Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences

Department News


"Climate in Context" Conference at the                                      CUNY Graduate Center

Click the flyer image (left) for a full schedule, click the map (right) to view the presentation

Climate in Context is an interdisciplinary initiative to highlight the climate-related research being done by students and faculty at CUNY.  The research presented pertains to all aspects of climate change, both the physical and social dimensions, and includes earth and environmental sciences, engineering, policy, sociological, geographical, and geospatial sciences perspectives.  The March 13th conference was an all-day event, featuring 20 talks and 10 posters, covering a wide range of topics.

Prof. Maantay discussed current work in developing analytical methods and indices in her talk "Assessing the 'Riskscape' - Exposure and Vulnerability from Projected Coastal Flooding in New York City." Contributors to the research include Lesley Patrick, PhD candidate, EES Geography Program, CUNY Graduate Center/Lehman; Prof. Andrew Maroko, Public Health GISc Program, Lehman; Gretchen Culp, EES Geography Doctoral Program, CUNY GC/Lehman; Kristen Grady, Lehman MS-GISc, 2013, and Zakkiyyah Shah, Lehman MS-GISc student.



Geography doctoral student receives Data and Geovisualization Fellowship, mapping analyses contribute to knowledge about the socio-demographics of CUNY students throughout NYC

Michael Dorsch received a Data and Geovisualization Project Fellowship with the Futures Initiative.  Their work is described here:
Michael is a CUNY doctoral student in the EES Geography program at the Graduate Center, and his home campus is Lehman College, where he is studying GISc and working with Prof. Maantay on his dissertation research.
Michael’s map analyses, undertaken as part of his Geovisualization Fellowship, were recently published online as a component of the long-term research project “CUNY Map of NYC,” and you can view the first installment of maps, “Part 1: Race and Ethnicity,” at
As mapping projects are occasionally wont to do, these analyses and maps have become part of the controversy swirling around the numerous factual errors in the January 13, 2015 article about CUNY in The Atlantic Monthly (original title before The Atlantic’s corrections/retraction: “When high achievers have no place to go: Star students from immigrant and minority families often find themselves locked out of the City University of New York - a system originally designed just for them"). This article purports to demonstrate how black and Hispanic students are being overlooked in admission to CUNY’s 4-year colleges, and claims that CUNY’s historic mission of “equality,” has been replaced by its quest for a dramatic rise in “quality.”  Michael’s map analyses would appear to refute that claim.  


Congratulations to Bronx Science HS student working with EEGS Faculty

Daniel Thach of Bronx Science High School was named Intel Science Competition Semifinalist last week. Only 300 semifinalists are chosen out of several thousand submissions. Daniel and Prof. Heather Sloan have been working together since January 2013. Daniel's research project focuses on the relationship between mid-ocean ridge migration and the formation of anomalous seafloor. Prof. Sloan commented, "It's very exciting and I'm very proud of him."


Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014

This fall our field trips, led by Prof. Heather Sloan, included an overview of the geology of southeastern New York State, the tectonic origin of 18th and 19th century mining in what is now Harriman State Park, and the Famous Cortland Igneous Complex.  We had a great time.  Have a look at the photos and watch this page for the announcement of more trips.



Contact Prof Sloan for more info:



GISc Internships – Fall 2014

Congratulations to our Fall 2014 students who completed GISc Internships (GEP 470/GEP 670, GISc Internship Seminar)

From Left: Tonya Lavender-Davis (Voice Unbroken, Bronx not-for-profit organization); Michael Sullivan (NYC Dept. of Information Technology and Telecommunication - DoITT); Carimaxy Benitez (Neighbors Allied for Good Growth - NAGG - Brooklyn not-for-profit organization); Keri-Dean Scarlett (US Environmental Protection Agency - EPA); Ragnar Thrastarson, Amelia Zaino, Meg Baker, Mary Grey, (all at NYC Dept. of City Planning); Cristina Sarkissian (DoITT); Li Chen (NYC Dept. of City Planning)


EEGS Success Stories!

Click on the Life After Lehman button to the right of the page and check out what some of our graduates are doing!


Lehman, EEGS Faculty honored at Chancellor's Reception for CUNY Fulbright Recipients

Three of Lehman College’s Fulbright Award recipients, enjoying the evening at the Chancellor’s Reception for CUNY Fulbrighters (from left): Lynne Van Voorhis, Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate Studies Abroad Program (who did her Fulbright year in Paris);  Manfred Philipp, Professor of Chemistry (who has received two Fulbright Awards, one based in Portugal and the other in Nepal); and Juliana Maantay, EEGS Professor and Director of the GISc Program (who received a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award to work on research in Glasgow, Scotland).


