does the thought of combing geographic information science (GIS) and business skills excite you? Join us to learn more about our 16-month non-thesis program which include three semesters of study and a summer internship. Learn more about the Illinois PSM in GIS and other PSM programs at


At their first meeting this week, a group of GGIS students took the first step toward establishing a registered student organization (RSO) by choosing a name and electing a board.

Illinois Cartographic Society
President: Adam Camp
Vice President: Tony Zheng
Treasurer: Samah Quadri
Media Chair: Martha Rubin
Secretary: Collin Schuricht

Once officially registered in Spring 2018, the Illinois Cartographic Society expects to incorporate professional development, career insights, resume builders, interdisciplinary workshops, networking functions, and provide peer GIS/OSM technical help. The club is looking forward to some great events, such as outside speakers, disaster mapathons, trivia night, ESRI census app collection, Geo-Bees, and... field trips? Stay tuned!


Dr. Janice Monk (MA ’63, PhD ’72) will receive the inaugural GGIS Distinguished Alumni Award.
Monday, October 30th, 4:00 p.m.
2049 NHB, Russell Seminar Room

Wayne Coonce (BA, 1971) - A worldwide path of success LAS News

Visiting Scholar

Lajiao Chen is a visiting scholar from Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). She is interested in environmental hydrology, socio-hydrology, water system modeling, and applications of GIS and Remote Sensing techniques. Her research focuses on the interactions between environmental change (climate change, land use and land cover changes) and water systems. She is currently working with Prof. Murugesu Sivapalan and his group on the subject of socio-hydrology, analyzing the two-way feedbacks between human and water systems.


T. Bassett. 2017. Signs of the Times: Commercial road mapping and national identity in South Africa. In J. Akerman (Ed.) Decolonizing the Map: Cartography and the Passage from Colony to the Nation. Chicago. University of Chicago Press, pp. 339- 376.

H. Gegenbach, R. Schurman, T. Bassett, W. Munro, and W. Moseley (2017) Limits of the New Green Revolution for Africa: reconceptualising gendered agricultural value chains. The Geographical Journal, 2017, doi: 10.1111/geoj.1223

T. Bassett and M. Koné (2017) Peanuts for Cashews? Agricultural Diversification and the Limits of Adaptability in Côte d’Ivoire. In Sharad Chari, Susanne Freidberg, Vinay Gidwani, Jesse Ribot and Wendy Wolford. (eds) Other Geographies: The Influences Of Michael Watts, New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 79-96.

Yoo Min Park and Mei-Po Kwan. 2017. Multi-contextual segregation and environmental justice research: Toward fine-scale spatiotemporal approaches. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14: 1205. doi:10.3390/ijerph14101205