Geovisualizing, representing, analyzing, modeling, and simulating

Complex Human-Environment Systems (CHES)

for improved envisioning, understanding, and planning



News in 2011

• November 10, 2011: The STACS group was honored by a visit from members of the Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve Administration (FNNRA). The delegation consisted of Deputy Director Kaiming Song, Chief Senior Engineer Dunyuan Sun, Senior Engineer Rutai He, and Liason and Translator Min Liu. The delegation spent the day enjoying San Diego and the SDSU campus through a visit to the zoo, a meeting with Dean Wong, and a campus tour, all followed by a delicious dinner at Sichuan Ba Ren. Managing Director of the Confucius Institute (CI) Lilly Cheng also presented to the group and showed great interest in a collaboration effort between the CI, FNNR, and the SDSU Geography Department. This relationship could create many beneficial initiatives involving the education of children through the medium of the CI and the Golden Guizhou Monkeys.

In the afternoon, the delegation and geography department came together for a STACS meeting to discuss future plans and reconnect with the SDSU students and faculty. The meeting was also attended by Department Chair Dr. Stuart Aitken who spoke about the immense benefits that the FNNR has afforded to the SDSU Geography Department and the importance of sustaining positive relations. This visit enabled valuable face-to-face exchange on research opportunities, and greatly strengthened the relationship between the SDSU geography department and the FNNR.

• August 29, 2011: The STACS group would like to welcome two new members: Shuang Yang (PhD student) and Kristin Meseck (Masters student). Shuang has already been assisting with the project website, and Kristin successfully completed a teacher training workshop this summer as preparation for her position as a Geography 101 TA this semester. With their unique backgrounds in statistics, computer programming, archeology, and environmental sciences, we look forward to their contributions to STACS projects, like the Golden Monkey Project.

• August 2, 2011: Sarah Wandersee's paper (one of her dissertation chapters), titled "Perception and Decisions in Modeling Coupled Human and Natural Systems: A Case Study from Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, China", has been recently accepted for publication by Ecological Modelling, a prestigious journal in the field of ecology. Congratulations Sarah!

• July 10-15, 2011: Sarah Wandersee, along with fellow PhD candidate Justin Stoler (of the Joint Doctoral Program in Geography, SDSU-UCSB), assisted with the Multilevel Modeling Advanced Spatial Analysis Workshop offered through the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The workshop instructors, Kelvyn Jones of Bristol University and S.V. Subramanian of Harvard University, provided participants with a deeper understanding of multilevel modeling concepts and the latest on its implementation and MLwiN software functionality. The workshop also fostered collaboration and communication between researchers in different fields that will extend its impact far into the future. The experience, which she will share with the STACS group in a presentation this fall, will help Sarah in her dissertation work and future research.

• April 26, 2011: Doctoral student Sarah Wandersee has been selected to receive the 2011 ESRI Award for Human Geography Applications of GIS! This award is for her excellent research related to "participatory mapping, GIS, and livelihoods of local people in a Chinese nature reserve". Congratulations Sarah!

• March 24, 2011: Sarah Wandersee was chosen to receive the McFarland Geography Scholarship in recognition for her academic achievements, dedicated volunteer work, and progress towards her career goals. Alex Zvoleff was chosen to receive the William& Vivian Finch Scholarship in recognition of his excellent work in remote sensing, his academic successes, and professional accomplishments. Sarah and Alex are both students in the SDSU Joint Doctoral Program, working with Dr. Li An. Congratulations Alex and Sarah!

• March 22, 2011: Gabriel Sady has been selected to receive the Ned H. Greenwood Award and the McFarland Geography Scholarship. The awards are given annually to excellent students in the SDSU Geography department. Congratulations Gabe!

• March 10, 2011: Doctoral student Ninghua (Nathan) Wang recently won the AAG IGIF Student Paper Award for his paper titled Analyzing Crime Displacement with a Simulation Approach. This paper, based on his master thesis research, was presented in Geoinformatics 2010 in Beijing, China. The AAG IGIF Student Paper Award is given to recognize outstanding student papers in any area of spatial analysis or geographic information science or systems that was given at a national and international conference or specialized meetings. Wang is the only recipient for this year, along with a price of $200. Congratulations, Nathan!

• March 07, 2011: Alex Zvoleff received the Dean's Award at the 2011 SDSU Student Research Symposium, for his talk entitled "The ChitwanABM: Modeling Population-Environment Interactions and their Implications in the Chitwan Valley, Nepal". Alex's work, conducted with Dr. Li An, uses computer modeling to explore connections between population and environment at a study site bordering the Chitwan National Park in south-central Nepal. He also recently presented his work at the AAAS conference in Washington, DC., receiving a positive media coverage. Alex is a third-year doctoral student in the SDSU/UCSB joint program.

• March 04, 2011: Ninghua (Nathan) Wang, second year joint doctoral student, was invited to attend the Santa Fe Institute Complex System Summer School from June 8 to July 1. The Complex Systems Summer School is a very competitive program with six to eight applications for each position available in the program. Along with this invitation, Nathan was awarded with a scholarship of $1500 to defray part of his tuition and living costs during his stay at the Santa Fe Institute. The Santa Fe Institute is an acknowledged leader in transdisciplinary scientific research and the founding institution of complexity science.

• February 22, 2011: Dr. An and his collaborators had a very successful symposium at the 2011 AAAS meeting on February 18. The symposium was entitled "Mapping and Disentangling Human Decisions in Complex Human-Nature Systems", which has contributed to advancing the research on understanding human-environment interactions in coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). For details see news at the department web page and NASW web page.

• February 11. 2011: Sarah Wandersee and Alex Zvoleff both successfully completed their oral exams today. Sarah Wandersee's dissertation work, supported by her committee, Drs. Li An (SDSU), David Lopez-Carr (UCSB), Kathleen Farley(SDSU), and Keith Clarke (UCSB), focuses on the impacts of human activities on Guizhou golden monkey habitat in China. During his visit to SDSU, Dr. Keith Clarke also presented a talk titled "The Future of GeoComputation" apart of the colloquium series.

Alex Zvoleff's research focuses on understanding the role of climate variability and change in human migration, focusing on a case study in the Chitwan Valley Nepal, with the support his committee: Drs. Li An (SDSU), DaviLopez-Carr (UCSB), Kathleen Farley (SDSU), and Bodo Bookhagen (UCSB).

• February 2, 2011: Sarah Wandersee is the thankful recipient of a Women's Environmental Council (WEC) Scholarship for 2011. WEC provides a monetary award and one-year membership to support the development of young environmental professionals.

• January 20, 2011: Congratulations to Alex Zvoleff, who passed his doctoral qualifying exams with unanimous agreements from all his committee members: Drs. David Lopez-Carr, Bodo Bookhagen, Kathleen Farley, and Li An. Good job, Alex!


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