EEGS Department at Geospatial Summit

Zakkiyyah Shah, MS-GISc student, and Prof. Maantay attended the Geospatial Summit in October, which was held in lovely Skaneateles, a resort town in the Finger Lakes district of upstate New York.  The Geospatial Summit is a unique kind of conference where, rather than the usual many short academic research presentations, there are instead several in-depth keynote talks and panel discussions, and a real chance for geospatial professionals to interact with each other and the speakers, and learn about cutting-edge technologies and advances in the field.  Zakkiyyah had been awarded the top graduate student poster prize at last May’s GIS Day at SUNY Purchase, and her prize was a trip to the Geospatial Summit. 


GIS Day at SUNY Purchase

Lesley Patrick, CUNY Geography doctoral candidate, and MS-GISc students Zakkiyyah Shah and Joe Paccionne, along with Prof. Maantay and Prof. Machado, attended the Westchester GIS Day at SUNY Purchase on May 15th, 2014.  There were a number of interesting talks by GIS users and vendors, including Patricia Reed (a 2011 graduate of our Advanced GISc Certificate Program at Lehman), who spoke about the uses of GIS in crime analysis in her current position in Westchester County’s District Attorney’s Office.  Patricia had completed her GISc Certificate capstone course project on The Uses of Hot Spot Analysis in Crime Prevention in the Bronx, which she also discussed in her GIS Day presentation. 

Patricia Reed, Lehman 2011 graduate GISc Certificate, speaking at the 2014 GIS Day, SUNY Purchase.

In the GIS Day student poster exhibit, Zakkiyyah Shah won the Graduate Student Best Poster Award, which will sponsor her attendance at the NYS Geospatial Summit in October, 2014.  The title of Zakkiyyah’s poster was “Climate Change and Public Health in Urban Systems: Mapping Vulnerability from Contamination Mobilization Due to Flooding in NYC,” and was based on some of the research work she is conducting as a NOAA-CREST Fellow with Prof. Maantay.

Zakkiyyah Shah, MS-GISc student, receiving her Best Graduate Student Poster Award

There were also technical workshops and field events that attendees could participate in, such as an Orienteering competition and a 3-D Modeling and Visualization workshop.  Joe Paccione, who just graduated with an MS-GISc in May 2014, won the Geo-caching event.  His award was a Trimble software Terrain Navigator Pro, New York package, featuring topographic and street maps, aerial imagery, and a 3D viewer.  Joe was only just introduced to the fine art and science of Geo-caching on the day he won the award!  Joe says: “We were outfitted with Trimble GPS units and given a two-page list of about twenty UTM coordinates around the campus where hole punchers were placed mounted on poles or hanging from trees or bushes, with the challenge to punch as many of the coordinates' check boxes as we could find in the allotted time (a bit over an hour).  An added challenge would be punching these holes in damp paper.  So off we went, northing and easting with the best of them.   Occasionally we spotted a participant from the Orienteering group running to a target.  Our own Fellowship Of The Trimble enjoyed good company, a challenging task, and an odd tendency to hum the "Rocky" theme while watching others run through wet grass.  We collected ten punches and went back to home base before time ran out.”

The GIS Day was organized and run by Sam Wear of Westchester County’s GIS unit, who is one of our MS-GISc Program Advisory Board members. 

Profs. Maantay and Machado (lower right) during the break, talking with Tom Talbot, Chief of Environmental Health Surveillance at the NYS Dept. of Health, and another of our MS-GISc Program Advisory Board members, who had just finished giving his presentation on “Challenges and Solutions in Mapping Health Data at the Neighborhood Level.”

“Team Lehman” at GIS Day, held at the SUNY Purchase campus


Hurricane Hunters at the AAG Meeting in Tampa, FL, April 2014 (by Lesley Patrick)

One of the highlights of April’s AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa Florida was the Hurricane Hunters field trip organized by Dr. Jennifer Collins of the University of South Florida. About 30 fellow hurricane and aircraft enthusiasts boarded a bus on Tuesday morning to be transported to MacDill Air Force Base, home of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) and the Hurricane Hunter aircraft. En route Dr. Collins talked about the history and mission of the Hurricane Hunters as well as their current role in meteorology and storm forecasting.

