ThinkSpatial: Kelly Caylor

May 23, 2017 • Categories: Event | Featured | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “Dryland Feedbacks between Biogeochemistry, Plants and Surface Hydrological Dynamics” Kelly Caylor Professor, Department of Geography and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management Director, Earth Research Institute University of California, Santa Barbara 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) Abstract: Both the ecology and hydrology of dryland landscapes are characterized by high degrees of spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In particular, temporal heterogeneity in rainfall drives coupled hydrological and biogeochemical surface dynamics that are themselves highly influenced by the spatial organization of dryland vegetation. Despite being appreciated as a conceptual tool for understanding dryland function, the specific role of temporal and spatial variability in governing the dynamics of drylands has received little empirical attention. Most studies of variability in rainfall and soil moisture dynamics have attempted to capture either fine-scale spatial heterogeneity caused by vegetation structure (i.e. tree/grass/bare patch differences) or short-term impacts of shifts in soil moisture distributions via experimental manipulations. In this talk, I will examine the larger-scale implications of rainfall variability, impacts of variability on the partitioning of surface hydrological fluxes, and subsequent patterns and dynamics of vegetation and biogeochemistry across a range of ecological settings. Of particular interest is understanding how dryland, moist tropical, and subsistence agricultural ecosystems will respond to shifts in rainfall climatology which may alter the frequency and depth of rainfall events without necessarily impacting average seasonal rainfall totals. Using examples from across the tropics – with a focus on sub-Sarahan Africa – I will highlight some recent work which explores shifts in ecosystem function driven by altered rainfall climatology and the potential impacts of increased variability on the structure and function of African ecosystems. Bio: Professor Caylor is the Director of the Earth Research Institute and Professor of Ecohydrology in the Department of Geography and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. He received his PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. Professor Caylor’s research seeks to develop improved insight into the way that land use and climate change are interacting to affect the dynamics and resilience of global drylands. His primary research sites are in sub-Saharan Africa, where he is focused on understanding the vulnerability of pastoral and subsistence agricultural communities to current and future changes in hydrological dynamics. His teaching experience and interests include field courses in Kenya, earth system sciences, environmental biophysics, and environmental sensing and sensor development. He is a co-founder of Arable Labs, Inc. (www.arable.com), a company focused on enhancing agricultural decision making and improving in-field data availability for farmers. Professor Caylor conducts research at a number of spatial and temporal scales; from small-scale experiments...

ThinkSpatial: Dennis Whelan

Apr 25, 2017 • Categories: Event | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “A Brief But Spectacular History of UCSB Campus Planing.” Dennis Whelan Campus Planning & Design University of California, Santa Barbara 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) Abstract: Everyone who visits the UCSB campus is struck by two things: first, the astonishing site on the Pacific Ocean with views of the Chanel Islands and the Santa Ynez mountains and then second, the astonishing disarray of the campus plan that works against all the natural physical attributes. The result of numerous planning attempts left partially realized, the campus is often bereft of the relationship of the campus to its surroundings; unable to see the ocean or the mountains, and frequently leaving the best sites to parking lots and loading docks. This short physical history of UCSB will seek to explain the history of the site, campus plans and suggest a way forward. Bio: Mr. Whelan received his BA in studio Art with a minor in the History of Architecture from UCSB in 1979. He received a Master of Architecture from UCLA in 1985. He is a licensed California Architect and Planner. His career at UCSB began as a work-study student as an undergraduate as a shop-drawing clerk in the Campus Architects office. After education and practice as an architect in Los Angeles and San Diego he returned to UCSB in 1991, and currently is involved with all phases of developing the physical campus, from bikepaths and signage to landscape and new capital projects. — The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google...

ThinkSpatial: Susan Cassels

Mar 27, 2017 • Categories: Event | Featured | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “Short-term Mobility and Sexual Behavior – Testing the Selection, Enabling, and Influence Hypotheses” Susan Cassels Department of Geography University of California, Santa Barbara 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) | (View Flyer) Abstract: Short-term mobility is often associated with increased risk behavior. For example, mobile individuals often have higher rates of sexual risk behavior compared to non-mobile individuals, but the reasons why are not clear. Using monthly retrospective panel data from Ghana, we test whether short-term mobility is associated with differences in total and unprotected sex acts, and whether the association is due to enabling, selection, or influential reasons. Men who were mobile in a given month had more sex acts compared to non-mobile men. Regardless of short-term mobility in a given month, both men and women who were mobile in future months had more sex acts compared to individuals not mobile in future months. Our findings support the hypothesis that both men and women who are mobile are positively selected on sexual risk behavior. The enabling hypothesis, that the act of being mobile enables sexual risk behavior, was only supported for men. Bio: Susan Cassels, PhD, MPH is an assistant professor of Geography and a research associate in the Broom Center for Demography at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her work spans many disciplines, including demography, epidemiology, and geography. Cassels’ research interests are in the areas of population health, migration, epidemic modeling, HIV/AIDS, and sexual networks. Currently, her research is focused on migration and residential mobility and its effects on sexual risk behavior, sexual network structure and HIV transmission. She has ongoing projects among heterosexuals in Ghana and among men who have sex with men in Seattle and Los Angeles. — The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google...

