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GIS & Geospatial Technologies: People Using GIS at UC San Diego

This guide provides GIS tutorials, data, books, course-specific GIS guides and other geospatial related information that might be of interest.

Staff and Researchers Using GIS @ UC San Diego

The following are staff, faculty or students who are members of research centers or within different departments who are using GIS or are knowledgeable about GIS.  They may or may not be available for consultation and/or interested or able to serve on dissertation or thesis committees, but they'll let you know that if you contact them directly!


  • Tom Levy (


  • CalIT2 - Jessica Block (j.block @
    • Jessica works with CalIT2 on wildfire and climate-related research projects.  They investigate ways to use technology for early detection, warning, and response to disasters while incorporating academic research and first responders needs.  Collaborations exist with SDSU, CAL FIRE and NCAR among other institutions.  Jessica also serves as CalIT2's resident GIS analyst.
  • Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems ( - The teams at this center are using GIS to examine the built environment and obesity related behaviors/exposures.


  • Jan Kleissl, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering (jkleissl @

Environmental Health & Safety

  • Tod Ferguson, Hazardous Materials Business Plan Manager (tferguson @
    • Tod has taken the initiative to move much of the UCSD campus data into GIS format.  He is available to discuss happenings regarding environmental health & safety issues as they impact UCSD and to talk about his work to date with geospatial technologies. 

Global Policy & Strategy

  • Gordon McCord
    • His research often employs spatial data and spatial analysis to explore topics such as the evolving role of geography in economic development, the burden of infectious diseases such as malaria and hookworm in a changing climate, the impact of agricultural technology diffusion, and the spatial patterns of violent conflict. In public health, his research includes financial modeling of primary health care systems in rural sub-Saharan Africa as well as creating ecology-based models to estimate infectious disease burden in populations lacking accurate health data collection systems.

Health Sciences

  • Elyse Sanchez (Planning & Space Management), Office of the Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences (e7sanchez @
  • Andrew Stringfellow (Planning), Office of the Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences (astringfellow @ 
    • Elyse and Andrew are working on integrating GIS into Health Sciences planning (mapping clinics and patient hotspots and the like) and will help explore the possible use of Med Center computer training rooms for GIS workshops for those on campus.

School of Medicine

  • Dr. Kimberly Brouwer, Division of Global Public Health (kbrouwer @ - Dr. Brouwer and her team are use GIS as a tool to assist in exploring the spatial attributes that contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases throughout Tijuana, Mexico.  They also use the information gathered from GIS to inform the location of intervention sites for screening commercial sex workers.  More information can be found online at

San Diego Supercomputer Center

  • Chris Crosby, Project Manager for OpenTopography (ccrosby @ (
    • Chris is involved in lidar data processing, analysis, management and more.  He is also involved in various projects related to geospatial and geoscience data.
  • Ilya Zaslavsky (zaslavsk @

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • Heidi Batchelor (hbatchelor @
  • Randy Bucciarelli, Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) (randy @
    • CDIP specializes in the collecting, analyzing, archiving, and dissemination of coastal environmental data for use by scientists, engineers, planners, and ocean-going public.  A particular focus for Randy is ongoing observations of beach erosion and accretion (obtained with LIDAR, personal watercraft, all terrain vehicles, and hand-pushed dollies).  These observations are inputted into GIS software to test and develop models for beach erosion.

Urban Studies Program

  • Julie Wartell (jwartell @
  • Mirle Bussell (mbussell @

University of California Natural Reserves

  • Isabelle Kay, Manager & Academic Coordinator, Natural Reserve System, UCSD.  (ikay @
    • As manager for the four UC Natural Reserves in San Diego County, I am interested in using GIS to monitor and manage the reserves and their uses.  I am seeking collaborators on the following: 
      •  Real-time weather data serving (i.e. HPWren and the like) from our field stations (Elliott and Dawson Reserves) 
      •  Bathymetry/topography for the near shore, especially the marine area adjacent to SIO (Scripps Coastal Reserve) and in Mission Bay (Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve) 
      •  High resolution lidar data and visualization to understand the rates of channel formation and change in the Dawson-Los Monos Canyon Reserve and Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve 
      • GIS on the Mac



This content is a work in progress. 

Are you using GIS? Let the GIS Librarian know how you are using geospatial technologies in your research or teaching.