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Department of Earth Environmental and Geospatial Sciences

Department News


Congratulations to the Class of 2022!

We would like to express our best wishes to the graduating class of 2022, and particularly to our students here in EEGS. While the world continues to be a more challenging place to navigtate with the pandemic, and another semester comes to a close, please know that we are proud of each and every one of you for the hard work, patience, and determination you've exhibited along your paths to academic achievement. You did it, now go on and make the world yours! And keep in touch, we are always glad to hear about the great things you're doing. The very best of luck to you from all of us!


GISMO Presents World Population Day Celebration with EEGS faculty

The New York City Geospatial Information System and Mapping Organization's (GISMO) July 27, 2021 edition of On-Pointes was organized and moderated by our own Dr. Juliana Maantay. CUNY and former CUNY faculty were well-represented in the presentations, including:

“Geospatial Highlights from the 2020 Census and Where Next in Vision” by Gregory F. Hanks, Jr., Deputy Chief, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau

“Geospatial Population Data: Sources and Tips – Publicly Available Sources of US and Global Population Data and Addressing Population Change Over Time” by Frank Donnelly, Geospatial Data Librarian, Brown University, and author of “Exploring the Census: Your Guide to America’s Data”

“Urbanization and Population Change in Low Elevation Coastal Zones (at Risk of Coastal Hazards)” by Deborah Balk, Director, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR); Professor, Marxe School of Public & International Affairs, Baruch College

Click here or on the above image to view the proceedings on YouTube.


Lehman GISc Students showcased at GISMO

The New York City Geospatial Information System and Mapping Organization (GISMO) showcased Lehman GISc students presenting their capstone research projects on the June 24, 2021 edition of On-Pointes, the GISMO monthly 'presen-chat-ation'.

Lehman students on GISMO On-Poines 06.24.2021

Presenting were:

Diana Calderon – Using GIS to Identify Optimal Espeletia grandiflora Habitat Location in the Paramo of Chingaza, Colombia

Robert Dennett – Mapping Wildfire Susceptibility: A Geospatial Analysis for Long-term Wildfire Susceptibility in the North Fork John Day Ranger District

Caitlyn Linehan – An Application of the SLEUTH method: Future Urbanization of Nashville, Tennessee

Yanitza Piedra – Developing a Habitat Suitability Index for Myotis septentrionalis in New York State

John Vona – Spatial Relationships between access to Primary Care and ACSC Hospitalizations in Brooklyn, NY

Congratulations to the presenters on a fine job done! Click the image or here to watch on YouTube.


EEGS at AmeriGEO Week

We are proud to share the achievements of Professor Yuri Gorokhovich and our students Raychell Velez, Christopher Aime, Diana Calderon, and Lauren Carey, who presented at this year's AmeriGEO Week. The conference website can be found here. Their paper, "Advancing Data for Street-Level Flood Vulnerability: Extraction of Variables from Google Street View in Quito, Ecuador to Enhance Earth Observation Driven Flash Flood Risk Assessment" was written in collaboration with researchers from Columbia University and CIESIN. Click the image for a full sized view of the accompanying poster. Congratulations on the great work!

AmeriGeo poster image


A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to our graduates, you made it! We wish each of you all of the very best that life has to offer, and are proud of your hard work and accomplishment. Stay in touch, we love hearing the success stories that are sure to come!


ArcPro demonstration presented for EEGS students and faculty

Jiin Wen of New York City Economic Development Corporation Adeola Awe of New York City Economic Development Corporation

Screenshot of ArcPro GIS software in use

Click picture to view presentation, passcode: B9$Rv@x7

On Monday, May 10th, Jiin Wen and Adeola Awe the New York City Economic Development Corporation gave a demonstration of ESRI's ArcPro software for EEGS department attendees. The software supercedes the long-standing ArcGIS/ArcMap platform as the industry standard in the GIS field. Jiin is a member or the advisory board for our MS-GISc program, and has always been a great advocate and advisor for our students working at internships at NYCEDC, and Adeola is one of ours: a success story from our GIS Masters program! The presentation was very well designed and helpful to everyone who participated. You may watch the full demonstration by clicking the screenshot above and entering the provided passcode. Thanks to Jiin and Adeola for a great job on this!


Bronx Environmental Summit Features EEGS Faculty

Bronx Environmental Summit 2021 info with link to registration

The EEGS Department at Lehman College is represented at the upcoming Bronx Environmental Summit. With Dr. Elia Machado on the conference committee, and Dr. Juliana Maantay and MS-GISc student Nira Rahman speaking, we are proud to be participating in this informative and important event! The summit is free, but registration is required. Click here or on the Register button above for a direct link.


EEGS MS-GISc Student wins at MSDAAG 2020

C. Linehan

Caitlyn Linehan, MS-GISc student and GISc Lab Tutor, took first prize for the Graduate Poster Competition at this year's Middle States Division of the American Association of Geographers (MSDAAG). The MSDAAG held its annual meeting virtually at Hofstra University. This meeting took place from Friday, October 16th to Saturday, October 17th. Despite unprecedented challenges in shifting to an online format, all of the regular events occurred including paper and poster presentations. Moreover the two featured speakers were Elisabeth Root and David Kaplan. They presented on the role of geographers in the COVID 19 crisis and the current state of Geography in the U.S. higher education landscape.

The Middle States AAG hosted a graduate poster and paper competition, and Caitlyn's winning entry, Accessibility and Connectivity of Bike Paths to Select Facilities for Bronx, NY Residents, is from her project that was started during the Spring 2020 Geostatistics course with Professor George Musa. You can read the abstract below, and click the image for a full-sized PDF of the poster. Congratulations, Caitlyn!

C. Linehan GISMO MSDAAG Poster 2020

Accessibility and Connectivity of Bike Paths to Select Facilities for Bronx, NY Residents

It is widely known that cycling as a form of physical activity provides substantial health benefits and psychological benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. However, a great deterrent to cycling for many residents is the lack of a connected bike path that would take them from their point of origin to their destination safely. The expansion of biking networks throughout urban areas would provide residents easier access to exercise and an alternative method of transportation. This study aimed to determine a low stress biking network for Bronx residents and to assess the accessibility of various health and educational facilities: libraries, recreation centers, and parks. A low stress biking network was determined based on roadway size and attributes and bicycle accommodation. Next, network analysis and an origin destination cost matrix was used to calculate how many of the facilities of interest are accessible to Bronx residents using the low stress network. From this study it was concluded that 53.7% of the population did not have bike accessibility to libraries, 89.25% did not have access to recreation centers, and 7.77% of the population did not have access to parks. This case study highlights the lack of accessibility for cyclists in the Bronx to reach these vital facilities and the potential and need for a connected and low stress biking network for residents of the Bronx.


