Christopher Williams
Pronouns: he/him
University of Florida

Adviser: Dr. Kevin Ash
Focus Area: Geospatial Analysis & Techniques

Research Statement: I am broadly interested in atmospheric science, disaster risk reduction, risk communication, and emergency management. My graduate research is focused on concurrent risks from tornadoes and the COVID-19 pandemic and residents’ emergency sheltering perceptions and behavior likelihood. We conduct statistical and spatial analyses on recently collected multi-state survey data to advance knowledge of this rapidly developing risk intersection associated with potentially conflicting responses.

Who is he?
Christopher Williams is a second year Master’s student in the Geography Department. He moved to Florida to pursue his Master’s with Dr. Kevin Ash.

How did he get here?
Christopher was born in Karlsruhe, Germany to a German mother and an American father. When he was 3 years old, his family moved to his Dad’s hometown of Baxley, Georgia. “For many years, I could use one hand to count the number of traffic lights.” says Christopher. Nestled among tall pine trees and thick Southern accents, Christopher grew up on the Williams family farm, surrounded by hogs, chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, corn, peas, okra, melons, cucumbers, and squash.

A farmer’s eye view of the world.

Growing up, Christopher and his 4 siblings spent a lot of time outside working on the farm. He noticed that whenever there were big weather events like hurricanes, the adults would get excited and the schools would close – most critically it also meant a reprieve from outdoor chores. This got Christopher’s attention.

In 8th grade, Christopher and his mom drove to Savannah, where he spent the day job shadowing meteorologist Mary Wicks. It was clear from then on that meteorology was one of his main interests.

Christopher’s interest in science was further fueled when his 8th grade science teacher told the class that any student who made it to the State Science Fair would earn an automatic A and would be excused from certain assignments. Armed with petri dishes full of agar and an assortment of hand soaps, Christopher then enjoyed a sabbatical of sorts for the rest of the school term.

When he graduated from high school, Christopher started out in the Servant Leadership Program at Columbus State University, but transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences. While at Georgia Tech, Christopher had the opportunity to work as an undergraduate researcher, studying Atlantic hurricanes that struck Mexico since 1980 with Dr. Judith Curry and as a meteorology intern at the National Weather Service working with data from the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS). When his parents and he visited Georgia Tech, Dr. Curry told them that if Christopher was going to make it in research, he’d need to earn a graduate degree. Ever since then, Christopher’s dad regularly asks him ‘how’s that graduate degree coming along?’

During the summer at Georgia Tech, Christopher joined the internship program at the Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program – an undergraduate-to-graduate bridge program designed to broaden participation of historically underrepresented communities in the atmospheric and related sciences – based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. The following summer, he had a second SOARS internship, this time in Miami at the Hurricane Research Division.

Christopher’s nephews visiting him at NCAR

Upon completing his degree, Christopher returned to NCAR, this time as an Associate Scientist, primarily working on various Research Applications Laboratory projects for the betterment of society. While there, he contributed to journal articles and conference papers, helped publish datasets, developed his coding and modeling skills, and served as a SOARS coach and mentor.

While at NCAR, the director of Education and Outreach (a former director of the SOARS program) introduced Christopher to a postdoctoral researcher – Dr. Kevin Ash. Christopher moved to Gainesville for the Fall 2019 semester, as Dr. Ash’s first graduate student.

What’s he been doing at UF?
Christopher is grateful to join the Department of Geography as a Research Assistant. Since becoming a GeoGator, he has been working with Dr. Ash on the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE) project. Christopher has been working with a data set that considers perspectives, perceptions, experiences, and the protective behavior around tornadoes and risk – with a focus on people in the southeast who live in manufactured homes. With the advent of the global coronavirus pandemic, Christopher is working with Dr. Ash and colleagues to assess how folks include coronavirus and physical distancing into their sheltering decisions as part of the Tornado Sheltering COVID-19 Survey project.

In his first semester at UF, Christopher took GEO6938 Communicating Science with Stephen Mullens where he applied practical strategies for engaging and effective communication and developed narrative skills for explaining scientific findings.

This summer, Christopher worked on his latest paper (non-refereed), Examining Survey Responses on Tornado Sheltering during the Novel Coronavirus Disease Pandemic, which is expected to be available shortly via the NCAR|UCAR OpenSky respository. The paper investigates how tornado sheltering needs and the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic intersect in relation to human risk perception and intended behavior for tornado threats and is based on Christopher’s work with his SOARS mentors.

How has he been holding up during the pandemic?
Living in graduate housing on campus, Christopher has been going on lots of nice long walks around campus. His walks generally stay on campus (where there seem to be fewer mosquitoes), but they occasionally extend as far as Tienda Latinoamerica on SE 13th St. While walking around, Christopher has been engaging in his favorite pastime – photography.

Christopher also has the opportunity to occasionally play (socially distant) basketball and tennis.

While navigating and accepting the challenging sloped space between isolation and a do-nothing-different approach during quarantine, Christopher is committed to pursue actualization of Maya Angelou’s saying, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”


Dr. Yujie Hu
Pronouns: he/him
University of Florida

Focus Areas:

Research Statement: I am a geographer with research and teaching interests in urban transportation, human mobility, and accessibility. My current research focuses on three main areas: 1) relationships between people’s mobility within cities—including commuting, healthcare-seeking, and crime—and the urban built environment, 2) accessibility to opportunities, such as jobs, healthcare, food, and transportation infrastructure, and how it is affected by natural hazards, and, 3) network flow analysis and optimization of travel patterns related to commuting, bike sharing, healthcare, and food delivery.

