CEL GIS Certificate Faculty

The GIS Certificate program has 11 instructors with a range of geospatial expertise in academia, private industry, and local, state, and federal government. Information on their backgrounds and what courses they teach can be found below.

Leo Blesius

Leonhard Blesius

Education: Ph.D. Geography (U. of Iowa)
Employment: San Francisco State University
Courses Taught: GEOG 9011 Introduction to Remote Sensing, GEOG 9035 Remote Sensing with LiDAR
Biography:

Leonhard Blesius's research interests can be broadly divided into environmental systems analysis, in particular fluvial geomorphology and natural hazards, as well as remote sensing and its application to regions where few ancillary data are available. His focus in geomorphology is primarily related to fluvial systems in high-energy environments, specifically landslide susceptibility mapping. He approaches this problem from several angles, but an important component is the combination of engineering methods and remote sensing technology. Currently he is employing the infinite slope method, but other techniques may provide a potentially fruitful pursuit of further research. Due to his work in Southern California, he has become interested in fire dynamics, and how this affects the initiation of debris flows as well as the question of changes in friction angle and cohesion in soils due to fire.

Quentin Clark

Education: GIS Graduate Certificate (Portland State University), M.A. Geography (SF State)
Employment: CSU GIS Specialty Center Site Administrator / Lecturer, San Francisco State University
Courses Taught: GEOG 9010 Using GPS for GIS
Biography:

Quentin is the site administrator for the California State University GIS Specialty Center, helping facilitate the GIS needs for all 24 campuses in the CSU system. In addition to his role in the Specialty Center, Quentin is a lecturer in the Department of Geography & Environment at SFSU, where he teaches natural resource management & introductory environmental science. He is actively involved in research on non-native species present on the Farallon Island National Wildlife Refuge of California. Quentin utilizes data collected on the Farallons using handheld GPS receivers to help the US Fish and Wildlife Service better understand and manage the myriad of biotic resources present on the refuge. Other research interests include: GIS data management, cartography, freshwater systems, and anadromous fish.

Jerry Davis

Jerry Davis

Education: Ph.D. (U. of Georgia)
Employment: San Francisco State University
Courses Taught: GEOG 9024 Watershed GIS, GEOG 9008 Raster GIS, GEOG 9021 GIS Programming with Python
Biography:

Jerry Davis is director of the California State University GIS Specialty Center. He specializes in geomorphology, soils, field methods, and geographic information systems. Jerry developed the GIS curriculum at SFSU and his current research interests focus on karst geomorphic processes and the use of computers and GIS for field data collection and processing.

Brian Fulfrost

Brian Fulfrost

Education: M.S. Anthropology (U. of Arizona)
Employment: Brian Fulfrost and Associates
Courses Taught: GEOG 9033 GIS for Sustainable Planning and Urban Design
Biography:

Brian Fulfrost has 20 years of experience applying GIS and Remote Sensing to assist in sustainable/resilient urban planning, natural resource conservation and management and environmental and social decision-making and. His past work includes the use of geospatial technologies in vegetation mapping, predictive modeling, reserve design, socioeconomic inequality and food systems studies. He has worked in academia, for government and in private industry. In addition to teaching, he runs his own consulting business utilizing GIS, remote sensing and web/mobile mapping tools in innovative ways to better inform social and environmental decision making. He is currently working on a range of projects using GIS to better understand walkability, active transportation, green infrastructure, food access (including urban agriculture), public health and for quantifying the impacts of land use and transportation planning on GHG. He also continues to work with a variety of resource conservation agencies and non profits to incorporate GIS, remote sensing (UAS, airborne and satellite) and web/mobile techniques for mapping vegetation, habitats and developing decision support systems that account for climate changes and sea level rise.

Seth Hiatt

Seth Hiatt

Education: M.A. Geography (SF State)
Employment: Santa Clara County
Courses Taught: Database Design and Management, Introduction to R, Ecological Applications of GIS, GIS for Scientific Visualization.
Biography:

Seth Hiatt has been using GIS to support environmental planning and decision making for over 12 years. After working as a remote sensing and GIS analyst in the Earth Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center, he served as the Associate Director for the SFSU Institute for Geographic Information Science. He currently works in the Planning Division of Santa Clara County Parks, and also teaches GIS and geography at Foothill College in Los Altos. His GIS interests include ecological modeling, spatial statistics, tool building, open source software, web GIS, and field data collection.

XiaoHang Liu

XiaoHang Liu

Education: Ph.D. Geography (U. of California, Santa Barbara)
Employment: San Francisco State University
Courses Taught: GEOG 9030 Building a Geodatabase, GEOG 9027 Spatial Analysis of Public Health Data
Biography:

Dr. Liu’s teaching and research interests are primarily in geographic information techniques (GIS, Remote Sensing, and Spatial Statistics) and its application in socioeconomic issues such as urban land use/land cover change, population distribution, and environmental modeling. Her ongoing research include the linkage between built environment and public health, environmental justice, and using internet GIS to promote public participation in neighborhood revitalization.