After much security ado at the gates of the base we were finally cleared to disembark at the AOC offices, an older single story building with beautiful and historic aircraft pictures lining the hallways. In the lecture hall we watched a short documentary film about the more memorable Hurricane Hunter missions and aircraft, and the vast instrumentation they use to gather storm data. Following the film we had a great Q&A session with one of the Senior Flight Meteorologists (known as Flight Directors at the AOC), Barry Damiano, a 40-year veteran of the Hurricane Hunters with many hair-raising and stomach churning stories of turbulent flight. He passed around a probe called a GPS Dropsonde that deploys from the bottom of the aircraft for atmospheric profiling and he fielded questions about storm structure, flight safety, and pre-flight breakfast strategies for queasy scientists.

Lesley Patrick, CUNY EES/Geography Doctoral Candidate and NOAA-CREST Fellow at Lehman, on the Hurricane Hunters field trip at the 2014 AAG meeting in Tampa FL

A few group photos later came the moment we’d all been waiting for - time to see and touch the airplanes! Of the five different aircraft in NOAA’s AOC, tucked away in an adjacent hangar were the hearty workhorses of the fleet, the massive and sturdy Lockheed WP-3D Orion planes that can fly for up to 10.5 hours through the hurricane’s eyewall at altitudes of 1,500 - 12,000ft and endure significant turbulence. These aircraft, named ‘Kermit’ and ‘Miss Piggy’ to connect to a younger generation, are used for hurricane research and reconnaissance as well as Midwest thunderstorms research in the off-season. Standing next to their four turbo-prop engine wingspan in the hangar, the aircraft are simultaneously massive and majestic, stout and regal. Each plane notches a hurricane symbol decal on its side fuselage just next to the passenger door, one decal for each hurricane penetrated. I counted 83 decals on Miss Piggy alone, a testament to her strength and soundness.

Once we completed touring the outside of the craft we split into groups to board Miss Piggy. The entire cabin is filed nose to tail with computer stations and scientific instruments and everything, and I mean everything, is bolted, strapped, or locked down tight. Each workstation seat is equipped with a life vest, shoulder harness seat belt, and headphones for crew communications. The WP-3D Orion have three different onboard radar for weather avoidance and data collection; C-band nose radar, C-band research radar mounted under the belly of the plane to give a 360° view, and Doppler X-band radar in the tail. The radar data is relayed in real time to the Flight Director who sits directly behind and works with the pilots to plot the safest course for penetrating the storm. The cockpit of the aircraft is most impressive with instrument panels on every side and many more knobs, dials, buttons, and levers than I was able to flip and poke in my one hot minute in the pilot’s seat (see photo).

It was incredibly interesting to spend the morning in the shoes of the Hurricane Hunters, to touch and tour their aircraft and imagine the thrills and perils of flying through major storms.  The AOC staff convey great passion for their research and mission and a sincere sense of duty to provide critical forecasting information to emergency managers and the public. With rising sea-levels and population growth in vulnerable coastal locations, this information is ever more important.

Thanks, Lesley, for this write-up of the Hurricane Hunters field trip. 

GISc Internships – Summer 2014

The summer is traditionally the time that many of our students undertake GISc Internships.  These internships are a requirement for students pursuing the MS-GISc degree, as well as an optional capstone course for the students in the GISc Certificate programs and Geography majors.

Seven GISc students from Lehman have summer internships in the Geographic Systems Section at the NYC Dept. of City Planning, working under a grant from the NYC Office of Emergency Management, developing in further detail the property lot spatial database that is used in so many emergency management and other city applications.

Meg Baker (Undergrad, GISc Certificate student)

Christopher Bride (MS-GISc, January, 2014)

Li Chen (MS-GISc student, expected to graduate January, 2015)

Mary Grey (B.A., and GISc Certificate, May, 2014, will be starting MS-GISc Program in Fall 2014)

Ragnar Thrastarson (MS-GISc student, expected to graduate May, 2015)

Amelia Zaino (MS-GISc student, expected to graduate May, 2015)

Melannie Martinez (B.S., May, 2014, Environmental Science major and GISc Certificate)

Michael Sullivan, an MS-GISc student who is expected to graduate in May, 2015, is interning at the NYC Dept. of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) this summer.  In addition, Michael is also working on a mapping project this summer with the archaeologists conducting the Seneca Village dig in Central Park.Seneca Village was a 19th century community of primarily Irish and German immigrants and African-Americans in an area on the Upper West Side that later became incorporated into what is now the location of Central Park.  This is a joint project involving researchers from the New-York Historical Society, Barnard College/Columbia University, and City College, CUNY.

Tonya Lavender-Davis, Geography undergrad, has started a GISc Internship with Voices UnBroken, a non-profit organization in the South Bronx dedicated to “providing under-heard members of the community - primarily youth, ages 12-24 - with the tools and opportunity for self-expression.”  Tonya will be creating maps of clients and service areas, and helping to prepare a GIS/mapping training manual for future volunteers at the organization so they are able to continue map development and basic spatial analyses for the organization’s needs.