My main research approach is the development and application of GIS, spatial analysis, and network analysis techniques to reveal patterns of individual and group behaviors from big geospatial data associated with point patterns (traffic crashes, crime incidents) and networks (movement trajectory such as taxi cab GPS trajectory, smart card transaction data, and origin-destination flow such as commuting, bike sharing usage, and inpatient discharge). The goal is to convert data into knowledge to inform and evaluate place-based policies focused on transportation, land use, public health, and community safety.

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of one hundred years, teach the people.” Confucius
Hermann Park off Rice campus

Who is he?
Dr. Yujie Hu is an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department. He conducts interdisciplinary geospatial research and has worked with researchers in civil engineering, urban planning, computer science, statistics, economics, industrial engineering, political science, public health, environmental science and policy, and sociology – he welcomes researchers and students from these fields for collaborative research.

Yujie is also affiliated with the UF Informatics Institute and UF Transportation Institute, and is a Fellow with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. Prior to his current position, he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University. Yujie grew up in Yantai, China, a beautiful beach city where the Chinese national rail line terminates at a major port.

How did he get here?

Growing up in Yantai, Yujie benefited from excellent bicycle infrastructure. Despite heavy snow in the winter, it’s a great location for year-round bike riding – with low humidity and wide, safe bike lanes. Riding around Yantai, Yujie found himself wondering why roads are where they are and how planners make the location decisions – he started to bike or walk randomly on the road just to explore every corner of the city. “When you’re driving you don’t stop so you can’t look at things,’ he says. “When you’re biking and walking, you have the time to stop and look at the world around you.”

During his Master’s work, Yujie studied spatial patterns of road networks – asking what was present on the roads and analyzing road network structures. While earning his PhD in Geography at Louisiana State University, he explored commuting, travel behavior, healthcare seeking, and crime – adding movement to his work and asking how people use the roads that are present.
Yujie studies and understands spatial questions through applied studies. Using geospatial methods and techniques, he finds interesting problems and patterns, proposes mitigations, and then offers suggested courses of action.

Field work using a GPS unit on LSU campus

Yujie likes being a researcher because he can associate his questions with his personal interests like biking and transit. While a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University, he found Houston to be inhospitable to bicyclists and pedestrians. He identified and studied some particularly bad intersections and ultimately published a journal article Where are the Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians and Cyclists: A Colocation-Based Approach in 2018. “To make things change, you have to get people’s attention and get them talking,” said Yujie. This work didn’t just yield a publication. Yujie was able to advocate for active transportation and safety – not just for vehicles but other kinds of road users – when he was interviewed by local TV stations in Houston, met with the Houston Police Department who analyze accidents and crashes, and engineers from the Department of Public Works.

What’s he been doing at UF?

Since joining the department in the Fall of 2019, Yujie has been keeping very busy. He has redesigned and taught GIS4113: Introduction to Spatial Networks, GIS6104: Spatial Networks, GEO3602: Urban and Business Geography, and has been developing GEO 4938/6938 Transportation Geography for Fall semester.

In addition to his teaching duties, Yujie has published 5 papers since joining the department: Impact of Coastal Hazards on Residents’ Spatial Accessibility to Health Services, Accessibility and Transportation Equity, Estimating a large drive time matrix between ZIP codes in the United States: A differential sampling approach, Estimating road network accessibility during a hurricane evacuation: A case study of hurricane Irma in Florida, and Automated delineation of cancer service areas in northeast region of the United States: A network optimization approach. Currently he has a publication on food deserts offering a proposed solution to food insecurity for low income and socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in review.

Yujie has served as Guest Editor of the Accessibility and Transportation Equity special issue in Sustainability, serves on the Editorial Board of Southeastern Geographer, and is a Board Member of the Transportation Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.

Additionally, Yujie has received the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and won UFII COVID-19 Response SEED Funding for his project Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19: A Criminological Perspective (he’s hiring research assistants)

Finally, Yujie has been starting a lab – the Geospatial Network Analysis and Visualization Lab (GeoNAVI) and is preparing to welcome his new grad students in the fall.

How has he been holding up during the pandemic?

Although things may have been quiet on campus, Yujie has been busy with defenses and exams – he is a committee member on 2 PhD committees at LSU’s Geography & Anthropology Department – both students advanced to become PhD candidates. He’s also a committee member on 2 PhD dissertation defenses at USF – one in School of Geosciences and the other in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering – both students passed and earned their PhD!

Enjoying the nice weather with his family

Yujie has also been keeping busy at home. His children would really like their parents to stop working and play all day. So he has been trying hard to think of fun activities they can do together both inside and outside.

Sadly, Yujie left his beloved bicycle in his campus office when the lockdown happened, so he hasn’t been able to explore Gainesville from the back of a bike. He’s looking forward to reuniting with his bike and playing basketball, once that’s an option again.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Follow Yujie on Twitter

M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine



Focus Areas

Areas of Specialization

  • GIScience
  • Geomorphology
  • Geomorphometry
  • LiDAR
  • Remote Sensing
  • Hydrology
  • Water Resources
  • Sustainability Science
  • Climate Change
  • Renewable Energy
  • Urban Studies

Educational Background

  • PhD in Geography, ABD
  • M.A. in Geography, 2012
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering, 2007
  • B.A. in Geography, 2007

In My Own Words

M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine is a geographer, civil engineer, and information technologist. Sounny-Slitine focuses his research and course offerings on the integration of physical and social sciences towards advancing sustainability. He is interested in how science can inform policy and applying what is learned in a GIS laboratory to the field.

