M.S. in Applied Geospatial Sciences (AGS)

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M.S. in Applied Geospatial Sciences (AGS)

» Program Director & Faculty

Program Director & Faculty

Rich Schultz, Ph.D.
Program Director
Dr. Schultz specializes in online teaching and learning and geography education. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental geochemistry from the University of Cincinnati. As a full-time faculty member in the Department of Geography and Geosciences, Dr. Schultz is available to students for references on job opportunities and internships in the geospatial community. Visit Dr. Schultz’s home page here.

Alissa Bickar
Alissa Bickar has both a bachelor's and master's degree in geography from California University of Pennsylvania with an emphasis on GIS and regional planning. She has developed various GIS courses as an instructor for GeoSpatial Training Services (GTS) and has recently been appointed as the ArcGIS Desktop Training Program Manager with GTS. She has extensive experience in the geospatial technology field as a GIS consultant with ARM Group Inc. to federal and local government agencies, engineering firms and many clients in the oil and gas industry. Using ArcMap software and extensions, Ms. Bickar has gained experience using GIS for spatial analysis, infrastructure planning and development, site selection, environmental due diligence and regional planning.

Kevin Gibbs
Kevin P. Gibbs attended the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and holds a master of urban planning and policy. He has been teaching GIS both at Elmhurst College and UIC since 2010. Mr. Gibbs currently holds an appointment at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System in the Office of the Vice President for Health Affairs as the resident population health analyst, implementing healthcare policy for the Affordable Care Act and other healthcare efficiency initiatives. Previously, he was GIS manager of the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy (2008–2012), GIS coordinator of the City of Chicago Department of Public Health (2002–2008) and chief operational analyst of the Chicago Police Department (1998–2002). Mr. Gibbs is proficient in many ESRI technologies, specifically desktop GIS analysis and GIS project management. He was elected twice to the Illinois GIS Association where he served as board treasurer and conference planning chair. In another life, he served as an M1 Abrahams Armor Crewman and because of his love for maps, excelled at military land navigation and terrain association.

Steve Gordon, Ph.D.
Dr. Steve Gordon earned the Ph.D. in geography from Arizona State University in 1999. He is a civilian faculty member at the United States Air Force Academy, where he teaches GIS, as well as physical geography and geomorphology. Dr. Gordon won the Outstanding Academy Educator Award for Economics and Geosciences in 2001. His research interests address the spatial aspects of rock and mineral weathering. Dr. Gordon volunteers GIS support with local government entities, and also manages a GIS consulting company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he resides.

Willy Mekeel
Willy Mekeel is the sole instructor for the GIS certificate program at South Central Community College in North Mankato, Minnesota. Although the majority of his time has been spent teaching, he also runs a GIS research lab and has previously worked in local government. He has spent time providing GIS expertise for the Water Resources Center in Mankato, Minnesota, and has earned an A.A. from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. His B.S. is in aviation management/business administration and his M.S. is geography/GIS. Both were earned at Minnesota State University Mankato.

Tom Mueller, Ph.D.
Dr. Mueller is currently a professor at California University of Pennsylvania after receiving his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Illinois. His GIS experience encompasses activities including teaching, service and research. He has taught GIS courses for 14 years including remote sensing, crime mapping and disaster vulnerability. His goal is to apply spatial theory to the real world, particularly using GIS. Students in his courses have completed real world projects for the Washington and Westmoreland County Departments of Public Safety, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Bethel Park Police Department and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He has also taught numerous GIS workshops for members of the local community, professors at Cal U and other campuses and the K–12 community. Dr. Mueller built a successful research agenda through a variety of scholarly endeavors, including conference presentations, grants, technical reports, book reviews and publications in professional journals. In 2012, he won the Pennsylvania Geographical Society's Teacher Award.

David Palomino
David Palomino earned his M.S. degree in geographic information science from San Diego State University in 2006. During graduate school, he was conferred the Cotton-Bridges Award for “The Most Outstanding GIS Student Emphasizing Techniques,” was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Delta honor societies and graduated at the top of his class with a 3.90 GPA. With over ten years of experience in geospatial technologies and over six and a half years of teaching in higher education, Palomino has worked with high-profile firms and organizations such as Nielsen-Claritas, Stewart Title, The University of San Diego and Esri. He currently works as an independent contractor/educator and resides in San Diego, California.