Congratulations to our Spring 2020 graduates!

This has been an extraordinary time for everyone, and together we've faced unprecedented situations as educators and students. The faculty and staff of EEGS want each of you to know how proud we are of you for facing these challenges head on and staying the course with your studies. You made it! We wish you all the happines and success you deserve as you continue to pursue your dreams. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.


EEGS Student presents at AGU 2019 meeting

John Butler with poster at AGU meeting

John Butler presented on his work with Professor Yuri Gorokhovich at the Fall 2019 meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on December 16. His poster, "Elemental composition of soils in an urban park: strategy for conservation and management", can be viewed as a PDF by clicking the link.


Dr. Maantay presents at Montclair

Juliana Maantay presentation at Montclair October 2019

Professor Juliana Maantay gave her presentation "The Paradox of Urban Greening: Does it Hurt the Very People Who Neet it the Most?" at Montclair University in October. Click the image above to download the presentation directly, or click the link below for Montclair's info page (once there click the blue download button in the top right for the presentation).

College Now! on the go in Summer 2019

College Now students, summer 2019

The EEGS Department hosted another great group of high schoolers in the College Now! program this summer. The GISc course was taught by our own Amelia Zaino, and the trip to the New York Public Library was just one of the highlights.

Congratulations to our 2019 Graduates!

P. Tchara, C. Kim, E. Machado, graduation May 2019

MS-GISc students Pizeme Tchara and Chris Kim who graduated in Spring 2019, and Prof. Machado after the Commencement ceremony. Lehman College, May 30th, 2019.

We wish the very best for our 2019 EEGS Department graduates, and we know each of you will continue to be a source of pride for us all. Keep in touch!

EEGS Members represent at City Charter Hearing

E. Machado and B. Morgan at City Charter hearing, May 2019

Professor Elia Machado and GISc Lab Director Brian Morgan provided oral testimony in support of NYC Geospatial Information System and Mapping Organization (GISMO) proposal to amend Chapter 48 of New York City Charter. Charter Revision Commission hearing, Lehman College, Lovinger Theater, May 9, 2019.

EEGS Faculty at 2019 AAG Conference

A. Winner, E. Machado, AAG April 2019

Adjunct Lecturer Angelika Winner and Prof. Machado at the Annual AAG meeting in Washington, DC.

EEGS faculty presented at the annual American Association of Geographers, which was held in Washington, DC this year.

Among others, Angelika Winner presented her research on food deserts in NJ: "Moving beyond one-sided explanations of food deserts: A mixed-methods assessment of the food environment in Newark, New Jersey", and Prof. Machado presented her research: "The quest for greener pastures: evaluating the livelihoods impacts of providing vegetation condition maps to pastoralists in Eastern Africa".

E. Machado, AAG April 2019

Prof. Machado presenting at the 2019 AAG meeting.

Lehman GIS Lecturer receives fellowship

Lehman GIS Lecturer receives fellowship

Adjunct Lecturer Angelika Winner working with students in the Spatial Analysis of Urban Health class team projects.>

Angelika Winner (Ph.D. candidate, Graduate Center EES Geography doctoral program and Lehman Adjunct GISc Lecturer) was just notified that she received the prestigious Graduate Center Urban Studies Core Dissertation Fellowship for AY 2019-2020. Her research is titled “Ethnography of Food Provisioning Practices: A Mixed Methods Study on the Relationship between Food Practices, Health Status, Place of Residency, and Social Identities in Newark, NJ.” From 2014 through 2016, Angie was a CUNY Quantitative Reasoning Fellow (QRF), and in spring 2018 she received an Adjunct Incubator Award. For the past three years at Lehman, she has taught Principles of GISc; Urban Geography and GISc; Population Geography, Demography, and GISc; Quantitative Reasoning with GISc; as well as co-taught Spatial Analysis of Urban Health with Prof. Maantay. For the past few summers, she has also been the instructor for the College Now Summer Science Academy in GISc for high school students. Congrats to Angie!

New map publication for John Butler, MS-GISc student

Here is a map John made for the non-profit group, Gotham Whale, which was used in an article published in the Rockaway's local newspaper, The Wave. A great start for publications!

New map publication for John Butler, MS-GISc student

Rose Jimenez, NOAA-CREST Fellow, presents at GEOS Colloquium Research Day

Rose Jimenez at GEOS Colloquium Research Day Rose Jimenez title slide from GEOS presentation
Left: Rose Jimenez at the GEOS Colloquium Research Day; Right: Title slide of Rose's presentation

Rose Jimenez, a CUNY EES doctoral student and NOAA-CREST Fellow working with Prof. Maantay, is conducting research on Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn. On November 29, 2018, she presented preliminary information on her research study extent and research questions at the GEOS Colloquium Research Day at the CUNY Graduate Center. Rather than a standard powerpoint presentation, she used an ESRI Story Map instead, which can be viewed at this link:
Next year, Rose will be working with NOAA scientists at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Sandy Hook NJ.

Professor Maantay at the "Urban Transitions" Conference in Barcelona

Prof. Maantay at Urban Transitions conference in Barcelona, November 2018 Barcelona, Spain
Left: The directors and researchers of the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Right: The beautiful mediaeval coastal village of Sitges, about 30 km southwest of Barcelona city, where the Urban Transitions conference was held.

In late November, Prof. Maantay attended the “Urban Transitions: Integrating Urban and Transport Planning, Environment and Health for Healthier Urban Living” conference in Barcelona, Spain, and presented the “At-Risk Places” research about the connection between environmental stressors and mental health in Glasgow, Scotland. While in Barcelona, Prof. Maantay also spent some time meeting with the directors and researchers at the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, discussing their respective research projects and potential research collaboration and data sharing. The Barcelona researchers are currently spearheading an international 40-city comparison study of green gentrification, which dovetails with recent research studies of Prof. Maantay, who is investigating green gentrification in New York City and Glasgow, Scotland. On one of the days, Prof. Maantay gave a seminar at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on her work in Glasgow and New York City, focusing on the just-published paper “Brownfields to Greenfields: Environmental Justice Versus Environmental Gentrification,” which has been highlighted in CUNY’s SUM webpage

Greetings from Alaska!