Lehman’s MS-GISc Program featured in the CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Spring 2014 newsletter

“Lehman’s GISc PSM Program Guides Students into High-Growth Careers in STEM”

Lehman’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial
Sciences has been offering graduate-level courses in GISc since
2001, and the department was able to build on the popularity and
success of these courses when developing its Master’s program. In
July 2012, the department received final approval of the program
from CUNY and the New York State Education Department. The
MS-GISc program gained national affiliation with the National
Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA) in January
2013. This was the first CUNY PSM to be affiliated with the
national PSM association. The students will be required to choose
a specialization in: Environmental and Health Spatial Sciences,
Urban Sustainability, or GISc Technology.


View the article in the newsletter here.


Congratulations to our 2014 graduates!

We invite you to stop by our reception after commencement as we celebrate the achievements of our graduating students.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

12:00-1:30 pm

Gillet Hall, Room 309

Refreshments available


New Certificate in Earth Science

We are pleased to announce that we now offer a Certificate in Earth Science. This certification is designed for New York State-certified teachers of other science areas seeking a second certification in Earth Science, as well as BA or BS degree holders who desire a solid foundation in Earth Science prior to applying to a Masters of Education program. Earth Science is the science subject area with the greatest shortage of qualified, certified teachers in New York State and the New York City metropolitan region. For more information, contact Dr. Heather Sloan or download a brochure here.


Welcome to our new MS-GISc Students: Fall 2013

Our new student cohort for the MS-GISc Program’s second year is very impressive!  We have 16 new graduate students expected to start this fall, plus a couple of non-degree GISc students who hopefully will apply for admission for the spring 2014 term.  Four of our incoming MS-GISc students are recent graduates of the EEGS Dept. (most were double-majors in two of our academic disciplines: Environmental Science, Geology, Geography, and/or GISc);  Four are existing non-matriculated graduate students currently taking GISc courses, who have now changed their status to matriculated in the MS-GISc Program; Six are recent graduates of other undergrad programs (urban studies, geography, geology, mathematics, and media, culture, and communications studies) at Fordham University, New York University, SUNY Binghamton, City College, Hunter College, and the College of Mount St. Vincent; One is joining us all the way from Iceland, where he has been active in the GISc field, and another, originally from Nigeria, has been working in IT in New York City. 

This is a very diverse group, as is typical here at Lehman College, and the MS-GISc Program students are no exception.  We have MS-GISc students who represent every continent.  There are five women and 11 men in this newest cohort, 10 of whom are considered to be from groups traditionally under-represented in the STEM fields.  Last year (2012-2013), five women and 9 men were admitted, five of whom are from under-represented groups. 

On Tuesday, August 20th, we had our first MS-GISc Student Orientation Session for new and continuing students.  Many of the in-coming students attended the session, and most of the GISc faculty, as well.  Kristen Grady, our recent alumna, gave an inspirational talk about her experience as an MS-GISc student at Lehman, and tips for success in the program and in the field of GISc in general.  She also discussed her new GISc Specialist position at the NYC Office of Emergency Management, and specific aspects of the program that helped her in her employment search. 

Here are some of the MS-GISc students and faculty who attended the Orientation Session.  Unfortunately, Prof. Maantay neglected to take the photo until most of the sandwiches (and students!) had already gone, so this doesn’t represent everyone – just those with the most stamina!

Environmental Science student completes summer research program at Kent State


We welcome back Julissa Lora, who has just completed a 10-week REU summer program at Kent State University in Ohio. Julissa's research project examined how human activities affect the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by comparing sites impacted by urban influence with those that are not. Along the way she also learned a lot about different ecosystems, the scientific process,ethics in research andarchiving data in a geospatial database.

  Click thumbnail to see full poster

Here’s what she says about her research experience:

"My experience was great, better than I expected. I had the opportunity to work and be mentored by one of the most respected faculty members of Kent State University and our cohort got along very well. The first 2 weeks of the program served as “research boot camp,” where we were learned different skills that would help us during our research projects and in the future. My project consisted of observing rusty crayfish to determinate if anthropogenic sounds would affect their behavior. With the help of my mentor, I was able to set traps and nets to capture the crayfish on various sites, create a research method, analyze the data using statistical software, and present the conclusions. Later, on the last day of the program, we presented our projects during a poster symposium. Another important part of this experience was the opportunity to build professional networks within the university and the other places that we visited. Overall I would say that this experience was definitely once in a life time and so necessary for any future scientist."

