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Upcoming events

Brown Bag Talk: Social Media and Academia

March 19, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

“Social Media and Academia: Opportunities, Risks, and Best Practices”

Jennifer Bernstein, Ph.D., Lecturer, Spatial Sciences Institute, moderator

Jacqueline Gill, Ph.D., Professor, University of Maine
Teresa Lloro-Bidart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Alex Trembath, Communications Director, Breakthrough Institute

Livestream by Bluejeans:

Today, scholars and students alike engage with one another and the general public on social media. Obvious benefits include the ability to promote one’s work within a community of like scholars; side benefits involve camaraderie, information sharing, and even humor. However, establishing a social media presence as an academic has its risks. In many circles, academics are expected to keep their political and personal views separated from their professional work. Further, vitriol and hostility runs rampant on social media, and an individual with an agenda can publicly attack an academic’s work without following established protocol.

This panel features academics and professionals who have effectively used social media to promote scholarship and engagement. Topics covered will include professionalism, how to promote one’s research, building a network of scholars, common mistakes, dealing with trolls, and more.

GeoDesign Speaker Series: LA River Revitalization Projects

March 29, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 11:50 am

“Los Angeles River Revitalization Projects: Design and Planning for Resilient Communities”
Benjamin Feldmann, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP

Benjamin Feldmann is a landscape architect and urban designer with 20 years experience who integrates ecologically sound, system-based thinking into his work. Ben seeks solutions with environmental synergies between built, social, and natural spheres as he strives to build resilient communities and promote urban regeneration. After completing his degrees at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo and UC Berkeley, Ben worked for international firms such as HOK (Hellmuth, Obata+Kassabaum, Inc.) and taught at the Centro de Diseño Arquitectura y Construcción in Honduras, prior to returning to California as a Principal at Studio-MLA in Los Angeles nearly 10 years ago.

Mr. Feldmann will discuss current and past revitalization and restoration projects along the Los Angeles River. From placemaking plans and restoration studies to the literal building of bridges to safely connect communities east and west of the river, Studio-MLA urban designers, landscape architects, and GIS professionals apply ecological thinking to urban environments. Come learn more about these projects and advocacy initiatives that promote community involvement and resilience that align with geodesign principles.


SSI Academic Programs Info Session

April 11, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Spatial Sciences Institute Conference Room (AHF B57J)
Live Stream:

Learn more about the academic programs offered by the USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute:

~ General Education courses
~ Minor in Spatial Studies
~ Minor in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence
~ Minor is GIS and Sustainability Science
~ B.S. in GeoDesign
~ B.S. in Global Geodesign
~ Graduate Certificates in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)
~ Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence
~ Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Leadership
~ M.S. in GIST
~ M.S. in Spatial Data Science
~ M.S. in Spatial Economics and Data Analysis
~ Ph.D. in Population, Health and Place
~ Graduate (Doctoral) Certificate in Spatial Analytics

For more information and to RSVP, contact Ken Watson, Spatial Sciences Institute Academic Programs Director, at or call him at (213) 740-8298.

Brown Bag Talk: Spatial Data Science and Beyond

April 16, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

“Spatial Data Science and Beyond: Spatial Turns in Education”

Joon Heo, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University

Livestream by Bluejeans:

The future world under the name of “4th Industrial Revolution” or “Digital Transformation” can be characterized by the keywords, ‘Data’, ‘Smart’, and ‘Connected’, where ‘Spatial’ (Map) is considered the core infrastructure and the realization of the three key words.

Spatial Computing for Sustainable Infrastructure (SCSI) Lab at Yonsei University has strived to contribute to the future from two perspectives: (1) 3D reconstruction of indoor/outdoor and (2) expansion of spatial data science. This presentation will focus on the second part – the efforts of widening the horizon of spatial data science in new fields of applications such as “Education”.

Higher education is facing disruptive innovation that requires provision of a more effective and customized education service to individual student. In the field of Learning Analytics (LA), there has been much effort, in the form of the collection and thorough analysis of a variety of student-related datasets, to optimize learning performance and environments by means of personalization. The datasets include traditional questionnaire surveys, student information, and, more recently in the wake of the big-data-analytics trend, unstructured datasets such as SNS activities, text data, and learning management system (LMS) log data of learner activities.

Spatial data, however, is rarely considered as a key dataset, despite its high potential for characterization of students and prediction of their performances and conditions. As a new field of application, the speaker has proposed “spatial-data-driven student-characterization”, in which spatial data play a pivotal role of improving modeling quality. Based on two and half years’ data acquisition (Fall 2015 – Fall 2017) with respect to 4,000+ freshman students at residential college, SCSI lab conducted preliminary implementation of descriptive and predictive modeling for students’ achievements, satisfaction, and mental health dynamics. The outcomes were promising enough to substantiate the value of spatial data for educational applications.

Gamma Theta Upsilon Induction Ceremony

April 29, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Gamma Theta Upsilon Induction Ceremony

Please join the USC Nu Theta Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geographical honor society, as this year’s inductees are officially initiated into the GTU society and receive their certificates of membership.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Ken Watson, Spatial Sciences Institute academic programs director, at

Learn more about the USC Nu Theta GTU Chapter here.



May 10, 2019 @ All Day

Celebrate this year’s graduates from the academic programs of the Spatial Sciences Institute on Friday, May 10, 2019.

For more information about the University Commencement events, see and email Ken Watson, SSI academic programs director, at for more information about the Spatial Sciences Institute reception and Dornsife College satellite ceremony.


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