Andrew Parker
Andrew Parker received his master of geographical information systems from Pennsylvania State University in 2009. Since 2010, he has developed and taught several online GIS courses at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Parker has a strong knowledge of Open Source GIS applications as well as proprietary ESRI ArcGIS products. With a background in computer science and geology, he has developed web mapping applications for the oil and gas industry, applied advanced spatial analysis to map soil and groundwater contamination and applied GIS to design dewatering systems for construction projects. Parker works as an environmental consultant and is the owner of Source3 Computing, a geospatial consulting company. He applies his knowledge of geospatial technologies to create and implement environmental assessments, reclamation and remediation projects for the oil, gas, and natural resource industries as well as designing and creating geodatabases for the mining industry.

David Ostrowski, Ph.D.
Dr. Ostrowski holds a doctorate in computer science from Wayne State University and has over 25 years of industry experience in software development within many areas including real-time data acquisition and analytics. He is a technical expert at Ford Motor Research and Innovation Center where he is involved with a number of research projects involving transportation and mobility. He has 15 years of experience teaching CIS curriculums at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Ostrowski also has over 30 refereed publications, two book chapters, numerous technical reports and participates within several technical committees including IEEE TEC transactions, IEEE ICSC and IEEE ICIOS.

Christopher Sadowski
Christopher Sadowski is a currently a GIS specialist at the City of Cleveland Department of Public Utilities in Cleveland, Ohio, and holds a master in geography from the University of Toledo. Along with being a Certified GIS Professional (GISP), Sadowski has over 10 years of experience utilizing the most current GIS and GPS technology in various disciplines. He was a recipient of the 2008 OGRIP Ohio GIS Best Practices Award and 2007 ESRI SAG Award with the Cleveland Enterprise GIS Group. In addition to his GIS experience, Sadowski has also taught college-level mathematics and geography courses online through different learning management systems. He is a member of American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Ohio Chapter of the Association for GIS Professionals (URISA), GIS Users of Northern Ohio (GUONO) and American Water Works Association (AWWA). His areas of expertise include GIS analysis, data management, data modeling, GPS, routing, parcels, addresses and utilities.

Ken Yanow
Ken Yanow, professor of geographical sciences, has been at Southwestern College for the past 12 years, where he teaches physical geography, Earth science, GIScience, remote sensing and digital image processing. He received his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in physics, and two master's degrees (astronomy and geography) from San Diego State University. Professor Yanow is an associate director for the National Science Foundation funded National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence (the GeoTech Center), where his primary focus has been the development and promotion of geospatial technology coursework for general education. Professor Yanow’s research projects include using geospatial technology to analyze cellular network development in South America, using remote sensing to study the relationship of vegetation and solar radiation across diverse topographies, best practices for the recruitment and retention of both traditional and underserved student populations in geospatial technology coursework and programs and the exploration and vetting of core competencies for the geospatial technology profession. Professor Yanow, along with partners from the GeoTech Center, was awarded the first annual HI-TEC Innovative Program Award in 2009.

Paul Zandbergen, Ph.D.
Dr. Zandbergen obtained his Ph.D. in resource management and environmental studies from the University of British Columbia in 1998. Currently he is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico. His teaching includes courses in introductory GIS courses, spatial analysis and modeling, spatial statistics and GIS programming. In 2012 he was awarded the Faculty Mentor Award at the University of New Mexico for his supervision of graduate students. His area of expertise can be broadly defined as geographic information science. His research focuses on issues of scale, error and uncertainty in spatial analysis and the robustness of spatial analytical techniques. His long-term interest is to contribute to the development of robust spatial-analytic techniques in the areas of crime, environmental science, public health, spatial ecology and water resources. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice and the National Institutes of Health. He has published over 40 journal articles and book chapters. He is the author of Python Scripting for ArcGIS, published in 2013 with Esri Press.

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