Recent Publications

Sounny-Slitine, M. A., Tasker, K. A., Doubleday, K. F., Polk, M.F., Knight, B.R., & Schneider C. (2015) On Making and Becoming a Graduate. The Southwestern Geographer (18) C1-C3

Rudow, J. and Sounny -Slitine, M.A. (2014) The use of video blogs for instruction of GIS and other digital geographic methods. Journal of Geography Vol. 114 , Iss. 4, 2015

Hudson, P.F., Sounny -Slitine, M.A., & LaFevor, M. (2013) A new longitudinal approach to assess hydrologic connectivity: Embanked floodplain inundation along the lower Mississippi River. Hydrological Processes 27 (15), 2187-2196

Long, J., Sounny-Slitine, M. A., Castles, K., Curran, J., Glaser, H., Hoyer, E., Moore, W., Morse, L., O’Hara, M., & Parafina, B. (2013). Toward an applied methodology for price comparison studies of farmers’ markets and competing retailers at the local scale. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

Tretter, E., Sounny-Slitine, M.A. (2013) Austin Restricted: Progressivism, Zoning, Private Racial Covenants, and the Making of a Segregated City. Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis – Special Report – The University of Texas at Austin

Sounny-Slitine, M.A. (2012) Green Power. Encyclopedia of Energy, Edited by Morris A Pierce, Salem Press: Pasadena, CA.

Sounny-Slitine, M.A. and Bensalem, S. (2012) Energy Geography of Morocco. Encyclopedia of Energy, Edited by Morris A Pierce, Salem Press: Pasadena, CA.

Sounny-Slitine,M.A. (2011), “Solar Power Potential on the University of Texas Campus” 2nd Annual UT Campus Sustainability Symposium, the President’s Sustainability Steering Committee, The University of Texas at Austin

Sounny-Slitine, M.A. Editor (2011) Energy/Climate Change – Challenges and Opportunities. São Paulo: Secretaria do Meio Ambiente

Sounny-Slitine, M. A., Alexander, J., Twomey, K., O’Rourke, J., Hershaw, E., & Moorhead, S. (2011). Adaptation to Climate Change: A prospective Collaboration in Flood Control. Portal, 6, 26.

Sounny-Slitine, M. A., & Bensalem, S. (2011). Morocco: Energy dependent today, energy leader tomorrow. Energy/Climate Change, 1(1), 57.

Focus Area 1: GeoSpatial Analysis & Techniques

Modeling, Measurement, Visualization and Computation: techniques for the collection, analysis, manipulation, interpretation and display of geospatial data, using tools such as GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, and Spatial Statistics. A variety of software is utilized such as ARCGIS, R, ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, Python, Java, C++, Matlab, SQL, SPSS, Google Earth Engine, NOAA’s Weather and Climate Toolkit and more. Many courses are taught within our own geospatial science labs or flipped classroom environment space.

Our sub-focus areas are as follows:

  • GIS – Geographic Information Systems
  • Spatial statistics
  • Geospatial Science
  • Remote Sensing
  • GIS Programming & Development
  • Network Analysis
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Atmospheric data analysis
  • Digital Mapping
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Spatial econometrics
  • Geostatistics
  • Land Change Science

Core Faculty:

Satellite image of Kansas agricultural landscape. Source: NASA

Modeling, Measurement, Visualization and Computation: techniques for the collection, analysis, manipulation, interpretation and display of geospatial data, using tools such as GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, and Spatial Statistics. A variety of software is utilized such as ARCGIS, R, ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, Python, Java, C++, Matlab, SQL, SPSS, Google Earth Engine, NOAA’s Weather and Climate Toolkit and more. Many courses are taught within our own geospatial science labs or flipped classroom environment space.

Our sub-focus areas are as follows:

  • GIS – Geographic Information Systems
  • Spatial statistics
  • Remote Sensing
  • GIS Programming & Development
  • Network Analysis
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Atmospheric data analysis
  • Digital Mapping
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Spatial econometrics
  • Geostatistics
  • Land Change Science

Core Faculty:

Precipitation totals from Hurricane Matthew, 2016. Source: NASA
Precipitation totals from Hurricane Matthew, 2016. Source: NASA


  • GIS3043 – Foundations of GIS
  • GIS3420C/ GIS6425C – GIS Models for Public Health
  • GIS 4001C – Maps and Graphs
  • GIS5107C – GIS for Research
  • GIS4113 – Spatial Networks
  • GEO4285/6938 – Models in Geographic Hydrology
  • GEO3162C/6160 – Introductory Quantitative Methods
  • GEO4167C/6161 – Intermediate Quantitative Methods
  • GEO6166 – Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • GEO4938/6938 – GIS Programming
  • GEO4938/6938 – GIS Disease Ecology
  • GIS4938/6938 – Advanced Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Applied Geostatistics
  • GEO4938/6938 – Spatial Regression and Modeling
  • 4121C/5028C – Aerial Photography
  • GIS4911 – Undergraduate Research in GIS
  • GIS4037 – Digital Image Processing
  • GIS5037C- Remote Sensing of Environment
  • MET4750/6752 – Spatial Analysis of Atmospheric Data using GIS
  • MET4532/6530 – Hurricanes
  • MET4560/6565 – Atmospheric Teleconnections
  • 4954C –Field Course in Geography


  • Undergraduate: Geospatial Information Analysis
  • Graduate: Digital Geography & GIS


Dr. Jason K. Blackburn

Associate Professor

Director, Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab)


(352) 294-7501

Focus Areas

Areas of Specialization

  • Zoonotic diseases (those that affect animals and humans)
  • Wildlife diseases
  • Disease transmission pathways & spillover between species
  • Ecological niche modeling
  • Spatio-temporal modeling for epidemiology
  • Disease ecology
  • Anthrax transmission dynamics