Julissa will be graduating from the Environmental Science program in January of 2014. We congratulate her on a successful and productive summer.


More Summer GISc Internships!

Three more of our MS-GISc students have found exciting GISc Internships for the Summer!  From the NYC Dept. of Information Technology, to the Dept. of Environmental Protection, to the NYC Parks Dept., these students have been getting some great experience in the “real world” of GISc.  Watch this space for an announcement of when all the recent GISc interns will be giving presentations of their project work later this fall. 

Christopher Bride, who will be graduating from the program in January 2014, has been responsible for developing the Lehman Community Connect web-based interactive mapping program (see his work at For the summer, he has obtained a full-time internship at the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, known as DoITT.  Here’s what he says about his Internship experience:

“My duties are centralized around cleaning extraneous addresses from buildings from the system that emergency services use. I edit a lot of corner buildings that have an obvious front door, and then nothing on the side or perhaps a door used as an emergency exit. The amazing thing is that the real estate photography work I've been doing for the past 5 years has been instrumental in doing my job! All those photos I took I look at for almost every address correction. Talk about universal synchronicity! I also add auxiliary access and utility entrances that don't necessarily have an address associated with them. There are also vanity addresses (for buildings that might have a side on a prestigous avenue but no door facing it) that I have to make sure have all the right attributes so that if someone calls 911 from there, emergency services will know where to go.

The city has a custom tool called CSCL (City Street Center Line editor) that they use to edit these layers. You can edit centerlines, addresses, entry points into buildings, and access points onto properties (like a gated entrance to a parking lot). The primary question I ask myself before each edit is closed is "If I were calling 911 from this location, what would I tell them in terms of where I am?" It’s a little bit of a responsibility...especially since I have about 20,000 addresses that potentially could be edited!  So far this has been a very exciting summer!”

Kurt Cederholm (above) has been hired for an Internship at NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Kurt told us this in a recent e-mail:  

“The internship program at the DEP has been great so far.  I'm one of 75 interns (there were apparently 1600 applicants) working in a wide variety of fields.  My supervisor has been very helpful and I've learned a great deal about the daily workflows of GIS analysts.  Specifically, I've been working on updating the Sewer and Water geodatabases by looking at Emergency Contract Drawings which come from consultants who do construction on the system.  I've also been mapping bioswales (new green infrastructure initiative to mitigate combined sewer overflow) in relation to flooding complaints.”

Alexander Smith, another MS-GISc student, is completing his Internship requirement for the degree at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.  Alex tells us:

“I will be working this summer with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as part of the Van Cortlandt Forest Restoration team.  Our organization's mission is to enhance the sustainability, quality, safety and the user experience of the natural areas of Van Cortlandt Park. We also do tree planting, maintenance and hazard mitigation in the landscaped areas of the park. This year is the second of our Green Jobs for Youth summer employment and education program, where Bronx high school students work with different divisions within the park and take a plant science class at Lehman.  Returning students, as they have already taken the class, will be working with me on Mondays and as needed throughout the week to complete a GIS inventory of the landscape trees throughout the park.

           This inventory will consist of location, size and species of the trees.  Going forward, we hope to add information on condition, date of planting and last pruning, and source.  Over the last few years, devastating storms have claimed a number of mature landscape trees, few of which have been replaced.  This inventory will provide baseline information upon which the department will make a planting plan to better serve the needs of park users.”

Congrats to these three graduate students, and also Rosa Perez, who is interning at the NYC Education Department’s Office of Pupil Transportation.  (We reported on Rosa’s internship project earlier in the summer, scroll down below to view).  GISc Internships are part of the capstone experience and a requirement for the MS-GISc degree, as part of our Professional Science Master’s affiliation, and also support our program’s objective of introducing students to the current practitioner’s GISc world and professional networking opportunities.  A second component of the degree’s capstone experience requirement is a substantive applied GISc research project, and as part of that requirement, the students also present their project work in a public forum. 


Congratulations to all of our graduates from the Class of 2013. The E.E.G.S. department is proud of each of you, and wishes you the very best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Our First MS-GISc Program Graduates!

The MS-GISc Program, which officially started Fall 2012, already has had its first two graduates! Efrata Zegeye Asrat and Kristen Grady both began taking GISc courses as non-matriculated graduate students prior to the MS-GISc Program’s inception, and thus were able to finish their degrees within the first year after the program began. In addition to being pioneers, both students had perfect 4.0 GPAs.