MS-GISc graduate Valerie Bauer (May 2018) is working at Denali National Park in Alaska. She recently sent us an update which we are happy to share here.

MS-GISc graduate Valerie Bauer (May 2018) is working at Denali National Park in Alaska. I am working with the National Park Service in Denali National Park as a GIS intern. The main project I am assigned to is to create a streamlined process to receive GPS flight tracks from concessionaires who provide air taxi services and glacier landing tours within the Park and create a spatial database with the data. This collection of data will then go to the Park's acoustician who has been conducting soundscape research within the park. I am using Python to process and format the incoming data and feed it to a PostgreSQL/PostGIS database. I’ve only been here two weeks, so I’m not too deep into the project yet but so far so good. There are also many side projects that I will help with. Mainly one-off maps for researchers or rangers as well as combining and cleaning existing spatial data. The GIS Specialist here does a lot of work with photogrammetry (which is super cool), so hopefully I’ll get a chance to assist with that also.

The winter has been really mild up here so far. I’m looking forward to more cold and more snow! But, I’m glad the bears are sleeping as it makes it easier to go out hiking by myself.

The program I am interning with, Geoscientists-in-the-Parks, has their summer 2019 listing out now if you want to share with the current students. It’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the door at the National Park Service and a chance to see other parts of the U.S. and get paid.

Alaska Alaska

2018 MS-GISc Students Graduate!

2018 MS-GISc Students Graduate!

Left to Right:Amadreza Maddi; Fereshteh Ashtari; Jonathan Wadalowski; Areerat Pfeffer; Valerie Bauer; Veronica Fernandez-Rogers; Brett Levine; Mary Bandzuikas; Erica DeLuca;

2018 MS-GISc Students Graduate!

The 2018 Graduates with some GISc Faculty and Staff - The same group as above, with Prof. Maantay in front and Prof. Angie Winner and GISc Lab Director Brian Morgan in the rear right.

Workshop in GISc Research Class: Capstone Experience for PSM Degree

Workshop in GISc Research Class: Capstone Experience for PSM Degree

Students in the Workshop in GISc Research class, Spring 2018, during presentations of their capstone projects.  Most students in this class graduated in May, 2018 or will graduate in January, 2019. 

From bottom to top, back row on steps:  Mahmuda Mohamed^; Veronica Fernandez-Rogers*; Adeola Awe^; Kingsley Njoku^; Oliver Barrett^; Ahmadreza Maddi*;

From bottom to top, center row on steps: Luis Abreu; Fereshteh Ashtari*; Areerat Pfeffer*; Dean Gruenwald^; Jonathan Wadalowski*; Mary Bandzuikas^;

From bottom to top, front row on steps: Prof. Maantay; Prof. Machado; Erica DeLuca*; Rose Jimenez; (Missing from photo: Valerie Bauer*; Brett Levine*)

* May, 2018; ^ Jan., 2019

An Afternoon with Ernie Drucker

Dr. Ernie Drucker,a human rights activist and an expert on the topic of mass incarceration in the United States and its public health ramifications, gave a talk at Lehman College on May 1st.  The event was hosted by the Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences Department and the Office of the Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences.  Prof. Maantay introduced Dr. Drucker to the audience of about 90 people. 

An Afternoon with Ernie Drucker

An Afternoon with Ernie Drucker An Afternoon with Ernie Drucker

AAG 2018 New Orleans: CUNY Get-Together

The Annual AAG conference was held in New Orleans this year, and many of us were there to present our research (and eat good food!).  We met one evening after the sessions were done for the day for a dinner get-together.  Lehman College-connected current and former CUNY Geography/GISc Students and Faculty, from:  Lehman College, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health, Hunter College, and LaGuardia Community College. 

AAG 2018 New Orleans: CUNY Get-Together

GISMO Event: A Celebration of Women in GIS

“Plotting the Stars: A Celebration of Women in GIS” was an event sponsored by GISMO on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018, and was held at the NYC Economic Development Corporation offices.  Prof. Maantay was a panelist, and the event was attended by a number of Lehman College MS-GISc students and former students.  

GISMO Event: A Celebration of Women in GIS

GISMO Event: A Celebration of Women in GIS

GISMO Event: A Celebration of Women in GIS

From Left: Areerat Pfeffer, MS-GISc 2018; Kristen MacFarlane, MS-GISc 2016, and current GISMO board member; Prof. Maantay; and Valerie Bauer, MS-GISc 2018.

A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018

A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018 A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018

Left: Prof. Machado working with students during the Lab section of Remote Sensing class GEP 621, Spring 2018.

Prof. Maantay and Below: Angeliks Winner with students in Advanced GISc students in GEP 310/610/EES 79903, Spatial Analysis of Urban Health, Spring, 2018.  Working on a team project about how to integrate GISc, urban design, and urban planning to promote healthy city living and combat common urban health issues. 

A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018

A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018 A look at some of the GISc classes, Spring 2018

LeftDr. George Musa, spatial epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, teaches Geostatistics and Spatial Analytical Concepts GEP 330/630, working with Mahmuda Mohamed; Right: Anastasia Clark, Data Analyst in Special Victims Unit of the NYPD, teaches Programming for GISc, GEP 662.

GISc Lab Tutors

GISc Lab Tutors GISc Lab Tutors

GISc Lab Tutors for AY 2017-2018:  Oliver Barrett; Brett Levine; and Valerie Bauer.Left: Oliver Barrett, assisting Adeola AweRight: Brett Levine, assisting Veronica Fernandezbefore Geostatistics class.

The Accelerated Bachelor's To Master's Degree Program (ABTM)

The Accelerated Bachelor's To Master's Degree Program (ABTM) The Accelerated Bachelor's To Master's Degree Program (ABTM)

Left: One of the undergraduate students accepted into the ABTM Program this year, Diana Calderon, graduated last May from LaGuardia Community College, and is now an Environmental Science major at Lehman.  Next year she plans to apply for admission to the MS-GISc program, and will already have accumulated 12 graduate credits towards her degree, making it possible to graduate with the MS-GISc in two terms and a summer.