Educational Background

  • PhD in Medical Geography (Minor: Pathobiology), Louisiana State University, 2006
  • M.S. in Medical Geography, Louisiana State University, 2003
  • B.S. in Physical Geography, Louisiana State University, 2001

Recent Courses

  • GEOG 6938: Applications in GIS for Spatial Epidemiology & Disease Ecology – offered in the spring semester

Recent Graduate Students


  • Morgan Walker


In My Own Words

I am an Associate Professor of Geography and a principal investigator in the Emerging Pathogens Institute and the director of the Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab), which is jointly housed in Geography and the EPI. My research interests focus on the ecology and spatio-temporal patterns of zoonotic diseases, those that impact animals and humans. Primarily my laboratory is concentrated on bacterial pathogens, such as anthrax, brucellosis, plague, and tularemia. We employ ecological niche modeling, spatio-temporal clustering techniques, and ecological modeling to historical and field-collected empirical data related to disease outbreaks and pathogen distributions. Specifically we work on select agent studies in the former Soviet Republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, as well as Botswana, and the American West.  I also work with colleagues from the UF Vet School on projects in St. Kitts and Nevis and the island nation of Dominica. The SEER Lab is currently funded by CRDF Global, the Department of Energy, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (through MIDAS and NIEHS funding), and the USDA.  In addition my lab’s work on zoonotic diseases, I also have research interests and continue to publish on shark biology and ecology, marine mammal biology, and large predatory cats (cougars and ocelots) in Texas. My teaching philosophy is to directly engage students in research and the scientific writing process in the classroom and in the field.  My graduate students gain direct research experience through involvement in domestic and international projects and co-publication of their graduate research. My course material is updated each year with new literature, new GIS practical labs, and new techniques being applied in Medical Geography, Spatial Epidemiology, Geospatial Science, and Disease Ecology.

Recent Publications

Lentz JA, Blackburn JK, Curtis AJ (2011) Evaluating Patterns of a White-Band Disease (WBD) Outbreak in Acropora palmata Using Spatial Analysis: A Comparison of Transect and Colony Clustering. PLoS ONE 6(7): e21830. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021830

Kathleen A. Alexander, Jason K Blackburn, and Emmanuel A Frimpong. 2011. Buffalo and Maslow’s hammer. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 302–303.   doi:10.1890/1540-9295-9.5.302

Kracalik, I., Lukhnova, L., Aikimbayev, A., Pazilov, Y., Temiralyeva, Blackburn, J.K. 2011. Incorporating retrospective clustering into a prospective cusum methodology for anthrax: Evaluating the effects of disease expectation. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 2(1): 11-21.

Blackburn, J.K., A. Curtis, T.L. Hadfield, B. O’Shea, M.A. Mitchell, M.E. Hugh-Jones. 2010. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from Flesh-eating Flies Collected during a West Texas Anthrax Season. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46(3): 918-922.

Blackburn, J.K. 2010. Integrating Geographic Information Systems and Ecological Niche Modeling into Disease Ecology: A Case Study of Bacillus anthracis in the United States and Mexico. In: Emerging and Endemic Pathogens. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemisty and Biology 00(2): 59-88. DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9637-1_7

Jason K. Blackburn, Mark A. Mitchell, Mary-Claire Holley Blackburn, Andrew Curtis and Bruce A. Thompson (2010) Evidence of Antibiotic Resistance in Free-Swimming, Top-Level Marine Predatory Fishes. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: January 2010, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 7-16.

Joyner TA, Lukhnova L, Pazilov Y, Temiralyeva G, Hugh-Jones ME, Aikimbayev, A., Blackburn, J.K. (2010) Modeling the Potential Distribution of Bacillus anthracis under Multiple Climate Change Scenarios for Kazakhstan. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9596. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009596

Aikembayev AM, Lukhnova L, Temiraliyeva G, Meka-Mechenko T, Pazylov Y, Zakaryan S, Denissov, G., Easterday, RW, Van Ert, MN, Keim, P, Francesconi, SC, Blackburn, JK, Hugh-Jones, ME, Hadfield, T. Historical distribution and molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 May DOI: 10.3201/eid1605.091427

Hugh-Jones, ME & Blackburn, JK. 2009. The ecology of Bacillus anthracis. Molecular Aspects of Medicine 30(6): 356-367.

Blackburn, J.K., A. Curtis, F. Currin Mujica, F. Jones, P. Dorn, R. Coates. 2008. The Development of the Chagas’ Online Data Entry System (CODES-GIS). Transactions in GIS 12(2): 249-265.


Dr. Jane Southworth

Department Chair and Professor

Affiliate Member, Florida Climate Institute

(352) 294-7512

Curriculum Vitae

Focus Areas

Research Statement

My research interests are based on the study of human-environment interactions within the field of Land Change Science and Geospatial Science. All of my research is undertaken with highly interdisciplinary research teams which involve both social and physical scientists. It is this interdisciplinary focus on research problems that interests me and for which I was trained. Within such interdisciplinary teams my particular strengths lie in the remote sensing of vegetation dynamics; land use, land cover change and land change modeling; the implications of scale and scaling in remote sensing and modeling analyses; people and parks; and modeling of the impacts of climate change on human-environment systems and vegetation dynamics.