After graduation, Efrata is going home to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she hopes to undertake a United Nations fellowship. Last summer she completed a GISc Internship at the UN in Ethiopia, where she created an AIDS/HIV Atlas. She is also on the organizing committee for the Global Geospatial Conference being held in Addis Ababa in November at the UN Economic Commission for Africa. GIS experts from around the world will come together to share their experiences, and speak about “Spatial Enablement in Support of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction.” Efrata will serve as a moderator and do some outreach via social media, and hopefully present a paper based on her research. Here is what Efrata says about her future, and what the MS-GISc Program has prepared her for: “The MSc-GISc Program at Lehman prepared me for everything I am going to do from now on. I have learned a lot of new things. GIS is not popular in Africa yet due to the lack of data. However, there are a few agencies and international organizations that use it. So, hopefully I will have a chance to work in one of them.”

Kristen Grady has recently started a full-time GISc Analyst position at the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM). In fact, her first day on the job was the same day that the Geostats final exam was scheduled in the evening, (which apparently she aced) so that was very exciting!

Congratulations to our ground-breaking first MS-GISc graduates, and much luck and best wishes to them as they make their marks in the GISc world.

College NOW! Summer Science Academy in GISc, and Wave Hill Forestry Program in GISc for High School Students

Once again, for the fourth summer in a row, the EEGS Dept.’s GISc Lab is hosting a group of high school students for an intensive section of the college-level course GEP 205: Principles of GISc. The class meets from Monday through Thursday for 6 weeks, for 5 hours per day. Field trips to places of mapping/GISc interest are scheduled for each Wednesday of the course. In the past summers, trips have included the Rare Map Room at the NY Public Library, the GIS unit at the World Wildlife Society at the Bronx Zoo (Mannahatta Project, etc.), the mapping division at the New York Times, the NYC Fire Department’s GIS group, and the GIS unit of the New York City Dept. of Health, among others.

We have been so fortunate to have talented and energetic instructors and lab assistants teaching this course: In 2010,Rachael Weiss(Riley) (CUNY GC DPH Candidate), in 2011 and 2012,Kristen Grady (MS-GISc, 2013), and for this summer 2013, Annarita Macri (MS Biology, 2013) as the main instructors, and for lab assistants: Kristen Grady in 2010, Tiffany Brown in 2011, Annarita Macri in 2012, and now Jose Fabre (EEGS, 2013) for this summer 2013.

Dr. Holly Porter-Morgan, (Assistant Professor, Director of Environmental Science Program, LaGuardia CC; CUNY GC Biology/Biogeography, 2008) will be teaching GISc and Environmental Science in the EEGS Dept. to high school students through the Wave Hill Forestry Program, as she has done for the past eight summers. In previous years, the students have worked on several interesting GISc projects, including an inventory and mapping of trail conditions in Riverdale Park, and habitat analysis of an endangered salamander species.

Internship for MS-GISc Student

Rosa Perez, MS-GISc student, has just started a GISc Internship with the NYC Department of Education's Office of Pupil Transportation. Rosa has completed six GISc courses and is already half-way through the 40 credit program. She will be working full-time during the summer.

Her Internship at the Office of Pupil Transportation is in support and management of the largest public school transit system in the United States. She is working on several challenging projects to modernize the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for student transportation purposes. Projects include the creation of pedestrian walk paths for determining students' eligibility for free transportation; updating the street dataset utilized by school bus routing software; and the research and development of web-based mapping capabilities for use in emergencies. In obtaining this Internship, Rosa demonstrated a strong knowledge of ArcGIS 10.0 to edit topology, utilize geo-processing tools, employ Python scripting to run these tools, enforcing topological rules, extensive use of Network Analyst, and calculating values for attributes. Congratulations, Rosa!


GIS Day special broadcast for Lehman GISc Lab

The Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory will be hosting a broadcast of special presentations from the University of Albany School of Public Health's 9th Annual GIS Day program. The broadcast is live and begins at 9:00 am on Tuesday, April 30, in the GISc Lab, Gillet Hall 322. Click the above image for detailed information.


Cartography and Communication at Lehman Art Gallery

Students and faculty attended a talk by Dr. Maantay at the Lehman Art Gallery on Tuesday, April 23. The gallery is hosting "Contemporary Cartographies", an exhibit of cartographically based art works. Dr. Maantay's presentation, "Cartography and Communication: Telling the story with maps" further explores the relationships maps have in our lives. Click the event poster image (above left) to view a full PDF file of the presentation.


