Tom Gertin

Co-organizer of the AAG Mapathon. Tom is a part of the MapGive team at the State Department's Humanitarian Information Unit. MapGive is a State Department flagship initiative that aims to increase the number of volunteers involved in humanitarian mapping projects. Tom is also a graduate student at George Mason University's Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science.

Sven Fuhrmann

Co-organizer of the AAG Mapathon. Sven Fuhrmann is an Associate Professor of Geovisualization and Geoinformation at the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA. His research focusses on human factors in geovisualization and novel social media visualization approaches. He can be reached at

Jennings Anderson

Jennings Anderson is a PhD student in Human Centered Computing at the University of Colorado Boulder with Project EPIC (Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis). His research looks at the production of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) during disaster and crisis. He is currently working to create new analysis methods and software tools to help better understand the collaborative mapping practices on

Alex Barth

Alex Barth As data lead at Mapbox Alex works to improve OpenStreetMap data and infrastructure. Based in Washington DC and San Francisco, he is engaged in growing local OpenStreetMap communities on the grass roots level and making OpenStreetMap accessible to institutional users in the public and private sector.

Luís M. A. Bettencourt

Luís M. A. Bettencourt is a Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute He was trained as a theoretical physicist and obtained his PhD from Imperial College (University of London, UK) in 1996, for research in statistical and high-energy physics models of the early Universe. He has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Director’s Fellow and Slansky Fellow) and at MIT (Center for Theoretical Physics). He has worked extensively on cities and urbanization. His research emphasizes the creation of new interdisciplinary synthesis to describe cities in quantitative and predictive ways, informed by the growing availability of empirical data worldwide. His research interests also include the modeling of innovation and sustainability in developing human societies, the dynamics of infectious diseases and aspects of general information processing in complex systems. He is particularly interested in the interplay between information, structure and scale in setting the properties of diverse complex systems.

Chad Blevins

Chad Blevins is a Geographer with the USAID GeoCenter where he has established and leads USAIDs Mapping for Resilience and Remote Sensing Programs. Chad has pioneered the use of OpenStreetMap within USAID through Mapping for Resilience and the associated Youth Mappers programs. He is an active member of the OpenStreetMap community where he closely coordinates mapping projects with local and global mapping communities. Through his work with USAID Remote Sensing Program Chad has provided increased understanding on the use of satellite imagery to support USAID programs worldwide. Prior to joining the GeoCenter, Chad supported USAIDs Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance where he worked with a global network of geographers and relief organizations focused on applying information technology to disaster response and risk reduction programs.

Nama R. Budhathoki, Ph.D.

Dr. Budhathoki brings a unique blend of experience from government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Nama is the director of KLL and is also a consultant to the World Bank. He plays a critical role in developing OpenStreetMap community and creating an ecosystem around open data in Nepal.

Nama earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with focus in OpenStreetMap. Following the doctoral degree, he worked at McGill University as a postdoctoral research fellow and then at Niti Foundation as the Director of programs. He has authored over a dozen journal papers and book chapters. His studies and works have been funded mainly by the US government, Canadian government, Dutch Government, and Yahoo! Inc. His co-edited book titled Youth Community Inquiry: New Media for Community and Personal Growth is in press with Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

Nuala Cowan

Nuala Cowan is an assistant professor of Geography at The George Washington University, and Director of the new GIS graduate certificate program, launched in Fall 2014. She completed her doctorate at the GWU Institute of Crisis Disaster & Risk Management (ICDRM), where her thesis research focused on developing a geospatial analysis framework to reconcile humanitarian needs with resource provision. Nuala was part of the core team to launch, an online project resource to assist instructors at all levels to integrate OpenStreetMap and other open source geospatial technology as teaching modules in their curriculum. A strong advocate of both open technology and service learning, Nuala regularly integrates open source software and data into her traditional GIS courses, particularly in service learning collaborations with local & international partners (USAID, Peace Corp, World Bank, Red Cross, Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) at the US State Department). Nuala deployed with the International Red Cross during the Hurricane Haiyun response where she performed information coordination of Shelter response activities on Panay Island.