Recent Courses

  • Study Abroad Program: UF in South Africa – People, Parks, and Conservation in Africa
  • GEO3930 Geographical Sciences & Sustainability (NEW Spring 2018)
  • GEO6938 Climate Variability & Climate Change in Africa
  • GEO2200 Physical Geography
  • GIS5038C Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GIS4037 Digital Image Processing
  • GEO6375 Land Change Science Seminar
  • GEO6921 How to Survive (and Thrive) in Academia
  • GEO6938 Advanced Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GEO2242 Extreme Weather
  • GEO3930 The Digital Earth (NEW Fall 2018)

Recent Funded Projects

  • 2016-2020

NSF CNH Program: Recent land transactions in Ethiopia: Impacts on agriculture, ecosystem services, and food-energy security. Notified of funding April 2016. $1.6 million. UF portion with Southworth as PI = $360,000 Total Award Period Covered: 9/1/2016 – 8/31/2020. PI: Dan Brown (University of Michigan). Co-PIs: Jane Southworth (UF PI) and Arun Agrawal (University of Michigan).

  • 2016-2018

NIOSH: South Eastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety $10 million. PI: Overall center PI – Glenn Morris. Sub-PI for our project ($280,000) is Greg Glass. Co-PI: Southworth.

  • 2017-2018

University of Florida, International Center: Geography and CAS Study Abroad Program in South Africa. $25,000. PI: Southworth, Co-PI’s: Ryan and Child.

  • 2015-2016

UF Water Institute: The Water-Energy-Food-Environment nexus: Unintended consequences of interbasin water transfer for hydropower generation and agriculture on the protected environment. Total Award Amount: $10,000. PI: Rafael Munoz-Carpena. Co-PIs: Jane Southworth, Ray Huffaker, Greg Kiker, Peter Waylen.

  • 2015-2016

UF Water Institute: Water, Africa, Disease, and Health (WADAH). Total Award Amount: $10,000. PI: Jane Southworth. Co-PIs: Rafael Munoz-Carpena, Ray Huffaker, Greg Kiker, Jason Blackburn, Brian Child, Greg Glass, Sadie Ryan, Peter Waylen.

  • 2014-2015

UF Informatics Institute SEED Grant. “Death, Disease and Distribution”, $36,000. PI – Southworth, Co-PIs: Blackburn, Waylen, Glass, Ryan, Munoz-Carpena, and Kiker.

  • 2013-2018

NSF PIRE Program: PARTNERS (People And Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education, Research, and Synthesis). Total Award Amount: $499,011. University of Connecticut – PI: Robin Chazdon. My role: Collaborator – Networking Grant.

  • 2013-2016

Google Earth Outreach Grant / Collaboration. PIs: Jane Southworth and Erin Bunting. Purpose: to bring Google Earth Engine, Google Maps Engine, Open Data Kit, Timelapse, and Google Tours into the Introductory Remote Sensing Class. This collaboration enabled our students to have contact with cutting edge remote sensing technology available through the Google array. This introduces our student to big data analysis via access to the extensive Google data catalog. Furthermore, the open data kit program is a tablet based field collection technique. Note: There is no direct money from this. The collaboration enabled our students to access a resource that only a couple other universities around the world have. Specifically other collaborations have been set up at Stanford, Cal Tech, and Princeton.

  • 2011-2015

NSF-CNH Program. Global Sensitivity & Uncertainty Analysis in the Evaluation of Social Ecological Resilience: Theoretical Debates over Infrastructure Impacts on Livelihoods & Forest Change. $1.6 million. PI: Dr. Stephen Perz. My role: Senior Investigator.

Recent Publications

Guo Cao, Bisheng Wang, Xavier Haro-Carrión, Di Yang, and Jane Southworth. 2017. A new difference image creation method based on deep neural networks for change detection in remote sensing images. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38(23): 7161-7175.

Fullman, T., Bunting, E., Kiker, G., and Southworth, J. 2017. Predicted Shifts in Large Herbivore Distribution under Climate Change and Management Scenarios in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Ecological Modeling, 352: 1-18.

Hannah Herrero, Jane Southworth, Erin Bunting, and Brian Child. 2017. Using Repeat Photography to Observe Vegetation Change Over Time in Gorongosa National Park. African Studies Quarterly, 17(2): 65-82.

Ryan, S.J., Palace, M., Diem, J., Hartter, J. Chapman, C.A., Southworth, J. 2017. Population pressure and global markets drove a decade of deforestation in Africa’s Albertine Rift. Applied Geography, 81: 52-59.

Fullman, T.J., G.A. Kiker, A. Gaylard, J. Southworth, P.R. Waylen, and G.I.H. Kerley. Elephants respond to resource trade-offs in an aseasonal system through daily and annual variability in resource selection Koedoe; 59 (1)

Hannah Herrero, Jane Southworth, Erin Bunting. 2016. Utilizing Multiple Lines of Evidence to Determine Landscape Degradation within protected area landscapes: A Case Study of Chobe National Park, Botswana from 1982 to 2011. Remote Sensing, 8 (8): 623.

Ray Huffaker, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, Miguel Campo-Bescos, Jane Southworth. 2016. Demonstrating correspondence between decision-support models and dynamics of real-world environmental systems. Environmental Modelling & Software, 83: 74-87.

Bunting, E., Fullman, T., Kiker, G., and Southworth, J. 2016. Utilization of the SAVANNA Ecosystem Model to Analyze Future Patterns of Vegetation Cover in Kruger National Park under IPCC Climate Change Scenarios. Ecological Modeling, 342: 147-160.

