The Regional Research Institute is delighted to announce its Spring 2019 visiting speaker lineup. This lineup is so outstanding that we wanted to give you plenty of advance notice to mark your calendars accordingly!

Our four speakers, in order of their visits, are Michael Goodchild, Christa (Jensen) Court, Eveline Van Leeuwen, and Sergio Rey.

In addition to their seminars, we will be planning additional opportunities for faculty and students to meet and interact with our speakers.

The Goodchild seminar is from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30.


January 22, 2019, Small Blue Ballroom, 2nd floor of the Mountainlair from from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30
Dr. Michael F. Goodchild, Research Professor School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC), Arizona State University

Geography and GIScience: An Evolving Relationship

Abstract:  GISystems have strong and longstanding roots in Geography, stemming from early developments in the 1960s and 1970s. But as the uses and sophistication of geospatial technology have grown and spread across virtually all areas of the academy, reducing Geography’s claim to ownership, that relationship to Geography has evolved in new directions. The critiques of the early 1990s have led to research into the societal context of GISystems that remains largely centered in Geography; techniques for the analysis of data embedded in space and time remain strongly associated with Geography; and rigorous principles have been discovered under the umbrella of GIScience that are widely recognized in Geography. Today, new opportunities are being created by the growth of data science, by new sensors, and by new areas of application, suggesting that the relationship between Geography and GIScience will continue to evolve in interesting and exciting ways.

Biography: DrMichael Goodchild is among the world’s foremost experts in GIScience. He founded the University of California, Santa Barbara Center for Spatial Studies, a research Center that focuses on spatial thinking and intelligence, geoinformatics, geographic information science and geographic information systems.

At the same time, he held the title of research professor and proved to be quite popular with his students. “Give this guy a raise!” and “This guy rocks my socks” have been common phrases to find throughout his student evaluations. He retired in June 2012, having published more than 15 books and 500 articles and serving on the editorial boards of more than ten journals and book series. But retirement was short lived. Arizona State University (ASU) lured Dr. Goodchild, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara out of retirement to help launch its Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC). At SPARC, he will focus on strategic spatial science initiatives and mentoring faculty and graduate students.

Goodchild is recognized as a living legend in the geospatial world, and he has many accolades to support this title, including being a recipient of the Founder’s Gold Medal for his contributions to geographical information science; an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the National Academy of Sciences; Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Canada; Foreign Member of the Royal Society; and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was awarded the Prix Vautrin Lud, considered to be the Nobel Prize in the field of geography and was inducted into the Geospatial World Forum Hall of Fame for visionaries, pioneers and founding fathers of geospatial technologies. He has also been elected to the British Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy, that includes scientists like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and over 60 Nobel Laureates.

Considering his love of GIS, it is not surprising that Goodchild does not consider his vast array of honors to be his greatest achievement. He has been quoted as saying, “The greatest victory was in convincing people that GIS was more than simply a computer application. It is a science. It has some fundamental questions and some fundamental discoveries and principles and laws. It constitutes a very important branch of science; one that deserves a great deal of attention.” WWW.GEOSPATIALWORLD.NET January/February 2017.

Being Rescheduled
Dr. Christa (Jensen) Court, Assistant Scientist, Food and Resource Economics Department; Assistant Director, Economic Impacts Analysis Program, University of Florida

Christa (Jensen) Court has won the Early Career/Doctoral Student Award for Best Paper at the British and Irish Section of the Regional Science Association International. She was also selected for the Southern Regional Science Association Barry M. Moriarty Student Paper Award. Her research interests include regional economic modeling, the energy-water nexus, applied spatial econometrics, environmental accounting, and connections in human and natural systems. Christa was inducted into the 2014 class of Generation Next: 40 under 40. This annual award for West Virginians showcases the next wave of leaders from various professions who are making a difference in their profession and in their community. She is a member of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Regional Science Association International, North American Regional Science Council, Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA), Regional Science Association International—British and Irish Section, and the Western Regional Science Association. She holds the position of treasurer at the SRSA.

She co-developed an input-output software package called IO-Snap designed to give users maximum flexibility in manipulating the Bureau of Economic Analysis input-output data from the U.S. national Supply and Use tables. With this software, users can edit, modify, and configure national and regional input-output data for a wide variety of analytical purposes, including having data for all states available in a highly aggregated level of reporting that best illustrates inter-regional and inter-temporal comparisons.

Her latest research is gaging Florida’s Gross State Product generated by agriculture, natural resources and food industries. She and her team changed their method for calculating their results from that which had been used in previous years. This year, they recalculated results for years 2007 through 2015 and expressed the results in 2016 dollars. This change in calculations enabled them to compare trends for individual industry sectors to see if the growth rate was steady.