Here she is presenting her final project in Remote Sensing with Mary Bandzuikas, an MS-GISc student who will be graduating in January, 2019.

Right: Nira Rahman is another ABTM student, who has now successfully taken 10 Credits of GISc courses at the graduate level, and has a GPA of 3.965.  Nira was recently accepted into a prestigious and competitive summer program “Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment” for 2018.

GISc Internships, 2017-2018

GISc Internships, 2017-2018

GISc Internships, 2017-2018

Left: Areerat Pfeffer and Fereshteh Ashtari, at NYC Dept. of City Planning.  Both graduated in May, 2018.

Left: Jonathan Wadalowski, NYC Parks Dept. Jonathan graduated in May, 2018; Right: David Bullock, NYC DOHMH. David will graduate in September, 2018.

Left: Jonathan Wadalowski, NYC Parks Dept.  Jonathan graduated in May, 2018;

Right: David Bullock, NYC DOHMH.  David will graduate in September, 2018.

Brett Levine and Amadreza Maddi, Interns at NYC DOT. Both graduated in May, 2018.

Brett Levine and Amadreza Maddi, Interns at NYC DOT. Both graduated in May, 2018.

James Giebler James Giebler James Giebler

James Giebler, Intern at the NYC Dept. of City Planning’s Population unit, conducting a door-to-door survey in the Bronx, after which he inputs the information gathered when back at the office.  James started the MS-GISc program in Fall, 2017.  Counting doorbells to verify numbers of housing units.  Informal “Best Cookies in the City” Survey.

Student Scholarship Showcase

Student Scholarship Showcase

“Risk perception of Disasters and Environmental Hazards in Latin America,” presented by Lauren Carey at the "10th Annual Student Scholarship Showcase, Lehman College, CUNY" April, 23rd. 2018. 

Lauren is an undergraduate student in Environmental Sciences studying remote Sensing with Prof. Machado and completing the GISc Certificate.

New MS-GISc Students, Fall 2017-Spring 2018

New MS-GISc Students, Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Some of the new AY 2017-2018 Graduate GISc students, from left to right (Back Row): Oliver Barrett; Paradorn Wongchanapai; Mahmuda Mohamed; Abdul-Jamal Alhassan; Rose Jimenez; Nira Rahman; Rosa Argueta; Chris Kim; (Front Row): John Butler; Pizeme Tchara

Some of the new GISc students, 2017-2018 Some of the new GISc students, 2017-2018 Some of the new GISc students, 2017-2018 Some of the new GISc students, 2017-2018

Some of the new GISc students, 2017-2018. Left-Right: Abdul-Jamal Alhassan; Chris Kim; Rose Jimenez (NOAA-CREST Fellow, EES Ph.D. Program, and Advanced GISc Certificate); Ann Morris; James Giebler.

Fall 2017 International Conferences

Fall 2017 International Conferences

Prof. Maantay attended two international conferences this fall.  The first one was the 54th International Making Cities Livable: Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health and Equity, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she presented a paper on environmental gentrification in New York City and Glasgow, Scotland.  This was a medium-sized but very interactive conference, with extensive discussions at the end of each paper session, and culminating in a final day of participant workshops to make recommendations on urban design improvements to the host city, Santa Fe.  There were several field trips and walking tours of the city in preparation for this, and the conference coincided with Indigenous Peoples’ Day (known elsewhere in the US as Columbus Day), a multi-cultural celebration of the original populations of New Mexico.

Prof. Maantay at the Cape Town International Conference Centre

The second conference was the International Union of Population Scientists, held only every 4 years, and this time it was in Cape Town, South Africa.  Prof. Maantay presented “Improving Population Mapping and Exposure Assessment: 3-Dimensional Dasymetric Disaggregation in New York City and São Paulo, Brazil ,” co-authored with Prof. Maroko in collaboration with researchers at the Universidade de São Paulo, which detailed a method that is a further refinement of their original Cadastral-based Expert Dasymetric System (CEDS), developed previously as a 2-dimensional solution to more accurate population estimates for exposure/risk analyses. 

Recent MS-GISc Graduate is featured in New York Times article about the 18th and 19th Century Slave Burial Grounds in Hunts Point, Bronx

18th and 19th Century Slave Burial Grounds in Drake Park, BronxJustin Czarka, MS-GISc 2015, is a teacher at PS 48 in Hunts Point, and he and his students have been working for several years to document and survey a nearly forgotten slave burial ground located in what is now Drake Park in the South Bronx.  Along with Philip Panaritis, a former NYC Dept. of Education official who helped spearhead the “rediscovery” of the burial grounds, they have also been working to establish a memorial at the site explaining the history and significance of the graveyard.  This part of the Bronx was at one time home to large farming estates, owned by white people who, in turn, owned black people.  The white landowners are buried in a small gated cemetery, and their slaves were buried outside of it, both of which areas are now part of the park. 

Justin has created curriculum and teaching plans based on the burial grounds site, and has worked with his students to measure and map the burial grounds.  Justin also has mentioned that he would love to get some more GIS work on the project, and perhaps some Lehman GISc students who participated in the Historic and Cultural GISc class this past summer might be able to help with this, hopefully with the active participation of Justin’s students! 

: Philip Panaritis, a retired official with the Department of Education, and Justin Czarka, a teacher at P.S. 48

Here is a NYT article, and here are some words from Justin:

“The Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground (HPSBG) Project has seen progress towards commemorating the long obliterated final resting place of the enslaved in Hunts Point community of New York City. 

How, you may ask?  Head over to the HPSBG Newsletter to explore recent coverage in The New York Times, the official release of the archaeological report confirming the site, and much more!

On behalf of all of those who have worked on the Project, thank you again for your support and advocacy.  We have come very far but there is much work to be done.  We hope to have your support.”

Lehman College Graduate Students help map missing data for Puerto Rico recovery efforts

Volunteers worked on the OpenStreetMap platformVolunteers worked on the OpenStreetMap platform this week to confirm data on buildings, roads and other information that aid organizations use on the ground. Image courtesy of OpenStreetMap Image and caption from the pbs newshour article.