Michael J. Hill, Qiang Zhou, Qingsong Sun, Crystal B. Schaaf, Jane Southworth, Niti B. Mishra, Cerian Gibbes, Erin Bunting, Thomas B. Christiansen, & Kelley A. Crews. 2016. Dynamics of the relationship between NDVI and SWIR32 vegetation indices in southern Africa: implications for retrieval of fractional cover from MODIS data. International Journal of Remote Sensing. Volume 37, Issue 6, pages 1476-1503.

Hill, Michael, J., and Jane Southworth. 2016. Anthropogenic change in savannas and associated forest biomes. Journal of Land Use Science, Volume 11: Issue 1, Pages 1-6.

Southworth, J., Zhu, L., Bunting, E., Ryan, S.J., Herrero, H., Waylen, P.R., Hill, M. 2016. Changes in vegetation persistence across global savanna landscapes, 1982-2010. Journal of Land Use Science, Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 7-32.

Ryan, S.J., Southworth, J., Hartter, J., Dowhaniuk, N., Fuda, R., Diem, J. 2015. Household level influences on fragmentation in an African park landscape. Applied Geography 58: 18-31.

Sun, J., J. Southworth, and Y. Qiu. 2015. Mapping multiscale impacts of deforestation in the Amazonian rainforest from 1986 to 2010. Journal of Land Use Science, Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 174-190.

Christopher Baraloto, Paula Alverga, Sufer Baéz Quispe, Grenville Barnes, Nino Bejar Chura, Izaias Brasil da Silva, Wendeson Castro, Harrison da Souza, Iracema Elizabeth de Souza Moll, Jim Del Alcazar Chilo, Hugo Dueñas Linares, Jorge Gárate Quispe, Dean Kenji, Matthew Marsik, Herison Medeiros, Skya Murphy, Cara Rockwell, Alexander Shenkin, Marcos Silveira, Jane Southworth, Guido Vasquez, and Stephen Perz. 2015. Effects of road infrastructure on forest value across a tri-national Amazonian frontier. Biological Conservation, 191, pages 674-681

Zhu Likai, Jane Southworth, Jijun Meng. 2015. Comparison of the driving forces of spring phenology among savanna landscapes by combining spatial and temporal heterogeneity. International Journal of Biometeorology, October 2015, Volume 59: Issue 10, pp. 1373-1384.

Sancahayeeta Adhikari, Jane Southworth, and Harini Nagendra. 2015. Understanding forest loss and recovery: a spatio-temporal analysis of land change in and around Bannerghatta National Park, India. Journal of Land Use Science, 10 (4)

Baraloto, C., P. Alverga, S. Baéz Quispe, G. Barnes, N. Bejar Chura, I. Brasil da Silva, W. Castro, H. Da Souza, I. De Souza Moll, J. Del Alcazar Chilo, H. Duenas Linares, J. Garate Quispe, D. Kenji, H. Medeiros, C. A. Rockwell, A. Shenkin, M. Silveira, J. Southworth, G. Vasquez, and S. Perz. 2014. Trade-offs among forest value components in community forests of southwestern Amazonia. Ecology and Society 19(4): 56

Waylen, P.R., Southworth, J., Gibbes, C., and H. Tsai. 2014. Time series analysis of land cover change: Developing statistical tools to determine significance of land cover changes in persistence analyses. Remote Sensing, 6, 4473-4497.

Sun, J., Z. Huang, Q. Zhen, J. Southworth, and S. Perz. 2014. Fractally deforested landscape: Pattern and process in a tri-national Amazon frontier. Applied Geography, 52: 204-211.

Gibbes, C., Southworth, J., Waylen, P., and B. Child. 2014. Climate variability as a dominant driver of post-disturbance savanna dynamics. Applied Geography, 53: 389-401.

Tsai, H., Southworth, J., and P. Waylen. 2014. Spatial persistence and temporal patterns in vegetation cover across Florida, 1982–2006. Physical Geography, 35(2): 151-180.

Sun, J., J. Southworth., and Y. Qiu. 2014. Mapping multiscale impacts of deforestation in the Amazonian rainforest from 1986 to 2010. Journal of Land Use Science.

Miguel A. Campo-Bescos, Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, Jane Southworth, Likai Zhu, Peter R. Waylen, and Erin Bunting. 2013. Combined Spatial and Temporal Effects of Environmental Controls on Long-Term Monthly NDVI in the Southern Africa Savanna. Remote Sensing, 5, 6513-6538.

Southworth, J., Rigg, L., Gibbes C., Waylen, P., Zhu, L., McCarragher, S., Cassidy, L. 2013. Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. LAND, 2: 637-655.

Campo-Bescos, M.A., R. Munoz-Carpena, D.A. Kaplan, J. Southworth, L. Zhu, and P.R. Waylen. 2013. Beyond precipitation: physiographic thresholds dictate the relative importance of environmental drivers on savanna vegetation. PLoS ONE, 8(8): e72348.

J. Sun, J. Southworth. 2013. Retrospective analysis of landscape dynamics using normalized spectral entropy. Remote Sensing Letters, Vol. 4, No. 11, 1049–1056.

Likai Zhu and Jane Southworth. 2013. Disentangling the relationships between net primary production and precipitation in southern Africa savannas using satellite observations from 1982 to 2010. Remote Sensing, 5, 3803-3825.

J. Sun, J. Southworth. 2013. Indicating structural connectivity in Amazonian rainforests from 1986 to 2010 using morphological image processing analysis. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 34(14): 5187-5200.

Cassidy, L., J. Southworth, C. Gibbes, & M.W. Binford. 2013. Beyond classifications: Combining continuous and discrete approaches to better understand land-cover change within the lower Mekong River region. Applied Geography, 39: 26-45.

