Our Multi-Disciplinary Faculty

Kent State University’s GISc faculty in the Department of Geography have diverse backgrounds and professional experience that include public health mapping, geospatial analysis, cyber GIS, crime analysis, remote sensing and geomorphology.

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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Andrew Curtis

Professor | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science

Andrew Curtis is the co-director of the GIS Health & Hazards Lab at Kent State University and is a former director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Remote Sensing and GIS for Public Health. His work employs geospatial technologies and geographic information system (GIS) analysis to support neighborhood scale intervention strategies designed to reduce health disparities.

In 2005, after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, he and his students were part of the academic team that helped with geospatial support for search and rescue operations in the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center. His geospatial recovery work continues in New Orleans and the post-tornado landscapes of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. In the summer of 2012, in Haiti, he developed fine scale field mapping strategies to assess water risks in urban cholera hotspots. Examples of his health-related GIS consultations include the Department of Public Health in Los Angeles County, diabetes clinics, nonprofit organizations, and ground-level community groups. He is also recognized as a leader in the field of spatial privacy.

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.

Xinyue Ye

Associate Professor | Department of Geography
Geographic Information Science

Dr. Ye’s expertise is on modelling the geographical perspective of socioeconomic inequality and human dynamics. He researches the development and implementation of new methods of spatiotemporal-social network analysis/modelling/simulation for different application domains, such as economic development, disaster response, land use, public health and urban crime. Dr. Ye won first place in Research and Analysis from the University Economic Development Association in 2011, and the emerging scholar award from AAG’s Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group in 2012. Dr. Ye is the founding director of Computational Social Science Lab at Kent State University. He has also served as chair of AAG Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group (2014-15), co-chair of AAG Asian Geography Specialty Group (2015-17), and president of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Science (2016-17).

Dr. Ye has also received about $4.5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Commerce, and Department of Energy. Recent federal research projects include University Center Program (Department of Commerce), Coastal Ohio Wind (Department of Energy), Comparative Space-Time Dynamics (National Science Foundation), Spatiotemporal Modeling of Human Dynamics Across Social Media and Social Networks (National Science Foundation), TrajAnalytics: A Cloud-based Visual Analytics Software System to Advance Transportation Studies Using Emerging Urban Trajectory Data (National Science Foundation), Support Community-Scale Intervention Initiatives by Visually Mining Social Media Trajectory Data (National Science Foundation), and GeoVisuals Software: Capturing, Managing, and Utilizing GeoSpatial Multimedia Data for Collaborative Field Research (National Science Foundation). Since 2011, he has served as associate editor of Stochastic Environmental Research & Risk Assessment.

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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
Fall 2022 Semester
Final Deadline
Fall 2022 Semester
First Day of Class
Fall 2022 Semester