EEGS Student for Summer 2013 Research Position

EEGS student Julissa Lora has been awarded a position in the Kent State University/Holden Arboretum REU Program for Summer 2013.  Julissa will be conducting a 10-week research project with mentor Dr. Ferenc de Szalay.  The intensive team-based research project will be carried out in the Biological Sciences Department, the KSU field sites and the Holden Arboretum.  The award includes a stipend, accommodation and travel.  Congratulations Julissa!


Lehman GISc Students Attend Environmental Summit at Dennings Point State Park, NY - “From Environmental Data to Decisions: The Expanding Role of Technology”

The Lehman College GISc contingent sat at the “Modeling & Climate Data” table.  Students Zakkiyyah Shah and Annarita Macri are pictured here with Dr. Tim Hall, of NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies), one of the speakers on climate change. 


Zakkiyyah Shah (Geography/Environmental Science double major, GISc Certificate student, GISc Lab Tutor, and NOAA-CRESt Fellow) and Annarita Macri (GISc Certificate student, Biology Graduate student, GISc Lab Tutor, and adjunct instructor in the GISc Science Academy for the College NOW! Program) attended the April 5thEnvironmental Summit with Prof. Maantay in Beacon, NY.  There were speakers, panelists, field trips, and opportunities for interacting and networking with environmental professionals and other students.  The event was hosted by Clarkson University's Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, and the Center for Environmental Innovation and Education.  For more details on the program, see


Map-a-Thon for Nepal hosted by EEGS GISc Lab

The GISc Laboratory at the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences hosted an Open Source Map-a-Thon on March 23rd. Participants worked with Open Source web applications to create geospatial data for densely populated areas of Nepal, which are at particular risk from earthquake activity. Expertise and instruction were provided by Prabhas Pokharel and Lehman GISc student Shaky Sherpa, with a capacity crowd of eager volunteers listening, learning, and working throughout the afternoon session.

On-line map including features created at the Map-a-Thon

Nepal Map-a-Thon in Lehman's GISc Lab


EEGS students present at NES symposium

On March 8, 2013, the 12th Annual Nature, Ecology, and Society symposium was held at the CUNY Graduate Center, where four Lehman GISc students presented posters of their GISc-focused research projects.

Christopher Bride (MS-GISc student): "Transportation Options, Supermarket Location, & Their Relationship to Diet-Related Disease in The Bronx"

Kristen Grady (MS-GISc student): "Creating a Smooth 3D Flight Path in ArcScene: Representing a complete LTO cycle at LaGuardia International Airport"

Aviva Rahmani (GISc Certificate student): "Environmental triage for fisheries in the Gulf of Maine"

Zakkiyyah Shah (Geography/GISc student): "Climate Change And Public Health In Urban Systems: Mapping Vulnerability From Containment Mobilization Due To Flooding In NYC"


Three additional Lehman students for NYC City Planning internships

Jose Fabre, Kurt Cederholm, and Margaret Baker will be joining the trio of Lehman students currently working on internships in the GIS Unit at the NYC Department of City Planning. Their primary project will be working to identify the approximately 85,000 unclassified property footprints located within NYC's five boroughs.


New NOAA-CREST Student

Lesley Patrick, an EES doctoral student studying with Dr. Maantay, has joined the NOAA-CREST Climate Change and Public Health team at Lehman College, researching the risk and vulnerability of populations and infrastructure due to sea level rise and extreme weather events.


Urban Agriculture in the Bronx

Michelle Ottmann, a Visiting Research Scientist in the Urban GISc Lab who recently was awarded a Ph.D. from Paraná Federal University in Brazil, wrote a paper on her Bronx community garden research, which was published in Cities and the Environment on December 10th, 2012.  The paper was co-authored by Dr. Maantay and Kristen Grady, CUNY Earth and Environmental Sciences doctoral student, and Nilce Fonte, a colleague in Brazil.  This research is part of a larger project comparing urban agriculture in Curitiba, Brazil and the Bronx, New York.  See the full text of the paper “Characterization of Urban Agricultural Practices and Gardeners’ Perceptions in Bronx Community Gardens, New York City,” at:

Other aspects of the research on urban agriculture and food security were conducted by doctoral student Kristen Grady (food deserts and food accessibility in the Bronx), Geography major Zakkiyyah Shah (community gardening partnerships with public schools in the Bronx), and GISc graduate student Tiffany Brown (market basket survey of food accessibility and affordability in Hunts Point in the Bronx), under a USDA grant to Lehman College and the New York Botanical Garden, with Dr. Ed Kennelly, PI, Biology Dept., and Dr. Juliana Maantay, EEGS Dept., Co-PI. 

