Best wishes to Wanting Peng

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On Thursday, September 5, 2019, the Spatial Sciences Institute celebrated the accomplishments of Wanting Peng during her two-year appointment as a visiting student with the Institute and the USC School of Architecture.

Since her arrival at SSI in August 2017, Wanting Peng has been investigating anthropogenic disturbances influencing the population and habitat of the black­necked crane (Grus nigricollis) in China’s Dashanbao National Park. During her stay, Peng has worked with Dr. Travis Longcore, formerly on the SSI faculty, in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create and validate a habitat suitability model to predict the disturbance of black-necked crane’s habitats and combine it with spatial patterns of farming and grazing to illustrate and model predicted outcomes of different conservation management scenarios.

One major outcome of Peng’s research while at USC is the publication of her translation of the third edition of “Wildland Recreation—Ecology and Management” into Chinese.

This summer, Peng completed a two-month internship with the U.S. National Park Service in Denver, Colorado. Peng is returning to Tongji University in Shanghai to complete her doctoral studies in landscape architecture and to continue pursuing her research interests in geodesign, biodiversity, conservation planning, and ecosystem service assessment and mapping.

As the faculty, staff, and students gathered to wish Peng well before she returns to China, she said, “I am so grateful for the chance to be a visiting student with SSI and to work with Travis. He is the best mentor. He has taught me so much that has improved my academic ability, and he also has guided me towards the right path for a future career. He is the best mentor! I also thank John Wilson, Susan Kamei, and all of the others here at SSI who have given me such great support while I have been here. SSI will always be my US home.”

To apply to be a visiting student or scholar with the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, please email a statement of interest and CV to Dr. John P. Wilson, professor and director, at



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