ThinkSpatial: Werner Kuhn, Nick Eidler and Marc Thiemann

Mar 3, 2017 • Categories: Event | Featured | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “The New UCSB Interactive Campus Map” Werner Kuhn, Nick Eidler and Marc Thiemann University of California, Santa Barbara 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) | (View Flyer) Abstract: UCSB’s Interactive Campus Map (ICM) is about to be launched in its third version, which will be significantly different from its predecessors in terms of mobile, support for routing (walk, bike, car), and better search. The goal of this presentation is to inform the audience about the design goals, demonstrate the current stage of development, and get feedback on design choices and options. Further, the currently running usability tests will be described. Bios: Werner Kuhn holds the Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair and is a professor in the Department of Geography at UCSB. He is also the director of the Center for Spatial Studies at UCSB. Nick Eidler is a 4th year undergraduate student at UCSB studying Computer Science. He has been contributing to the new campus map since 2016, working primarily on front-end architecture and server management. Marc Tim Thiemann is a digital media undergraduate student from the University of Bremen (Germany) who is visiting UCSB from mid-January until mid-June to write his Bachelor thesis in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Studies. His bachelor thesis is entitled, “Usability Engineering of an Interactive Campus Map,” and includes usability tests as well as front-end development work to improve the usability of the new ICM. — The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Werner Kuhn (805-893-8224, kuhn@geog.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google...

ThinkSpatial: Liz Chrastil

Jan 17, 2017 • Categories: Event | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “Navigation: Spatial Knowledge, Individual Differences, and Neuroscience” Liz Chrastil GIScience Center, Department of Geography Department of Geography University of California, Santa Barbara 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 14, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) | (View Flyer)             Abstract: Navigation is a central part of daily life. For some, getting around is easy, while others struggle, and certain clinical populations display wandering behaviors and extensive disorientation.  Working at the interface between immersive virtual reality and neuroimaging techniques, Chrastil’s research demonstrates how these complementary approaches can inform questions about how we acquire and use spatial knowledge. She will discuss some of her recent work as well as upcoming experiments that center on: (1) how we learn new environments, (2) the type of spatial information we learn from environments, and (3) how individuals differ in spatial abilities. The behavioral and neuroimaging studies presented in this talk inform new frameworks for understanding spatial knowledge, which could lead to novel approaches to answering major questions in navigation. Bio: Elizabeth Chrastil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at UCSB and is a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Dynamical Neuroscience Program. She attended Washington University in St. Louis for her undergraduate degree, majoring in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) and History. She later received an M.S. in Biology from Tufts University. She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 2012 and completed a postdoc in Psychology at Boston University. She joined UCSB in the fall of 2016. — The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Werner Kuhn (805-893-8224, kuhn@geog.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google...

ThinkSpatial: Tomi Kauppinen

Oct 24, 2016 • Categories: Event | ThinkSpatial

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents “On Spatial Aboutness” Tomi Kauppinen Aalto University School of Science Helsinski, Finland 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, 2016 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map) View Flyer   Abstract: Search for information has become an inherent part of our life, both at work and for leisure. The challenge is that information needs to be indexed to allow for search to be effective. Kauppinen will discuss one particular task: how to deal with “spatial aboutness” of information objects (such as books at a library, paintings at a museum, experiences of people in spaces or tagged contents of a social media platform). The main, emerging question is how different approaches can together be made to support the spatial aboutness of objects to be more explicit. He will use examples to illustrate different tasks (such as finding out what places have been studied in given research papers) and results (such as visualizations of spatial aboutness of human observations). Bio: Tomi Kauppinen is a project leader and docent at the Aalto University School of Science in Finland. He holds a habilitation (2014) in geoinformatics from the University of Muenster in Germany and a Ph.D. (2010) in media technology from the Aalto University. From April 2014 to September 2014 he was appointed as the Cognitive Systems Substitute Professor at the University of Bremen in Germany. He has been active in opening and sharing data, and created semantic recommendation and information exploration engines. The central themes in his research and teaching are linked data, data science and information visualization applied to spatio‐temporal phenomena, and supporting the understanding of related cognitive processes. He has actively created online tutorials on these themes and has run related courses and tutorials at international conferences and universities. He has co‐chaired workshops on visual approaches, spatial thinking and linked science, including the International Workshops on Linked Science 2011—2015 at the International Semantic Web Conferences. He is also the founder and community leader of LinkedScience.org. — The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Werner Kuhn (805-893-8224, kuhn@geog.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google...