Last Friday, two of Lehman College’s MS-GISc students participated in a Map-a-Thon to aid Puerto Rico’s humanitarian crisis caused by the recent hurricane. Areerat Pfeffer and Adeola Awe contributed their Geographic Information Science skills in order to map buildings and other geographic features in the more isolated rural parts of the island which were hard hit by the hurricane, but which do not have accurate locational data to support disaster recovery efforts. Using OpenStreetMap, which includes data from surveys, GPS devices, aerial photography, satellite images, and crowd-sourced information, the mappers were able to validate and confirm the locations of the vulnerable communities and estimates of numbers of people involved, based on building footprint information, and provide the emergency management crews with accurate and more complete maps to assist in distribution of supplies, rescue of residents, and identification of damaged bridge and road infrastructure for rebuilding. In some cases, this is the first time these areas may ever have been mapped comprehensively and to that level of detail.

In 2015, Lehman College’s EEGS Dept. hosted a similar Map-a-Thon to help the recovery efforts in Nepal after the earthquake, and these Map-a-Thons continue to be a successful, relatively inexpensive, and fairly rapid means of getting accurate data to the “front lines” of disasters. 

Here are two articles about the Map-a-Thon event for Puerto Rico. The New York Times article contains an interview with Lehman grad student Adeola Awe about his work on the project.

New GISc Course Offered During Summer Session I, 2017

New GISc Course Offered During Summer Session I, 2017

“Historic and Cultural GISc: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods” (GEP 312/GEP 612) was offered during Session I this past summer, and the class ran with a good mix of undergraduate and graduate students.  In addition to lectures, GIS tutorials, lab assignments, and readings, the class included some guest speakers who presented their HGIS work.  Dr. Hector Agredano discussed his work on archival maps used in the analyses of the role the railroads and railroad workers played in the Mexican Revolution, and Brian Morgan presented his psycho-geographical analyses of Jack the Ripper’s London.

College Now!  Summer Science Academy in GISc for High School Students

College Now students in the 2017 Summer Science 
Academy in GISc Once again, the EEGS Dept. hosted the 6-week College Now Summer Science Academy in GISc for a group of 15 high school students.  The students get credit for a college level course, GEP 205, Principles of GISc, and they also take weekly field trips to places of interest pertaining to mapping and GISc.  This year their instructor was Angelika Winner, a Ph.D. Candidate in the CUNY Graduate Center’s EES Program and a long-term adjunct instructor in the GISc Program, and she was assisted by lab instructor Fereshteh Ashtari, an MS-GISc student who will be graduating in May 2018.

End-of-Year Bashment June 2017

End-of-Year Bashment June 2017Faculty and students gathered as usual in our traditional watering hole, Bier International in Harlem, for our annual bashment, celebrating the end of the academic year and wishing the GISc Program’s recent graduates our best for their futures.  This year it was an especially bittersweet occasion, since we were saying goodbye to so many of our graduate students: this was our second largest cohort in the Program’s history.

Commencement 2017

Commencement 2017

The Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences would like to congratulate our 2017 graduates. We wish each of you a happy and successful future!

Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) Program Celebrates its Fifth Year Anniversary

Click image to see full presentation

Master’s of Science in Geographic Information ScienceThe MS-GISc Program accepted its first cohort of graduate students in Fall 2012, and since then we have accepted over 80 students into the program in every fall and spring term, and have graduated over 30 students so far. The 40-credit graduate program requires a professional GISc internship and capstone GISc research project, which complies with the criteria of the National Professional Science Masters (PSM) Association in order to be recognized as a PSM program. The MS-GISc program offers a wide variety of GISc courses in three concentrations: Environmental and Health Spatial Science, GISc Technology; and Urban Sustainability Science.
There are currently over 40 students active in the program, and it has a very international student body: Students hail from Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Philippines, Turkey, Iceland, Nepal, Thailand, Korea, Ukraine, Bangladesh, India, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and nearly every West African country. Also, of course, from all five NYC boroughs, many of the surrounding counties in New York and New Jersey, as well as from other US states. 

Since 2012, our MS-GISc students have participated in numerous conferences and symposia at the local, national, and international levels, such as the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), various NOAA symposia and forums, United Nations conferences, and GISc-industry workshops and events. They have presented papers and posters and have won several prestigious awards. Students have also participated in faculty research and have contributed to and co-authored published papers. Upon graduation (and sometimes even before!) students have been very successful in obtaining excellent GISc positions in governmental agencies, research institutions, private consulting firms, and non-profit groups. See “Life After Lehman: Student Success Stories

This June, we will have our second largest MS-GISc graduating class:

MS-GISc graduating classSpring 2017 Students in GEP 690 Workshop in GISc Research, where students undertake their capstone research projects. Most of the students in this class are graduating this term. Clockwise, from lower left: Rene Mbuli^; Simon Liu*; Hasim Engin*; David Waring^; Adam Jessup*; Josey Rabare*; Brian Morgan (GIS Lab Director); Isaac Akpey*; David Bullock; Luis Marin~; Oliver Barrett~+; Chase Johnson*; Binod Shah*. In front right: Profs. Maantay and Machado (Missing from Photo: Kyle Winslow*)

*= MS-GISc
^= Advanced Certificate in GISc, June 2017;
~= Bachelor’s in Geography/Environmental Science, June 2017; 
+= Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program, first student successfully entering the MS-GISc under this program

New Work from the Urban GISc Lab Presented at the Annual AAG Conference:

Prof. Juliana Maantay attended the annual AAG (Association of American Geographers) held in Boston, MA this April, and was invited to be a panelist in a 90-minute session on “Environmental Justice: Past, Present and Future.” The panel also included such EJ luminaries are Laura Pulido, Julian Agyeman, Jay Chakraborty, Gordon Walker, and Rosie Day. Dr. Maantay summarized the evolution of methodological advances in EJ research, and challenged the session participants and audience to think beyond the research that up until now has been focused mainly on providing evidence of the existence of environmental injustice, and instead working on research that will help towards creating solutions. The panel session was organized by the editors of the book “Environmental Justice,” published by Routledge, to which Dr. Maantay and co-author Dr. Andrew Maroko have contributed the chapter “Assessing population at risk: Areal interpolation and dasymetric mapping.” The chapter has 16 map figures produced by MS-GISc graduate student Adam Jessup, in collaboration with Dr. Maantay, illustrating the theoretical concepts of dasymetric mapping as well as an environmental justice case study of the North River Waste Water Treatment Plant on Manhattan’s Harlem waterfront.