Court co-developed an online comprehensive assessment form that extension agents can use to interview producers and to make first-hand observations after a natural disaster in Florida. This information is then presented to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the state offices of the United States Department of Agriculture to request disaster relief funds from Hurricane Irma that struck in 2017. Natural disasters cost the Florida economy between $5 and $10 billion annually.

She also produced a report to bring more jobs to Florida based on sales in Florida’s forest industry. This report was updated from 2003 numbers, and the numbers for 2016 indicated the industry increased employment figures by 19.53 percent, rising from 30,164 to 36,055.

She has given nearly 30 presentations and seminars and has nearly 20 publications. She is a First Generation Advocate, First Generation Student Support at the University of Florida. This avocation is to help students who are first in their family to get a college degree by helping them develop strategies to have a successful college experience, build academic and professional confidence, to access campus resources, and to connect to peer and professional mentors.

March 7, 2019, 325 Brooks Hall
Eveline S. Van Leeuwen, Professor in Spatial Economics and Chair of Urban Economics, Wageningen University, Netherlands

Dr. Van Leeuwen developed a novel approach to creating models that study actions and interactions of autonomous individual and collective agents. She did this by linking agent-based modelling and microsimulation with macro approaches; using this method, one can model individual behaviors and then simulate these behaviors on a macro level. She wrote about this new approach in a paper titled “The effects of future retail developments on the local economy; combining micro and macro approaches,” which earned her the prestigious Epainos award for best paper by a young researcher. Additionally, she developed an approach to extend and customize GIS tools and made them more robust by linking them to spatial microsimulation. This enabled her to translate a traditional economic model into an agent-based equivalent.

She was awarded the Moss Madden Medal by the British and Irish section of regional science and was awarded the Early Career Award at the British and Irish section of the Regional Science Association International conference.This year, she presented the Regional Science Policy and Practice Keynote Lecture at the European Regional Science Association meeting.

She has numerous areas of expertise, including sustainability, environmental impact assessment, sustainable development, spatial analysis, environmental management, and survey methodology and data analysis. Currently, Eveline and her team are examining how the spatial environment influences social processes by assessing personal, community and social network attributes and determining which ones influence participation choices.

At the regional level, she is examining opportunities for regional food systems and the preferences of urban consumers so that local policymakers will have the information they need to make the best decision. She is also examining economic and social interactions between places at the regional level and the urban level and seeing how these interactions impact wellbeing, economic activities, and participation. She aspires to develop interdisciplinary theories and modelling approaches to provide a holistic, integrated view of local communities and to illustrate how economic and social networks impact their vitality.

She has more than 115 publications and has been cited more than 500 times.

April 9, 2019, 325 Brooks Hall
Dr. Sergio Rey, Professor of Public Policy and Director, University of California, Riverside

Dr. Rey founded the Center for Geospatial Sciences at the University of California, Riverside and is a recognized leader in the movement to develop open source GIS and spatial analytical software. He is the creator and lead developer of the open source package STARS: Space-Time Analysis of Regional Systems, and the co-founder and lead developer of PySAL: An Open-Source Spatial Analysis Library written in Python. Because the library can be used with other software projects, PySAL has been downloaded by thousands of researchers and programmers and is recognized as an invaluable tool to facilitate spatial analysis both in the open source as well as in the commercial world.

His biography lists his research interests as focusing on the development, implementation, and application of advanced methods of spatial and space-time data analysis while his substantive foci include regional inequality, convergence and growth dynamics as well as neighborhood change, segregation dynamics, spatial criminology and industrial networks. He is an elected fellow of both the Regional Science Association International and the Spatial Econometrics Association. Additionally, he is the founding director for the Center for Geospatial Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. The Center focuses on fundamental research in spatial analysis, open source software and open science, collaborative interdisciplinary research, and dissemination and training.

He has earned some high-profile awards in his field, including the Geoffrey J.D. Hewings award for young scholars who have made distinguished contributions to regional science.  He also has earned the David Boyce Award for his service to regional science and was presented with the Outstanding Service Award from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group. This year, he gave the Spatial Economic Analysis Plenary Lecture at the European Regional Science Association meeting.

He is editor of the International Regional Science Review and of Geographical Analysis. He has given more than 200 presentations and guest lectures and has made nearly 1,000 contributions in the past year to PySAL. He has published more than 120 articles in academic journals and has been cited 7,662 times, and Google Scholar has ranked him in the top 5% of cited authors He currently has nearly $1M in research grants from the National Science Foundation.

Specific seminar titles, and meeting places if not listed, will follow, but we wanted to give all of you a chance to mark your calendars early for these events that you won’t want to miss!