Erin Bunting, Jessica Steele, Eric Keys, Shylock Muyengwa, Brian Child, Jane Southworth. 2013. Local Perception of Risk to Livelihoods in the Semi-Arid Landscape of Southern Africa. LAND 2(2): 225-251.

Xia Cui, Cerian Gibbes, Jane Southworth, Peter Waylen. 2013. Using Remote Sensing to Quantify Vegetation Change and Ecological Resilience in a Semi-Arid System. LAND, 2(2): 108-130.

Sun, J., Z. Huang, J. Southworth. Y. Qiu. 2013. Mapping fractality during the process of deforestation in an Amazon tri-national frontier. Remote Sensing Letters, 4:6, 589 -598.

Perz, S., Y. Qiu, Y. Xia, J. Southworth, J. Sun, M. Marsik, K. Rocha, V. Passos, D. Rojas, G. Alarcon, G. Barnes, C. Baraloto. 2013. Trans-boundary infrastructure and land cover change: Highway paving and community-level deforestation in a tri-national frontier in the Amazon. Land Use Policy, 34, 27 – 41.

Sun, J., & J. Southworth. 2013. Remote Sensing-Based Fractal Analysis and Scale Dependence Associated with Forest Fragmentation in an Amazon Tri‑National Frontier. Remote Sensing, 5(2): 454-472.

Educational Background

  • PhD in Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 2000
  • M.S. in Geography, Specialization in Meteorology & Climatology, 1996
  • B.S. in Geography, Leicester University, 1992

Current Graduate Students



  • Co-advise Tyler Schaper (with Greg Glass)


Recent Graduate Students


  • Dr. Hannah Herrero Summer 2019
  • Dr. Meshari Alenezi Summer 2019
  • Dr. Xavier Haro-Carrion Summer 2019
  • Forrest Stevens – Fall 2014
  • Mehmet Ozdes – started PhD Fall 2012
  • Erin Bunting Summer 2014
  • Tim Fullman Summer 2014 Co-Chair, Dr. Brian Child
  • Jessica Steele Summer 2014
  • Likai Zhu Summer 2014
  • Jing Sun Summer 2013
  • Muhammad Almatar Fall 2012
  • HuiPing Tsai Fall 2012
  • Cerian Gibbes Spring 2011
  • Sanchayeeta Adhikari Spring 2011
  • Pinki Mondal Fall 2010
  • Claudia Stickler December 2009
  • Jaclyn Hall Summer 2009
  • Amy Daniels Summer 2009
  • Matt Marsik Fall 2008 Co-Chair, Dr. Peter Waylen
  • Joel Hartter Fall 2007 Co-Chair, Dr. Abe Goldman


  • Mariano Gonzalez Fall 2009
  • Forrest Stevens Spring 2009
    Muhammad Almatar Spring 2008
  • Cerian Gibbes Fall 2006
  • Rob Lopez Spring 2006


Dr. Michael W. Binford


(352) 294-7500

Personal website

Curriculum Vitae

Focus Areas

Areas of Specialization

  • Macrosystems Biogeography
  • Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Applications in Environmental Systems
  • Land-Water Interactions
  • Landscape Dynamics, especially Land-Cover/Land-Use Change
  • Paleoecology, Paleolimnology and Paleoclimatology

Educational Background

  • PhD in Zoology and Geology, Indiana University, 1980
  • M.S. in Fisheries Biology, Louisiana State University, 1975
  • B.S. in  Biology, Kansas State University, 1973

Recent Courses

  • GEO 4037/5134C  Remote Sensing
  • GEO 4300/5305     Environmental Biogeography
  • GEO 2200               Physical Geography
  • GEO 4120               Aerial Photo Interpretation
  • GEO 5159               G.I.S. Applications in Environmental systems

Current Graduate Students


Recent Graduate Students


In My Own Words

I am a physical geographer, biogeographer, and landscape ecologist specializing in the study of environmental systems, or human-environment interactions. I have published papers on the effects of climate variability on cultural rise and collapse, agroecosystem bases for sustainable agriculture, environmental systems as a basis for landscape planning and ecological restoration, and technical aspects of measuring lake sedimentation rates. The research requires geospatial science approaches, and uses Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing techniques extensively. The work also involves collaboration with anthropologists, archaeologists, ecosystem modelers, geologists, economists, and planners. Recent NSF and NASA-funded research examines how people live around protected areas in East and Southern Africa, and how land ownership influences carbon uptake and storage in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain.

Recent Publications

Cassidy, L.1, J. Southworth, C. Gibbes, and M.W. Binford. In press. Beyond classifications: combining continuous and discrete approaches to land cover change analyses within the Lower Mekong River Region. International Journal of Remote Sensing. Revised, to be published May 2013, Vol. 39:26-45.

Staub, C.G., Binford, M.W. & Stevens, F.R., 2013. Elephant herbivory in Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi. African Journal of Ecology, DOI:10.1111/aje.12064.

Gaughan, A.E. F.R. Stevens, C. Gibbes, J. Southworth & M.W. Binford, 2012. Linking vegetation response to seasonal precipitation in the Okavango–Kwando–Zambezi catchment of southern Africa. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33(21), pp.6783–6804.

Pricope, N.G. and M.W. Binford. 2012. A spatio-temporal analysis of fire recurrence and extent for semi-arid savanna ecosystems in Southern Africa using moderate resolution satellite imagery. Journal of Environmental Management. 100:72-85

Van Holt, Tracy, C. Moreno, M. Binford, K. Portier, S. Mulsow, and T. Frazer. 2012. The influence of landscape change on a nearshore fishery in southern Chile. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02674.x

Urdaz-Rodríguez, J., G. Fosgate, A.R. Alleman, O. Rae, A. Donovan. M.W. Binford, A. Zaragoza, P. Melendez. 2012. Association between ecological factors and the presence of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus larvae in Puerto Rico. Exp. Appl. Acarol. DOI 10.1007/s10493-012-9573-6. Published online 26 May 2012.