Example of the figures created by Adam Jessup, MS-GISc 2017

Example of the figures created by Adam JessupDr. Maantay and co-author Dr. Andrew Maroko (CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Policy) also presented a paper at the AAG, “Improving Population Mapping and Exposure Assessment: 3-Dimensional Dasymetric Disaggregation,” a new technique they developed which is particularly useful in identifying populations exposed to 3-dimensional environmental burdens such as air, thermal, or noise pollution, rather than relying on the conventional 2-dimensional exposure estimation methods. The paper was presented in the paper session “(Geo) Data Driven Infrastructures to Improve Policy Implementation,” and the session’s focus was on research that demonstrated how to extract added value from data while simultaneously highlighting the invaluable role new data products can play in improving decision-making across the commercial, policy, and humanitarian sectors. Drs. Maantay amd Maroko are now expanding the 3-D dasymetric mapping from urban areas in a developed world context like New York City to cities in areas that are not necessarily data-rich, such as Sao Paulo, Brazil. A paper based on this new Sao Paulo iteration of the research has been accepted for presentation in the Spatial Demography session at the upcoming International Union of Population Scientists Conference in Capetown, South Africa next fall, held every 4 years.

Illustration of 3-D dasymetric method  

Illustration of 3-D dasymetric method

Rachael Weiss, former Research Assistant in the Urban GISc Lab, completes her doctorate

Rachael Weiss, former Research Assistant On March 30, 2017, Rachael Weiss successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Incorporating Place and Space: a Hierarchical Spatial Approach to Exploring Preventable Congestive Heart Failure Hospitalizations (CHF) in New York City.” The research was especially noteworthy because it is the first study to investigate the role of spatial dependence and multiple levels of influence in assessing the neighborhood effects of congestive heart failure. This will be useful in the future for targeting community approaches to prevent CHF hospitalizations and readmissions. Rachael has now completed all the degree requirements and will receive her doctorate in May, 2017.

Rachael had been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the CUNY Graduate Center, which supported her during the five years she worked as a research assistant in the Urban GISc Lab with Dr. Maantay on environmental health justice projects, including an EPA report on the health effects of proximity to environmental hazards; an examination of the spatial distribution of low birth weight infants in relation to certain environmental stressors in the built environment; as well as developing an index of neighborhood walkability for the elderly, published in Cities and the Environment

Rachael is currently employed as a data analyst at a tech firm in Soho, and works with big data sets to predict market trends. 

Committee members with the new Dr. WeissAfter the defense: Committee members with the new Dr. Weiss.
From the left: Luisa Borrell; Juliana Maantay, Rachael Weiss, and Andrew Maroko. The fourth committee member, Lance Waller of Emory University, joined the defense by Skype. 

Lehman GISc Grad interviewed in GeoHipster

Kristen Grady (MS-GISc, 2013) is featured in an interview on the GeoHipsterwebsite. Besides being a graduate from our Masters in GISc program, Kristen has taught numerous courses in our department. Check out the feature for some interesting and informed insight from someone whose lifelong fascination with maps and geography has taken her through our program and into a successful career.

Lehman GISc Grad interviewed in GeoHipster

Click image

CUNY GISc Summit

Simon LiuAdam Jessup

(Left) Simon Liu, "Can We Comprehensively Measure Cyclist Safety in New York City? Maybe..."; (Right) Adam Jessup, "The Spatial Analysis of Urban Health: A Portrait in Labs"

The first CUNY GIS Summit was held on March 3rd at the CUNY School of Law in Long Island City. The aim of the Summit was to bring together the diverse GISc community from all the CUNY campuses for an informative day of talks, poster presentations, and networking to display the breadth and depth of GISc work going on across CUNY. The Summit was spearheaded by Dr. Mark Hauber, the CUNY interim University Vice Provost of Research, who is extremely supportive of GISc at CUNY.

Sara McLafferty, , former Professor of Geography at Hunter College and now Professor and Department Head, Geography & Geographic Information Science, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gave an excellent keynote address on the role of GISc in public health research, titled “GIS in Public Health: Research and Policy - Past, Present, and Future.”

There were more than a dozen short talks by CUNY faculty and CUNY doctoral students from 10 different CUNY campuses during a “lightning round.” These were focused on recent GISc research and “new discoveries,” and included speed talks by Lehman EEGS Professor Juliana Maantay; Lehman adjunct GISc faculty Frank Donnelly (Spatial Database Librarian at Baruch); Prof. Andrew Maroko; and former Lehman Professor Glen Johnson (both of whom are now with the CUNY School of Public Health).

Brian Morgan, "A Psychogeography of Jack the Ripper's London

Brian Morgan, "A Psychogeography of Jack the Ripper's London"

Twenty posters were exhibited, showcasing students’ GISc work, and representing 10 different CUNY campuses. Six of the 20 posters were created by Lehman students (see photos). A number of other Lehman EEGS Dept. faculty, adjuncts, and GISc grad students also attended the Summit.

We look forward to the next incarnation of the CUNY GIS Summit!

David BullockBinod Shah and Hasim Engin

(Left) David Bullock, "A Digital Elevation Map for a location of Eastern Valles Marineris, Mars"; (Right) Binod Shah and Hasim Engin, "Spatial Analysis of Food Delivery Patterns in Manhattan"

Ragnar Thrastarson (MS-GIS, 2015) News from the North

Ragnar recently wrote to give us an update on his career and his move from New York City back to Iceland after graduating from the MS-GISc Program in May, 2015:

“I'm now the GIS coordinator of the Icelandic Meteorology Office as well as an expert in avalanche hazard assessment. In the beginning the aim was to split my time 50/50 between the two roles, but it's more like 75% Coordinator. I love that role within the office and it fits me perfectly. I get to show people the magic of GIS and open up ‘spatial opportunities’ that lay within their datasets. Since graduation I've been programming more and more with Python. Both building in-house tools for ArcGIS and QGIS and running stand alone scripts that crunch massive raster datasets. I cannot stress how important it has been for me to know just a little bit about Python programming for spatial data. This also means that I'm able to approach co-workers that run Linux and do everything through a command line interface and that think that ‘GIS is just for creating maps.’ I get to show them neat tricks that you can do with Python with the spatial aspect for their data.” 