Dr. Guofeng Cao

Dr. Guofeng Cao is currently an assistant professor (tenure-track) in the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in Geography in 2011, and M.S. in Applied Statistics in 2009, both from University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to Texas Tech, he had worked at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and geospatial industry (SuperMap and ESRI). His research is characterized by an interdisciplinary perspective on geographic information science and remote sensing, with a particular interested in geostatistics, spatial uncertainty, high performance data-intensive and computation-intensive spatial computing.

Jamison Conley

Jamison Conley is an associate professor of geography at West Virginia University. His area of interest is broadly within spatial analysis and geographic information science, with applications recently in public health and international development. He has been at WVU since 2008, and has a PhD and MS in Geography from Penn State.

Debbie Fugate

Debbie Fugate is Chief of The Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU), an interagency unit within the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the U.S. Department of State. HIU’s mission is to identify, collect, analyze, and disseminate all-source information critical to U.S. Government decision makers and partners in preparation for and response to complex emergencies worldwide. The unit also promotes innovative geospatial technologies and best practices for humanitarian information management.

Debbie also serves as the senior advisor to the Geographer of the United States, and manages interagency projects on human geography and urbanization. Debbie has a Ph.D. in Geography from San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara with a specialty focus in demographic analysis and urban remote sensing. Prior to joining the Department of State she served for almost a decade as a demographer for the U.S. Government, analyzing demographic trends worldwide with a focus on humanitarian, health and crisis contexts.

Cristiano Giovando

Cristiano Giovando is a geographer and advocate of open data and open source geospatial software. At the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery Labs he works on the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI), promoting the use of community mapping methods for local preparedeness and disaster risk management. With over fifteen years of international experience in the geospatial sector, he previously held scientific and technical roles at the European Commission Joint Research Center and at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. His current research interests are in integrating crowdsource mapping in disaster response, the application of small UAVs for aerial surveying and damage assessment, and strategies for making earth observation data open and accessible. Cristiano holds a master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from San Diego State University, and a bachelor's degree from Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy.

Michael Frank Goodchild

Michael F. Goodchild is Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also holds the title of Research Professor. He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington. Until his retirement in June 2012 he was Jack and Laura Dangermond Professor of Geography, and Director of UCSB’s Center for Spatial Studies. He received his BA degree from Cambridge University in Physics in 1965 and his PhD in geography from McMaster University in 1969, and has received five honorary doctorates. He was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006, and Foreign Member of the Royal Society and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2010; and in 2007 he received the Prix Vautrin Lud. He was editor of Geographical Analysis between 1987 and 1990 and editor of the Methods, Models, and Geographic Information Sciences section of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers from 2000 to 2006. He serves on the editorial boards of ten other journals and book series, and has published over 15 books and 500 articles. He was Chair of the National Research Council’s Mapping Science Committee from 1997 to 1999, and of the Advisory Committee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation from 2008 to 2010. His research interests center on geographic information science, spatial analysis, and uncertainty in geographic data.

Matt Hamilton

Matt Hamilton, UC Davis and American Association of Geographers is a PhD candidate in the Ecology Graduate Group and an NSF IGERT Trainee. He is interested in the role of collaborative institutions in promoting adaptive capacity in complex social-ecological systems. His main research project uses approaches from network science to evaluate patterns of interactions among organizations and institutions engaged in climate change adaptation policy-making in the Lake Victoria region. His work includes collaboration with colleagues from Makerere University in Uganda, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Kenya, and the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania.

Indy Hurt

Indy Hurt is Mapzen's resident data scientist lending her geographic expertise to all things "open". She has a varied research background in geographic information science, volunteered geographic information, complexity, risk perception in public health and quantitative data analysis which she applies to the development of integrated map services.

Joseph Kerski

Joseph Kerski serves as Education Manager for Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). He served for 21 years as Geographer at the USGS and at the US Census Bureau. He teaches GIS at the University of Denver, other universities, in K-12 schools, and in online courses, including MOOCs. Joseph holds three degrees in Geography. Passionate about spatial learning, Joseph fosters educational partnerships, promotes GIS in education and society through service and scholarship, and conducts courses on geotechnology in education internationally. He creates GIS-based curricula and conducts research in the effectiveness and implementation of GIS in education. When not doing these things, Joseph can be found doing fieldwork, typically at an intersection of a latitude and longitude line or in a cave.

