A Landscape Ecology Legacy

Ross Meentemeyer describes his research

Last week at the 2018 meeting of the U.S. International Association of Landscape Ecology (US-IALE), Center for Geospatial Analytics director Ross Meentemeyer passed the association’s ceremonial gavel of presidency after a two-year term. Meentemeyer was the driving force for several new initiatives while president of US-IALE, and these initiatives will have lasting impacts on the association for many years to come:

Broadening diversity and inclusion across all of North America

Since its inception in 1986, US-IALE has included members primarily from the United States, as evident by its name. As president, Meentemeyer pushed for a change to broaden membership to all of North America. “Greater inclusiveness with our neighbors will allow us to reach underrepresented scientists, practitioners and students in North America, and increase the diversity of our membership,” Meentemeyer says. At the 2018 meeting, the membership voted in favor of the initiative with a 98% majority. The US-IALE Executive Committee will work over the coming year to incorporate this change into a new charter, which will include multi-national officers and meeting locations. The first meeting for IALE North America will be held in Toronto, Canada in 2020.

Enhanced communication

Meentemeyer’s goals while US-IALE president also included enhancing the way members interact through new communication channels. Working with a newly created Communications Committee, Meentemeyer advanced the idea of a website redesign that has streamlined registration and membership renewals and now better integrates with the conference website. “Numerous members have reached out to me about how great it looks and functions,” Meentemeyer says. “It is mobile-ready, efficiently syncs meeting registration and membership renewal and enhances our science communication efforts through social media and news highlights.” Hand-in-hand with creating the new web presence was the transformation of the membership newsletter from a static PDF to an interactive HTML email. “It was all about making things easier for the membership,” he says.

Looking back over his years as president, Meentemeyer reflects, “I’ve also really enjoyed watching my own students become part of landscape ecology. There were more current members and alumni of the Center for Geospatial Analytics at this year’s meeting than ever before, and we’re all excited about the bright future of the IALE-NA and the opportunities it will bring for even more collaboration.”

Global Change Fellow Spotlight: Devon Gaydos

Devon Gaydos

Every year the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center funds a multi-disciplinary cohort of Global Change Fellows representing colleges across NC State University. Catch up with Spring 2018 Fellow and Ph.D. student Devon Gaydos and learn more about her applied research in forest health.

Read the full Q&A here: https://globalchange.ncsu.edu/researcher-spotlight-devon-gaydos/

Center Scholars Win Three of Four Prizes in Research Poster Competition

Observing a 3D image on a poster

On Friday, February 2, the College of Natural Resources hosted its first annual Graduate Research Symposium, showcasing and celebrating the outstanding research and scholarship of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty advisors affiliated with the college. The event included a research poster competition, with prizes awarded to support travel to conferences and other research meetings. Three of the top four awards were presented to scholars from the Center for Geospatial Analytics.


Krishna SinghKunwar (Krishna) Singh, a postdoctoral researcher working with center faculty fellow Josh Gray (Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources), won the grand prize with his research examining water use and agricultural production in California. Krishna uses in his work the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, or SWAT, a model about which he will lead a special two-day Geospatial Studio in March.


Georgina SanchezThird place went to Georgina Sanchez, a doctoral student in Forestry and Environmental Resources advised by center director Ross Meentemeyer. Georgina is also treasurer of the Geospatial Graduate Student Organization, which supports students across NC State in their study of geospatial science and analytics. Georgina’s research focuses on water demand in urban areas and leverages FUTURES, an urban growth model developed by center researchers.


Nick KruskampHonorable Mention was awarded to Nicholas Kruskamp, a doctoral student in Geospatial Analytics co-advised by Ross Meentemeyer and Josh Gray, for his work combining remote sensing and machine learning to improve maps of tree species distributions. Nick is president of the Geospatial Graduate Student Organization and is one of the first students accepted into the center’s new cutting-edge doctoral program in Geospatial Analytics.


Congratulations to all our successful geospatial scholars!

Ph.D. Student Devon Gaydos Named a Global Change Fellow

Devon Gaydos

Center doctoral student Devon Gaydos (Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Resources) has been awarded a Global Change Fellowship for Spring 2018 by the Southeast Climate Science Center. The award recognizes Devon’s cutting-edge work in forest disease management and will support her professional development in interdisciplinary research. The fellowship program provides a stipend and tuition support, as well as science communication training and opportunities to engage with other fellows across NC State University. As a fellow, Devon will help organize seminars as part of the Southeast Climate Science Center’s Global Change Seminar Series and attend workshops and working group meetings.

Devon also recently won the Best Student Presentation Award at the 2017 Southern Forestry and Natural Resource Management GIS Conference in Athens, GA. She is advised by Ross Meentemeyer, director of the Center for Geospatial Analytics and professor in the College of Natural Resources.

Congratulations, Devon, on your success!

Justyna Jeziorska Certified as UAS Mapping Scientist

Justyna Jeziorska

Justyna Jeziorska, research associate at the Center for Geospatial Analytics, was recently certified as a UAS Mapping Scientist by ASPRS, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. UAS, or Unmanned Aerial Systems, are revolutionizing data collection in the geospatial sciences, and this credential underscores Justyna’s expertise and significant contributions to the center’s expanding UAS research and teaching programs.

Certification requires at least three years of professional experience in UAS science, four references and successful completion of a written exam. Justyna is a geographer, cartographer and Geospatial Information Science specialist who has been performing research with UAS-obtained imagery for over five years. At the center, she works with faculty fellow Joshua Gray, assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, on a UAS data project for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. She also co-teaches a graduate course, UAS Mapping for 3D Modeling, with professor Helena Mitasova, associate director for geovisualization at the center and faculty in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

In partnership with staff from NC State’s NextGen Air Transportation, Justyna also leads a public UAS Operations and Analytics workshop at the center, for professionals and non-student researchers. The workshop provides hands-on training for drone flights as well as step-by-step guidance for processing drone-obtained imagery. The next offering will be March 6 – 8, 2018.

Congratulations, Justyna, on your accomplishments!