Since moving back to Iceland, Ragnar’s family has expanded to include two identical twin boys. Congratulations to Ragnar on both career and family news.

Kristen Grady (MS-GISc, 2013) is featured in National Geographic this month!

Kristen Grady

"Maps Cartographers Made as Kids"

Kristen Grady, GIS specialist, New York City Emergency Management
Andromada is an imaginary mashup of places 11-year-old Kristen Grady had been. A recent family trip to California was the inspiration, but there are also elements of her hometown (in the Poconos of Pennsylvania), as well as echoes of New York City. She thinks the name was most likely inspired by the 1971 sci-fi film “The Andromeda Strain,” one of her dad’s favorites.

At the time, Grady’s fifth-grade teacher was really into geography and made his students draw maps all the time. “He was an amazing teacher,” she says. “Probably the best I ever had.”

Another trip to California during her college years set her on a professional cartography track. It was her first encounter with those digital in-flight maps that track the plane’s progress. She spent the entire flight taking pictures of everything that looked interesting on the ground below, then taking a photo of the map after each one. Back at home, she checked the photos against Google Earth to identify everything she had seen. “I was like, Oh my God, I've never enjoyed anything so much as I'm enjoying doing this right now,” Grady says. “I need to go back and study this stuff.”

Within weeks of that trip she’d switched her major from philosophy to geography. She went on to get a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems, and today she works as a GIS specialist at New York City Emergency Management, handling data and making maps to help the city prepare for and respond to all sorts of emergencies.

“We do a lot with weather-related events, like coastal storms, hurricanes, snow storms,” she says. “We had a tornado once. It’s really exciting.”

And Grady is still making maps for fun too, doing some freelance cartography on the side.

Where Are They Now?  Former EEGS Dept. Doctoral Students

The EEGS Dept. is best known for our undergraduate and certificate programs in Earth Science, Environmental Science, Geography, and GISc, in addition to our MS-GISc graduate program.  But over the years we have also been the home campus/department for a number of doctoral students from the CUNY Graduate Center’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program in Geography.  Because of the typical length of time a Ph.D. degree requires to complete, these students have often been part of our department longer than most of our undergrad or master’s degree students.  As part of their fellowships or assistantships, these Ph.D. students have been Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs), teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses such as Introduction to Geography, Urban Geography, Conservation and the Environment, Programming for GISc, Geovisualization and Analytical Cartography, Spatial Database Management, and Principles of GISc.  Some have been Research Assistants, working primarily with Dr. Maantay in the Urban GISc Lab, and/or as NOAA-CREST Fellows, or as adjunct instructors.

The following is a brief update on what some of these former doctoral students are now doing.

Keith Miyake, Keith Miyake, former Research Assistant and GTF, completed his Ph.D. in Geography in 2016 and is now at the University of California, Davis, where he was awarded a Chancellor's postdoc with Julie Sze, an eminent Environmental Justice researcher.  Dissertation title: Institutionalizing Environmental Justice: Race, Place, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

 Laurel Mei Singh, former Research Assistant, completed her Ph.D. in Geography in 2016, and is now working on a postdoc at Princeton University in American Studies.  Dissertation title: Geographies of Desecration: Race, Indigeneity, and the Militarization of Hawai'i.

Gretchen Culp Gretchen Culp, former GISc Adjunct Instructor, (Ph.D., 2016) is now the GIS Lead in the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  She is also now an Adjunct Assistant Professor of GISc in our department, teaching Geovisualization and Analytical Cartography.  Dissertation titleIncreasing Accessibility for Map Readers with Acquired and Inherited Color Vision Deficiencies: A Re-Coloring Algorithm for Maps.

Lesley Patrick Lesley Patrick, former Research Assistant and NOAA-CREST Fellow, (Ph.D., 2015), is now the Program Director for Assessment and Modeling at the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRIJB), working on major projects involving resilience assessment of Jamaica Bay and an integrated modeling effort to evaluate alternative to the storm surge barrier plan.  Dissertation title:  Health Exposure, Socio-Economic Vulnerability, and Infrastructure at Risk to Current and Projected Coastal Flooding in New York City.

Moira Conway Moira Conway, former GTF, (Ph.D., 2014) is now an Assistant Professor of GIScience at Kutztown University, teaching GIS, urban, economic, and transportation geography courses.   Dissertation title: Gravity Modeling of Casinos in the United States: A Case Study of Philadelphia.


Jennifer Brisbane Jennifer Brisbane, former GISc Adjunct Instructor, (Ph.D., 2014), is an Application Developer at the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).  Dissertation title:  Historical Relationships between Land Elevation and Socioeconomic Status in New York City: A Mixed Methods GIS Approach.

Katera Moore, former GTF, (Ph.D. 2014) is currently Director of the Community Food Education Program, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships.  Dissertation Title:  In Harm’s Way: Did the redevelopment of Philadelphia situate marginal people on marginal land?

Philippe Amstislavski Philippe Amstislavski, former Research Assistant, (Ph.D., 2012), is now an Associate Professor at the University of Alaska with the Department of Health Sciences, working on climate change issues and circumpolar health there.  Dissertation title: Access to Urban Food Outlets as a Predictor of Diabetes.

Andrew Maroko Andrew Maroko, former GISc Adjunct Instructor, Research Assistant, and NOAA-CREST Fellow, (Ph.D., 2010) is now an Associate Professor at the CUNY School of Public Health in the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Dept.  Dissertation title: Chronic Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Heart Failure in New York City:  A Methodological Exploration of Environmental Justice and Health.

Jun Tu Jun Tu, former GTF and Research Assistant, (Ph.D., 2008), is now an Associate Professor of Geography at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. 


Holly Porter Holly Porter-Morgan, former GISc Adjunct Instructor, Research Assistant, and NOAA-CREST Fellow, (Ph.D., 2007) is a Professor and Director of the Environmental Science Program at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.  She is also an Adjunct Professor here in the EEGS Dept, teaching Web Mapping and Biogeography and GISc. 