Melinda Laituri

Melinda Laituri is a professor of geography and geographic information systems at Colorado State University. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona in geography. Dr. Laituri accepted a post doc at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she then served as a lecturer in a tenure track position for three years. She is a Fulbright Scholar and spent 2010 in Botswana. She is a Rachel Carson Fellow where she conducted comparative research of major rivers. Dr. Laituri is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid @ CSU that provides information and support for GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado. Dr. Laituri is a Jefferson Science Fellow and continues with work with the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the US Department of State. Dr. Laituri’s research interests are diverse. She has worked with indigenous peoples throughout the world on issues related to natural resource management, disaster adaptation, and water resource issues using geographic information systems (GIS) that utilize cultural and eco-physical data in research models. A key focus is participatory GIS where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for their management of their own resources. Other research work focuses on the role of the Internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management.

Silvia Loeffler

Silvia Loeffler is currently Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University, Ireland. Her research interests intersect visual culture, human geography and research-based arts practice, with the focus on the mapping of emotional relationships with specific habitats. Main application areas include cultural landscapes of everyday life, and a psycho-geography that examines notions of belonging, homesickness and nostalgia. She can be reached at:

Mikel Maron

Mikel Maron builds collaborative processes to improve data at Mapbox, advances Mapbox's work with OpenStreetMap and helps grow the adoption of open geo data in businesses, governments and education.

As Presidential Innovation Fellow at the US State Department Mikel has driven OpenStreetMap adoption across federal agencies. He is co-founder of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, co-founder of Map Kibera and GroundTruth Initiative and founding member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. He holds a masters degree in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems from the University of Sussex, and bachelors degree in Computer Science from UC Santa Cruz.

Alan McConchie

Alan McConchie works at the intersection of cartography, software, and data science. He is currently Lead Cartographer at Stamen Design, and a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His dissertation research uses OpenStreetMap as a case study to understand the social dynamics of crowdsourced mapmaking online.

He loves making cartographic visualizations that reveal new ways of seeing the world, and is passionate about creating tools that help people create their own maps and tell their own spatial stories. He is on twitter at @mappingmashups, where he hosts a monthly twitter discussion called #geowebchat. His first and (so far) most famous programming project is the Pop vs Soda page.

Dr. Brent McCusker

Dr. Brent McCusker is an Associate Professor of Geography at West Virginia University. He has published extensively on land use and livelihoods systems in sub-Saharan Africa. His current research focuses on the implications of climate change on rural livelihoods and broader economic development in Malawi. He also works with USAID’s GeoCenter on livelihood vulnerability analysis and mapping across a range of countries in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

Kirstin Miller

Kirstin Miller is the Executive Direction of EcoCity Builders. She leads the organization’s program development, global initiatives and activities. She works locally and internationally to help cities access ecocity knowledge. Kirstin works closely in the development of the organization’s “toolbox” of strategies, such as car-free by contract housing, environmental restoration transfer of development rights, centers oriented development, ecological demonstration projects and ecological zoning overlay mapping. Kirstin specializes in integrating city-based experiences from a diverse range of perspectives. She is an international speaker and presenter on ecocity design, technology, development and citizen participation. Kirstin is also a Board Member of the International Ecocity Conference Series Committee and a jurist for the Katerva Awards.

Mark R. Montgomery

Mark R. Montgomery is a population researcher in the Population Council’s Poverty, Gender, and Youth program, and is a professor in the economics department at Stony Brook University. He studies the increasing urbanization of the world’s population: what an urban world will look like and how we can best improve the lives of people living in cities. He is particularly interested in the effects of climate change on urban populations.

From 1999 to 2003, Montgomery served as co-chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Panel on Urban Population Dynamics. He was lead editor of its influential 2003 report, Cities Transformed: Demographic Change and Its Implications in the Developing World. The report provided a comprehensive analysis of the demographic, economic, social, and political features of urbanization in poor countries.

