Our Multi-Disciplinary Faculty

Kent State University’s GISc faculty in the Department of Geography have diverse backgrounds and professional experience that include applied climatology, agriculture, conservation, economic geography, public health, urban growth and sustainability, crime, disaster relief and spatial privacy.

Every highly trained member of our faculty holds a full-time commitment to Kent State. Each has a doctoral degree and/or seasoned professional experience, which ensures the highest-quality educational experience for our students.

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Tim Assal

Tim is a biogeographer, landscape ecologist, and applied remote sensing scientist studying the effects of disturbance on forest and shrubland ecosystems. He combines field studies, satellite sensors, and computer modeling to identify when, where and why change took place – typically through a measure of the rate and pattern of environmental change. His primary goal is to provide sound science to both resource managers and policy makers to help shape ecosystem management and conservation as we move into an uncertain future.

Jay Lee

Professor | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science
+1 330-672-3222

Jay Lee’s interests center on relating geographic events and patterns through time and space, including quantitatively modeling changing geographic events as diffusing spatial processes. This may be applied to many aspects of daily life: land use, air pollution, crime, public health, and how all these interact with environment. Some of Lee’s publications and research grants have involved digital elevation models, environmental conservation, GIS, web-based GIS, urban growth, urban sprawl, management of urban growth and areal health disparities. Recent work includes developing an urban growth simulator, an environmental pollution simulator and an urban crime simulator. Currently, Lee’s team is developing a simulator that uses agent-based models to simulate how neighborhoods develop disparities in public health.

Jennifer Mapes

Assistant Professor | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science

Dr. Jennifer Mapes arrived in Kent in fall 2012, having previously taught at Plattsburgh State University of New York and the University of Southern California. At Kent State, she teaches Human Geography, Geography of the U.S. and Canada, Economic Geography and Cartographic Design. Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities.

Dr. Mapes continues her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment of Kent. She is currently writing a book called The New American Small Town, based in part on her dissertation, which examined the effects of global contemporary change in small towns, connecting theoretical understandings of place and space to on-the-ground outcomes. As part of her research, she spent nine months in seven towns in the American West, interviewing local residents and key decision-makers to learn how their towns experience and react to socio-economic and environmental change.

Andy Scholl

Assistant Professor & Director | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science

Dr. Scholl’s research interests are in biogeography, landscape ecology, vegetation dynamics, environmental geography, GIS, and remote sensing. He studied political science and biology in his undergraduate studies at Baldwin Wallace University and pursued geography in his graduate studies for both his master’s and PhD at Penn State University. Dr. Scholl is an instructor in the Department of Geography and serves as the program director of the online Master of Geographic Information Science.

Scott Sheridan

Professor and Chairperson | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science
+1 330-672-3224

Dr. Sheridan’s research interests are in synoptic climatology, climate change and bioclimatology. He has worked foremost on addressing the problem of heat vulnerability through a number of different avenues, from survey work on heat perception to the development of over 30 heat-warning systems across the globe, as well as projections of future vulnerability. He is also interested in all other aspects of applied climatology, including climate and crime, atmospheric composition, and agriculture. Dr. Sheridan serves as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Biometeorology.

Emariana Widner

Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science
+1 330-672-3226

Emariana Widner is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Kent State University who joined the faculty in 2009. She teaches courses on GIS, geovisualization, cities and urbanization and environmental geography. Her research interests lie in biogeography, urbanization, ecological systems, environmental philosophy and conservation.

Within these areas, she has focused on species response to human-influenced land use change and urban ecology. She is also interested in understanding environmental perceptions, citizen action, and how these elements affect the political process and policy decisions. She believes that the proliferation of urban systems, concurrent with human population growth, makes cities the new wilderness for species conservation and her work is aimed at identifying and creating sustainable solutions for people and wildlife.

He Yin

Dr. Yin is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Kent State University. Prior to joining KSU in 2020, He was a postdoctoral researcher at University of Wisconsin-Madison and a senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn in Germany.He develops remote sensing approaches and solutions to monitor land use and land cover change, enabling understanding of how such changes affect our environment and society via land system analysis. He is the principal investigator on projects funded by NASA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). His recent projects include investigating the impacts of armed conflict on land use, cropland abandonment, and grassland management using remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and modeling approaches. He has published more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He currently serves as coordinator of the Global Land Programme (GLP) Working Group "Agricultural Land Abandonment as a Global Land-Use Change Phenomenon". His research has been covered by the media such as Bloomberg and The Hill.

A Simple Application Process

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A Holistic Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.
Admissions and Application Deadlines
Priority Deadline
Spring 2024 Term
Final Deadline
Spring 2024 Term
First Day of Class
Spring 2024 Term