Patarasuk, R. & Binford, M.W., 2012. Longitudinal analysis of the road network development and land-cover change in Lop Buri province, Thailand, 1989–2006. Applied Geography, 32(2), pp.228-239.

Cassidy, L., M.W. Binford, J. Southworth, and G.Barnes. 2010. Social and ecological factors and land-use land-cover diversity in two provinces in southeast Asia. Journal of Land Use Science. 5:277-306. Online version doi:10.1080/1747423X.2010.500688.

Southworth, J., J. Hartter, M. W Binford, A. Goldman, C. A Chapman, L. J Chapman, P. Omeja, and E. Binford. 2010. Parks, people and pixels: evaluating landscape effects of an East African national park on its surroundings. Tropical Conservation Science 3, no. 2: 122–142.

Gaughan, A.E., Binford, M.W. & Southworth, J., 2009. Tourism, forest conversion, and land transformations in the Angkor basin, Cambodia. Applied Geography, 29(2), pp.212–223.
Rivero, R. et al., 2009. Integrating spectral indices into prediction models of soil phosphorus in a subtropical wetland. Remote Sensing of Environment, 113(11), pp.2389–2402.

Rivero, R.G. et al., 2007. Spectral Inferential Modeling of Soil Phosphorus Using Hybrid Geostatistical Methods.

Prabha, T.V., Karipot, A. & Binford, M.W., 2007. Characteristics of secondary circulations over an inhomogeneous surface simulated with large-eddy simulation. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 123(2), pp.239–261.
Southworth, J., G.S. Cumming, M. Marsik, and M.W. Binford. 2006. Linking Spatial and Temporal Variation at Multiple Scales in a Heterogeneous Landscape. Professional Geographer 58:406-420.
Weng, C., M.B. Bush, J.H. Curtis, A.L. Kolata, T.D. Dillehay, M.W. Binford. 2006. Deglaciation and Holocene climate change in the western Peruvian Andes. Quaternary Research. 66:87-96.
Shearer, A.W., D.A. Mouat, S.D. Bassett, M.W. Binford, C.W. Johnson, and J.A. Saarinen. 2006. Examining development-related uncertainties for environmental management: Strategic planning scenarios in southern California. Landscape and Urban Planning 77:359-381.
Binford, M.W. and R. Karty. 2006. Riparian greenways and water resources. Ch. 4 in D.A. Smith (ed.). Ecology of Greenways. 2nd Ed. Island Press. Washington, D.C.
Binford, M.W., H.L. Gholz, G. Starr, and T.A. Martin. 2006. Regional carbon dynamics of the Southeastern Coastal Plain: balancing ecosystem type, timber harvesting, environmental variation, and fire. J. Geophys. Res. 111, D24S92, doi:10.1029/2005JD006820.
Loescher, H.W., Starr G., Martin, T.A., Binford, M., Gholz, H.L. 2006.The effect of local atmospheric circulations on daytime carbon dioxide flux measurements over a Pinus elliottii canopy. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 45: 1127-1140.
Cumming, G.S., G. Barnes, S. Perz, M. SAchmink, J. Southworth, M.Bimford, R.D. Holt, C. Stickler and T. Van Holt, 2005. An Exploratory Framework for the Empirical Measurement of Resilience. Ecosystems 8(8): 975 – 987.
Binford, M. W., T. J. Lee, and R. M. Townsend. 2004. Sampling Design for an Integrated Socio-Economic and Ecologic Survey Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Ordination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 101: 11517-11522.
Rocha, K. S., M. W. Binford, and M. Schmink. 2004. Mapeando Uso e Cobertura do Solo em Projeto de Assentamento Utilizando Técnicas de Sensoriamento Remoto e Métodos Participativos. Uáquiri: A Geografia e a Amazônia em Questão 2: 107-118.


Jensen, R. R., and M. W. Binford. 2004. Measurement and Comparison of Leaf Area Index Estimators Derived from Satellite Remote Sensing Techniques. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25 (20): 4251-4265.

Tugend, K. I., M. S. Allen, and M. W. Binford. 2004. Potential Use of Remote Sensing to Assess Effects of Wave Action on Plant Re-Establishment. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 42: 54-60.

Book Chapters

Hartter, J., J. Southworth, M.W. Binford. 2009. Parks as a Mechanism to Maintain and Facilitate Recovery of Forest Cover: Examining Reforestation, Forest Maintenance and Productivity in Uganda. Ch. 12 (pp 275 – 296) in Nagrenda, H., and J. Southworth. Reforested landscapes. Springer Landscape Series.

Felkner, J. S., and M. W. Binford. 2002. Modeling a Soil Moisture Index Using Geographic Information System in a Developing Country Context. In Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, ed. R. France, 513-538. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Hill, K., and M. W. Binford. 2002. The Role of Category Definition in Habitat Models:  Practical and Logical Limitations of Using Boolean, Indexed, Probabilistic and Fuzzy Categories. In Predicting Species Occurrences: Issues of Scale and Accuracy, ed. J. M. Scott, P. J. Heglund, F. Samson, J. Haufler, M. Morrison, M. Raphael, and B. Wall, 97-106. Washington: Island Press.

Book Reviews

Binford, M.W., 2008. Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future (review). Southeastern Geographer, 48(2), pp.255-258.