Map showing the percentages of Bronx population below the poverty level, according the 2000 US Census Data, in relation to the location of the Bronx community gardens. (Map by K.Grady)


Spatial Analysis of Community Health at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

Rachael Weiss, a doctoral student in CUNY’s Public Health program and a Research Fellow with Dr. Maantay inthe Urban GISc Lab for the past four years, recently accepted a position with Montefiore Medical Center as a GISc/Spatial Data Analyst.  She will be working in Montefiore’s new Office of Community Health on the visualization of community health issues.  Rachael’s main research interest is the neighborhood-based determinants of healthy urban aging in New York City, with a focus on geospatial analysis and measurement.

Rachael Weiss in the Urban GISc Lab


NOAA-CREST Study on the Health Impacts of Climate Change

Zakkiyyah Shah, a Geography major and GISc Certificate student, has received a Research Fellowship from NOAA-CREST (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology) to work with Dr. Maantay on comparing the coastal cities of New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico in terms of the public health impacts of climate change. 


AIDS and HIV Atlas for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Efrata Asrat completed a GISc Internship this summer in Ethiopia, sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Center Statistics (ACS) Division, Data Management Section.  One of the projects she worked on was creating an atlas of AIDS and HIV prevalence in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.  Efrata presented her work last week to the Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis GISc class, and produced a report detailing her project. 

Poster of Efrata’s Asrat’s work during her Internship in Ethiopia



New course for Spring 2013

Geovisualization and Analytical Cartography

GEP 360/GEP 660

Pre-requisite: GEP 204 or 205/GEP 504 or 505, or departmental permission

4 credits

Tuesday evenings, 6:00 – 10:10 PM

Instructor: Gretchen Culp


Course Description:

Creating maps using advanced Geographic Information Science (GISc) techniques with a focus on understanding cartographic conventions and principles of good cartographic design, and analysis of complex spatial data through geovisualization methods. Maps will be studied critically in terms of their creation, interpretation, and relationship to space and place.


Course Objectives:

Understand cartographic conventions, principles of good cartographic design, and aesthetics, in order to create effective maps. 

Recognize, appreciate, and utilize good cartographic principles in order to correctly interpret maps and communicate information and ideas. 

Perform analysis of complex spatial data through geovisualization.

Understand the critical and social implications of maps and GISc.


Course Instructor:

Gretchen Culp is a geographer and GIS coordinator at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Emergency Environmental Information where she maps subjects ranging from gun shot violence to soda consumption.  She is also a PhD candidate in the Geography program at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Her research interests include colorimetry, urban geography and the application of classical cartographic techniques to GISc.

Gretchen’s website, showcasing some of her work:

Above: Gretchen Culp and one of her cartographic creations.


Three Lehman GISc students receive NYC City Planning Internships

Cristina Mirco (Geography major and GISc Certificate Program), Mary Grey (GISc Certificate Program), and Joseph Paccione (MS-GISc Program) have been hired for prestigious 9-month internship positions at the NYC Department of City Planning in the department's GIS Unit. The main project that they will be working on entails the identification of approximately 85,000 property footprints that are not yet classified and captured within the five boroughs of NYC.



Masters in GISc

Our brand new Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) begins this fall. We are very excited to offer such a program to our students. Given the continual growth of this dynamic and exciting field, with job and career opportunities appearing faster than they can be filled, our program is the perfect place to prepare yourself for a successful future in the Geospatial Sciences. Click here for more detailed information, or check out our MSGISc brochure.



Environmental Science Program

We are pleased to announce that our Environmental Science Program has been completely revamped. To meet the demands of this rapidly expanding career field, we've risen to the challenge and our program is more interesting, relevant, and competitive than ever. Please contact our office (Gillet Hall 315) for more information on this exciting major in which you can be successful and make a difference.


Congratulations to our Graduates!

We would like to recognize the achievements of our graduating students in the Class of 2012. We're very proud of you all, and wish you the very best of luck and prosperity in your future endeavors!

Environmental Science

Kamel Alawawda

Yane Oljirra

Jelisa Oliveras


Gloria Duran

Gabriela Aldave Jordan, Departmental Honors

Desmond Phillip

Paul Renkin, Departmental Honors

Congratulations to our students earning their GISc Certificate!

We have seven students this year who have successfully completed the requirements and will receive their Certificate in GISc. Best wishes to each one of you, your hard work is heartening as well as an inspiration to us all!

Efrata Zegey Asrat

Christopher P. Bride

Tiffany Mae Brown

Roberta Hrdy

Joshua Landecker

Robert Lupo

Annarita Macri








Last modified: Mar 20, 2015

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