Faculty and Staff
Andrew Curtis is the current Director of the GIS | Health & Hazards Lab at Kent State University and is a former Director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Remote Sensing and GIS for Public Health. His work employs geospatial technologies and geographic information system (GIS) analysis to support neighborhood scale intervention strategies designed to reduce health disparities. In 2005 after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, he and his students were part of the academic team that helped with geospatial support for search and rescue operations in the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center. His geospatial recovery work continues in New Orleans and the post-tornado landscapes of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. In the summer of 2012 in Haiti he developed fine scale field mapping strategies to assess water risks in urban Cholera hotspots. Examples of his health related GIS consultation include the Department of Public Health in Los Angeles County, diabetes clinics, non-profit organizations and ground-level community groups. He is also recognized as a leader with regard to spatial privacy.
Dr. Jacqueline W. Curtis is the Associate Director of the GIS | Health & Hazards Lab and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. Dr. Curtis studies post-disaster recovery and planning as they impact Maternal Child Health (MCH). Her current projects focus on the use of geospatial technologies and spatial analysis to map and assess use and perception of physical activity environments for children in derelict neighborhoods. More broadly, she is interested in the role of women in shaping healthy neighborhood environments, especially in the American South.
Dr. Curtis holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Louisiana State University (LSU). She has served as a faculty member at LSU in the Disaster Science and Management Program, as well as in the Departments of Geography at the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University Long Beach (CSULB). She is an Editorial Board Member and Book Review Editor for the journal, Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS), as well as a recipient of the Association of American Geographers’ Meredith F. Burrill Award.
Jim Tyner's research centers on the intersection of political and population geography. His most recent work has addressed war, violence, and genocide. Jim has a regional interest in Southeast Asia; recent travels have taken him to Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and China. He is the author of 13 books, including War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count, which received the AAG Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution to Geography.
My research interests are in climatology, severe weather, and natural hazards. My recent work focuses on tornado hazards and risk of death, especially to persons in mobile homes and motor vehicles, improving tornado warnings, and how warnings are perceived and acted upon. Other recent research topics included severe winter weather and mountain climates.
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability
My research interests are in synoptic climatology, climate change, and bioclimatology. Perhaps foremost, I've worked on addressing the problem of heat vulnerability through a number of different avenues, from survey work on heat perception, to the development of over 30 heat-warning systems across the globe, and projections of future vulnerability. I am also interested in all other aspects of applied climatology, including climate and crime, atmospheric composition, and agriculture. I also serve as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Biometeorology.
Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities. Living in downtown Kent, Jen hopes to continue her work on small towns by studying the recent downtown redevelopment.
As a community geographer and internship coordinator, Jen is working to connect our students to local projects. Next semester, she is teaching a new course, “Online Mapping for Community Outreach” in which students will create interactive maps for local non-profits.
My research combines geographic information science and computational science to study the complexity of coupled natural and human systems. To address various computational challenges, I often employ cyberinfrastructure-based geographic information systems (CyberGIS) and supercomputer-based spatial modeling to investigate large- and multi-scale geospatial phenomena.
My interests focus on advancing the state-of-the-art in geospatial technologies that underpin geographic information science (GIScience) thus opening new areas of scientific inquiry. My dissertation research (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Summer 2013) resolved computation and "big data" challenges to enable the first critical examination of how representations of space and time affect epidemic agent-based modeling using models that simulated tens of millions of agents. In 2012 in collaboration with SGI, a leader in high-performance computing, I was part of a team that captured the spatial distribution of emotion from Twitter in near real-time during the US presidential election and Hurricane Sandy (see http://www.sgi.com/go/twitter). I was also a key contributor for the GISolve Toolkit, which represents cutting-edge geospatial middleware for empowering CyberGIS.
Dr. Xinyue Ye is an expert on open source geocomputation, spatial econometrics, GIS modeling and urban/regional analysis (with over 40 peer-reviewed publications). His work on comparative space-time analytical implementation won the national first-place award of "research and analysis" from the US University Economic Development Association in 2011 and he received the emerging scholar award from AAG’s Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group in 2012. Dr. Ye earned his B.S. in Urban Planning from Zhejiang University (China), M.A. in Human Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M.S. in GIS from Eastern Michigan University, and Ph.D. in Geography/Spatial Analysis from the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University.
Center for Ecology and Natural Resources Sustainability
My research interests lie at the intersections of urban, historical, and cultural geography. I use multiple qualitative methods including surveys, interviews, participant observation, mental mapping, and archival research. I am specifically interested in the ways that colonial legacies of segregation, housing and development policy, and amenity provision affect everyday life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. My recent fieldwork focused on access to water and sanitation in some of the city’s oldest African neighborhoods. The research demonstrates that access must not only focus on proximity to water but also the cost, reliability, and quality of water. I am based at the Salem Campus where I teach a variety of Kent Core and Diversity Courses, and I also teach graduate courses on the Kent Campus.
Kat Smith is the IT person for the department of Geography at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Kent State University and is a published author. She is an expert in web development, graphic design, IT, and language (both human & machine). Her interests include topics as diverse as Victorian literature, color theory, mobile Geo-spatial technologies, and everything in between. Feel free to stop into her office in the department any time. If you need immediate assistance she can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.