Geovisualizing, representing, analyzing, modeling, and simulating

Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES)

for improved envisioning, understanding, and planning



News in 2010

• November 18, 2010: Congratulations to Jennifer Vaughan, former M.S. student of SDSU Geography (graduated in 2010 summer) and member of the STACS group! Jenny started her new job this week at Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI;, one of the largest GIS software companies in the world. "I am really excited about the job. My job is a Consultant/Project Manager for ESRI's Consulting Services in their Homeland Security and Environmental Team. I will be mostly working on projects dealing with Natural Resources," says Jenny. Our best wishes for you, Jenny.

• October 25, 2010: Congratulations to Sarah Wandersee, who passed her doctoral qualifying exams with unanimous agreements from all her committee members: Drs. David Lopez-Carr, Keith Clarke, Kathleen Farley, and Li An. Good job well done, Sarah!

• Oct 13, 2010: Dr. An accepted the invitation from the journal Ecological Modeling to guest-edit a special issue. The special issue, entitled "Mapping and Disentangling Human Decisions in Complex Human-Nature Systems", is based on the AAAS symposium which Dr An is co-organizing with Drs. Aikten and Silbernagel (see the news on July 2). .

• August 06, 2010: The College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University (CALSDSU) and Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR) in China have signed an Agreement for Research-Education-Outreach Partnership (here the English and Chinese versions). This partnership aims to promote collaborative scientific research, education, and outreach activities for the conservation of the Guizhou snub-nose monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi) and other protected endangered/threatened species (including their natural habitats), economic and social development of local communities, and human-environment interaction within or near the reserve. Over twelve faculty and students from SDSU and San Diego Zoo have visited the reserve since 2007, and many theses, dissertations, papers (book chapters), and grant proposals have been generated or underway under this partnership. Signing this agreement by SDSU representatives (Paul Wong, Dean of CAL; Stuart Aitken, Chair of Geography; Li An, Associate Professor of Geography) and FNNR representatives (Yeqin Yang, Director; Xiaoping Lei, Department Head) is a monumental achievement in this partnership.

• July 29, 2010: Jennifer Vaughan defended her thesis successfully today as a consequence of hard work in the last couple of years. Her thesis title is "Local Geographies of the Coastal Cactus Wren and the Coastal California Gnatcatcher on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton California". Drs. Li An, John O'Leary, Rebecca Lewison (SDSU Biology), and Eric Kershner (US Fish and Wildlife) serve on her thesis committee. Congratulations Jenny!

• July 2, 2010: Dr. Li An's proposal for 2010 AAAS symposium, entitled "Mapping and disentangling human decisions in complex human-nature systems", has been accepted among a pool of many highly competitive proposals the AAAS Program Committee received this year. This symposium will be held during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, February 17-21, 2011. We thank the following people for their support of this successful proposal: Dr. Jianguo Liu (discussant), Dr. David Lopez-Carr (moderator & speaker), Dr. Stuart Aitken (co-organizer & speaker), Dr. Janet Silbernagel (co-organizer), Dr. Xiaodong Chen (speaker), Sarah Wandersee (speaker), and Alex Zvoleff (speaker).

• June 24, 2010: Ninghua Wang won the Second Place Award in the Best Student Paper Competition at the 18th International Conference on Geoinformatics in Beijing, China, where he presented the paper titled "Analyzing Spatial Effects of Hotspot Policing with a Simulation Approach". The committee made this decision based on his submitted paper and oral presentation. There were eight competitors and one First Place Award, one Second Place Award and two Third Place Awards were given.

• May 7, 2010: Ninghua Wang has been selected as a recipient for the McFarland Award. This scholarship is given annually to an outstanding student in the Geography Department.

• Feb. 2, 2010: Sarah Wandersee has been selected as a recipient for the NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award. The Award is supported by NASA and Michigan State University to assist outstanding students in attending US-IALE annual conference of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology.


News in 2009