Barry Nickel

Education: M.S. Biology (SF State)
Employment: University of California, Santa Cruz
Courses Taught: Developing Rich Internet Mapping Applications
Biography:

Barry Nickel serves as the Director of the Center for Integrated Spatial Research (CISR) at UCSC and teaches GIS at several universities across the region. For over almost twenty years, Barry has been applying geospatial technologies and methods (GIS, remote sensing, spatial modeling/statistics, spatial database design, geospatial web development) to a variety of ecological and urban developments. His research interests are primarily concerned with issues regarding the ecology of movement in large vertebrates, in particular the links between observed patterns and their underlying mechanisms (search efficiency, landscape heterogeneity). To address these questions he is engaged in the development of spatially explicit ecological models and the integration of statistical methods with geospatial tools.
 

Dara OBeirne

Education: M.A. Geography (SF State)
Employment: GIS Specialist, City of Sacramento
Courses Taught: GEOG 9029 Processing GIS Data with Model Builder and Python
Biography:

Dara O’Beirne earned both his B.A and M.A. in Geography from San Francisco State University and is currently a GIS Analyst working at the City of Sacramento’s Department of Utilities.His master’s thesis examined the error associated with measuring tree heights in an urban environment with both traditional field methods and airborne LiDAR data. Dara is a GIS Professional with over 10 years of GIS and Python programming experience. He is also co-author on ArcPy and ArcGIS: Automating ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS Online with Python.

Elizabeth Proctor

Education: M.A. Geography (SF State)
Employment: Pacific Gas & Electric
Courses Taught: GEOG 9009 Cartographic Design for GIS
Biography:

Elizabeth Proctor has an M.A. in Geography from SF State. Her nearly 20 years of professional experience in GIS began at the California Academy of Sciences. Most of her career has been spent with Pacific Gas & Electric in San Francisco, where she started as a GIS Analyst in 2001. She is now Manager of Electric GIS Delivery, and she covers PG&E's portfolio of all technology that touches Electric GIS. She earned an ESRI Professional Certification in ArcGIS Desktop, and for 10 years she taught a night class in Introduction to GIS class at SF City College. In her spare time she walks her dog and volunteers for causes supporting women and girls and tech, and she is a fan of Edward Tufte.

Andy Richardson

Education: M.A. Geography (SF State)
Employment: California Department of Transportation
Courses Taught: Introduction to GIS, Data Acquisition, Spatial Analysis and Modeling
Biography:

Andy Richardson started working in the GIS field at a small East Bay company in 1987. Since then he has managed the Multidisciplinary GIS Center at San Francisco State University, worked as a GIS Analyst for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, served as the GIS Specialist at the Teale Data Center's GIS Technology Center, and is now the GIS Manager of Caltrans; Central Coast district. His thesis investigated the incidence and dispersion of fires in the San Francisco Water Department Crystal Springs Watershed.

Tom Robinson

Education: M.S. Geographic Information Science (SF State)
Employment: Tom Robinson Consulting
Courses Taught: GEOG 9004 Managing a GIS Project
Biography:

As principal of Tom Robinson Consulting, Tom leads strategic planning and analysis projects that serve the public good. Tom is passionate about increasing the pace and scale of solutions to environmental and societal challenges. Before devoting time to TRC, Tom was Director of Conservation, Science, and Innovation at Bay Area Open Space Council and Conservation GIS Analyst at Sonoma County Ag + Open Space. He led Sonoma Veg Map and Conservation Lands Network 2.0, and team-developed the Bay Area Greenprint. He holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology from U.C. San Diego, a master’s degree in GISci from San Francisco State University, and is a Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow.

Anna Studwell

Education: B.A. Biology and French (Wellesley College), M.A. Geography (SFSU)
Employment:
Courses Taught:
Biography:

Anna Studwell is San Francisco State University's Esri Site License Administrator.

She oversees the GIS teaching and research computer labs, the SFSU GIS Certificate Program, and works with graduate and undergraduate students on publishing GIS research and hosting workshops for university affiliates. She specializes in research involving marine geospatial planning for conservation as well as public health GIS projects.

 

Anna Studwell

Education: M.A. Geography & Environment (SF State)
Employment: San Francisco State University
Courses Taught: GEOG 9023 GIS & Remote Sensing for Coastal & Marine Science
Biography:

Anna Studwell is the Associate Director for the Institute for Geographic Information Science at San Francisco State University, and oversees the GIS teaching and research computer labs, the SFSU GIS Certificate Program, and works with graduate and undergraduate students on publishing GIS research and hosting workshops for university affiliates. She specializes in research involving marine geospatial planning for conservation as well as public health GIS projects.