Drishtie Patel

Drishtie Patel leads the Missing Maps Project at the American Red Cross. She is passionate about Open Data with a strong focus on Community Engagement. Drishtie first got involved with OpenStreetMap by making maps for Red Cross disaster responders deploying to international disasters such as the Ebola Outbreak. As the Missing Maps project was formed she started hosting local and remote mapping events to engage digital volunteers to spend time mapping for ongoing risk reduction and preparedness projects in developing countries. She also leads community mapping projects for the American Red Cross to empower local Red Cross Societies and vulnerable communities by developing and strengthening their skills, using the OpenStreetMap platform.

Alenka Poplin

Alenka Poplin is an Assistant Professor of Geoinformation Science and GeoDesign at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa. Her research interests intersect geospatial modelling, interactive virtual geo-environments, game-based modelling and simulation. Her main application areas include civic engagement, public participation in urban planning, and urban design. She can be reached at

Marie Price

Marie Price is a Professor of Geography and International Affairs at George Washington University. A Latin American and migration specialist, her studies have explored human migration’s impact on development and social change. She is President-elect of the American Geographical Society and a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. Locally, she serves on the Board of the Dream Project, a not-for-profit registered in Virginia that supports undocumented immigrant students through scholarships, mentoring, and advocacy. Her current research is on the spatial dynamics of immigrant inclusion and exclusion. She is interested in participatory mapping and open source platforms as I way to engage students in research and analysis. Her publications include co-authored report Migrants’ Inclusion in Cities: Innovative Urban Policies and Practices (2012, United Nations), co-edited book Migrants to the Metropolis: The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities (2008, Syracuse University Press), and the co-authored textbooks Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment and Development, 6th edition (2014, Pearson) and Globalization and Diversity: Geography of a Changing World, 5th edition (2016, Pearson). She has published over 50 refereed articles and book chapters.

Sterling Quinn

Sterling Quinn, a graduate student and instructor at Penn State University, studies the ways people make and use digital maps. In February he defended his PhD dissertation "A geovisual analysis of social influence in OpenStreetMap construction". This fall he will be starting work as an Assistant Professor of geography at Central Washington University.

Dr. Patricia Solís

Dr. Patricia Solís is Research Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University. Solís is a broadly trained geographer who has researched issues in climate change, geographic technologies, sustainable development, water resources, Latin America, and geography as a discipline in higher education. She also has extensive experience with outreach and communication of science. Her international experience includes designing and implementing integrated research and education programs among emerging scholars in 60 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Over her career, Dr. Solís has developed more than 50 competitively funded projects totaling more than $9 million from federal sources such as the NSF, NASA, USAID, U.S. Department of State, and others.

Dr. Solís also holds an affiliation as Adjunct Associate Professor in the TTU Climate Science Center. She serves as Senior Research Associate with the Research Development Team in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Since 2003, she has also held the position of Assistant Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University Department of Geography.

Carrie Stokes: Chief Geographer & Director of the GeoCenter

Carrie has worked for 25 years in international development and the environment. She currently serves as the first Geographer of USAID, headquartered in Washington, DC. She helped established and now directs the Agency’s GeoCenter, which applies geographic analysis to development programming. Prior to becoming the Agency Geographer, Carrie led the international geospatial program known as SERVIR, in a joint venture between USAID and NASA. Carrie has a technical background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), global climate change, and natural resource management. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa, and holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. She is a recipient of the 2016 Association of American Geographers Gilbert White Public Service Award.

Lee Schwartz: Director, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State

Dr. Lee Schwartz is the Geographer of the Department of State and the Director of its Office of the Geographer and Global Issues in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. At the Department of State, he has directed research and analysis on global issues primarily related to complex humanitarian emergencies and has coordinated related fieldwork and applied geography projects overseas, in particular in the Balkans, Central Asia, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. His recent work has focused on ethnic conflict, refugee flows, peacekeeping operations, strategic warning, and conflict mitigation and response – with an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing information coordination, as well as Participatory Mapping. He was the State Department’s 2005 winner of the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs.

John R. Weeks

John R. Weeks is Distinguished Professor of Geography and Director of the International Population Center at San Diego State University, Clinical Professor of Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and a Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology. He holds a doctorate in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley. His textbook,Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Publishing, 2011) is now in its 11th edition and has been the best-selling text in the field since it first came out in 1978. He has also published more than 130 papers and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is on the editorial boards of the Annals of the Association of American Geography,GeoJournal, and the Journal of Minority Health, and is the Historian of the Population Association of America.