Derek Van Berkel
“My research passion lies in putting people on the map. I find the social heterogeneity that drives land changes fascinating. I often ask myself, ‘what are we doing with the land and why are we doing it?’ Aside from research, I am an avid music and film buff.”
Derek is a postdoctoral researcher investigating geospatial solutions to sustainability challenges, with a focus on modeling feedbacks between land-use change and the provision of ecosystem services in rapidly urbanizing regions of the U.S. Derek received his Ph.D. in Environmental Spatial Analysis from the VU University Amsterdam where he developed methodologies for mapping and quantifying ecosystem services. There he also gained expertise in the use of geospatial visualization techniques for collaborative resource management and land use model simulations of agricultural landscapes. He most recently held a postdoctoral position at the Department of Geography, the Ohio State University with the Appalachian Ohio Research group. Current research examines how web volunteered content like twitter can be leverage to understand how people value landscapes.