Dr. Daniel Sui Selected for National Academy of Science Mapping Science Committee

Dr. Daniel Sui, a professor in the Department of Geography and holder of the Reta A. Haynes Endowed Chair in Geosciences, has been selected to serve a three-year term on the Mapping Science Committee (MSC) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. Sui will be the first Texas A&M faculty member to serve on the MSC.

“It certainly is an honor,” Sui said. “Work with GIS ( Geographic Information Systems ) represents a lot of my research, so to have any sort of role on this prestigious committee which is responsible for defining the nation’s mapping and GIScience research agenda is an incredible opportunity for me to serve my field of research and my colleagues.”

Sui’s work at Texas A&M has revolved around the evolving science of GIS. He has worked to integrate spatial analysis and modeling with GIS to develop socio-economic, public health, and environmental applications. Sui’s research focus is well-suited for the committee, whose members represent a broad range of the scientific community.

The MSC was established in 1987 and is currently sponsored by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau. It oversees reports on geospatial science, technology, and policy, and provides a forum for discussion among a broad range of government agencies, professional societies, private companies, and the broader scientific community.

As a committee member, Sui will travel to Washington DC for meetings twice a year to discuss emerging issues of interest to the broader geospatial community, provide feedback on MSC studies, and to plan new studies.

Sui joined the College of Geosciences in 1993 as an associate professor. He earned tenure in 1997 and was promoted to full professor in 2002.

For more information, visit the MSC at dels.nas.edu/besr/msc.shtml, or visit Dr. Sui’s profile on the Department of Geography website at geography.tamu.edu.

Spatial Concepts in GIS and Design

design-pic-1To what extent are the fundamental spatial concepts that lie behind GIS relevant in design? To what extent can the fundamental spatial concepts of design be addressed with GIS? Is it possible to devise a curriculum to develop spatial thinking in both GIS and design?

To begin developing answers to such questions, a specialist meeting on spatial concepts in GIS and design was held December 15–16, 2008, in Santa Barbara, California. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the potential for integrating design more fully into GIS, as well as the development of curriculum in spatial thinking. This was one of an ongoing series of such specialist meetings organized by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, over the past two decades. These specialist meetings combine a small number of context-setting presentations with ample time for discussion in plenary sessions, small groups, and informal social gatherings.

The meeting was cosponsored by NCGIA and ESRI and was attended by Jack Dangermond, Tom Fisher, Michael Goodchild, Carl Steinitz, Fritz Steiner, Ron Stoltz and a number of other representatives from education and industry interested in the emerging field of GeoDesign.

A full participant list, as well as position papers and presentations, can be viewed at ncgia.ucsb.edu/projects/scdg/participants-scdg.php.

GIS Helps Identify Prime Stopover Sites for Migrating Birds

tnc_logo_2009…from PhysOrg.com

“A legion of highly skilled volunteer ornithologists is helping a team of scientists to identify the best stopover sites for migrating birds in the southern coastal zone of Lake Ontario. The study specifically focuses on Neotropical migrants. These songbirds summer in the subarctic part of Canada through northern New York and winter in Central America and the northern part of South America.”

“The goal of the project is to produce a GIS-based tool that will allow the Nature Conservancy, Audubon and other conservation groups to focus on preserving the most important places”