Institute for Geographic Information Science { Parent Site Name + Link if applicable }


Institute for Geographic Information Science

the center for geospatial research at San Francisco State University

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Welcome to the Marine & Coastal Conservation Spatial Planning Lab.

Ellen Hines, PhD


'Aligning science and policy to conserve marine and coastal habitat'


The Marine & Coastal Conservation and Spatial Planning Lab at San Francisco State University, part of the Institute for Geographic Information Science, is a research center dedicated to utilizing and developing the most relevant, powerful and practical geospatial tools to contribute to interdisciplinary marine and coastal conservation. 

Our faculty, students and collaborators seek to describe, model and predict the effects of human use on the marine and coastal environment.  This includes habitat modeling and mapping for marine endangered species and ecosystems, sea level change scenarios, documenting of human use and values. 

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an interdisciplinary concept to help us understand and value ecosystem services in communities.  Geospatial tools for mapping resources and analyzing research as part of MSP are available, and need to be locally/regionally relevant. 

Our goals are 1) to develop practical and repeatable research methods to inform MSP, and 2) to contribute to the development, application and standardization of MSP tools locally and internationally. 

Within the Department of Geography and Environment, students can work to achieve a Masters of Arts in Geography, Masters of Arts in Geography with a concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning, and a Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science.


  • Projects

  • Researchers

    • Ellen Hines, PI
    • Winston Halapua (MSGIS): Vulnerable low-lying residentail areas in Tongatapu Region, Tonga
    • Andrea Dransfield (MA-RMEP): Hotspot analysis of humpback whales along Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones, Central California
    • Yu Shimizu (MA-RMEP): Spatial distribution analysis of coastal Irrawaddy dolphins in Trat Province, Thailand
    • Kota Funayama (MA): Effects of sea-level rise on northern elephant seals at Point Reyes peninsula
    • Matt Merrifield (MA): Building regional threat-based networks for estuaries in
      the eestern United States (link to paper)
    • Dori Dick (MA-RMEP): Abundance and spatial habitat analysis of bottlenose dolphins at Turneffe Atoll, Belize (link to paper)
    • Sadie Waddington (MA): Qualitative study of sediment accumulation due to mangrove removal at Turneffe Atoll, Belize
    • Stefanie Egan (MA): Using a GIS for planning a Biosphere Reserve Turneffe Atoll, Belize
    • Jim Pettigrew (MA): Invasive green crabs in Tomales Bay
    • Suzanne Holguin (MA): Manatees in Turneffe Atoll, Belize


  • Journal articles

  • Books & Chapters

  • Conference presentations

  • TEnves

Updates & Events

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