We look forward to the department’s most recent GTFs and doctoral research assistants graduating and joining this list very soon  (Jose Pillich, Angie Winner, and Eric Kutter).

MS-GISc Students are Semi-Finalists in The Geneva Graduate Institute's "Challenges of Urbanisation" International Competition

Adam Jessup and Simon LiuAdam Jessup and Simon Liu, two graduate students in the MS-GISc program, have been notified that their team was selected as semi-finalists in the Geneva Graduate Institute’s prestigious international competition, the “Geneva Challenge.” There were 144 graduate student team entries from universities all over the world, and 12 were chosen as semi-finalists.

The Geneva Challenge: Challenges of Urbanisation,” supported by patrons Kofi Annan and Jenö Staehelin, invited teams of graduate students from around the world to devise innovative and pragmatic solutions to key international urban issues. This third edition of the annual challenge explores how problems stemming from urbanisation and rapid development can be tackled to foster social and economic development.

The MS-GISc students’ entry, “Measures for Mitigation: Infectious Disease Vector Habitat Identification and Remediation in Rapidly Urbanized Locales Through Mobile Crowdsourcing and Participatory GIS,” details the development of a mobile app for smart phones, which could be used by citizens, especially in less-developed countries, to identify mosquito habitats for remediation in order to curb mosquito-borne diseases.


The world as we know it is becoming increasingly more urban. By 2030 urban populations are projected to increase from 3.4 billion to 5 billion (68%) while urban land cover is expected to increase by 200%. It is believed that further growth will take place nearly exclusively in the cities of developing countries, a milieu wherein urbanization occurs more rapidly, sometimes in unplanned and unsustainable ways. Unplanned and rapid development can result in infrastructure-compromised settlements that facilitate the spread of infectious diseases through poor sanitation and crowding. Dengue is one such important and globally burdensome disease that has a global annual cost of $8.9 billion dollars. The only real option for the control of dengue is through control of its principal vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito. We propose a mobile crowdsourcing and participatory GIS approach to infectious disease vector habitat identification through the design and implementation of a smartphone application. We provide a case study in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to enumerate how this proposed smartphone app would integrate into ongoing vector mitigation efforts and facilitate the collection of more robust, accurate, and real time data on suspected Ae. aegypti habitats.

Congratulations to our Spring 2016 Graduating Students!

The Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences would like to offer our congratulations and very best wishes to our members of the class of 2016. We're proud to count each of you as one of ours, and we look forward to hearing of the joys and successes that life has waiting for you in the future!

BA Earth Science

  •   Nelson Caro
  •   Nicolette Georgiades
  •   Rinaldy Gomez
  •   Arianne Lombardi
  •   Alfred Marku

BS Environmental Science

  •   Ryal Ali
  •   Dulce Rosas
  •   Surajdeen Salawdeen
  •   Gabriel Santos
  •   Guilherme Silva
  •   Oksana Tatis


  •   Lina Elsayed Mohamad

Lehman at the 2016 AAG/ISUH in San Francisco

The Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2016 was in San Francisco this year, and was held jointly with the International Society of Urban Health (ISUH) Conference. The featured theme of both conferences was “International Geography, GIScience, and Urban Health,” and there were joint paper sessions, plenaries, and panel discussions on various medical and health geography topics throughout the overlapping 7 days of the conferences. 

GISc Program

The GISc Program was well-represented at the AAG/ISUH this year (from left to right): Prof. Andrew Maroko, Spiro Korizis (who graduated in January, 2016 from the MPH Public Health GISc track), Prof. Glen Johnson, and Prof. Juliana Maantay.

The Lehman GISc presentations were:

The Lehman GISc presentation‘At-Risk’ Places: Inequities in the distribution of environmental stressors and prescription rates of mental health medications in Glasgow, Scotland,by Andrew Maroko and Juliana Maantay;

The Lehman GISc presentationCommunity Health Needs Assessment through Spatial Regression Modeling, by Glen Johnson;

The Lehman GISc presentationGentrification and Ischemic Heart Disease in the Bronx, by Spiro Korizis.

The presentation by Maantay/Maroko was based on a paper published in October, 2015 in Environmental Research, which can be viewed and downloaded here

***NEW*** Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program in Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences (EEGS)

This program is designed for exceptional Lehman College students who want to earn a Bachelor's and Master's degree in five years of full-time study (or the part-time student equivalent) in the EEGS disciplines. Students in the program receive a BS in Environmental Science or a BA in Earth Science or Geography, and a Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) at the end of the program. The requirements for completion are identical to those for completion of two separate degrees. However, because 12 credits of coursework taken for the bachelor’s degree can be at the graduate level (500- and 600-level courses), these can also count towards the graduate degree, therefore students are able to complete the course requirements for the Bachelor’s degree in four years and the course requirements for the combined Bachelor’s/Master's degree in five years. By completing the Bachelor’s requirements during the first four years, students are assured of the bachelor's degree if, for any reason, they do not complete the fifth year for the Master’s.

Before being considered for this Accelerated Degree program, students must have already completed at least one GISc course at the undergraduate level and received a B+ or better, with at least an 3.0 GPA overall. Students are encouraged to declare their interest in the program as soon as possible upon completing 60 undergraduate credits. Early in the junior year, or upon completing 60 undergraduate credits, students should contact Richard Finger, Director of Lehman College’s Office of Graduate Studies at, or Juliana Maantay, Director of the MS-GISc Program in the EEGS Dept. at

Qualified students transferring from other senior or community colleges are also eligible to apply for this program, including those from La Guardia Community College with an AS degree in “Environmental Science and Geospatial Technology,” or Bronx Community College students with an AAS degree in “Geospatial Technology.”

New MS-GISc Students Attend Orientation

New MS-GISc Students Attend Orientation Some of our Spring 2016 in-coming graduate GISc students attended the Graduate Student Orientation on January 5th. Left to right: Mohamed Feika, Rene Mbuli, David Bullock, Erica DeLuca, Tom Goodwin, Kyle Winslow. Also attending but not photographed were Arthur Arellano, Fereshteh Ashtari, Valerie Bauer, and Ahmadreza Maddi.

CUNY TV features EEGS Faculty

CUNY TV features EEGS FacultyWe're proud to announce that Dr. Holly Porter-Morgan, (Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Science at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY) was featured on a recent episode of CUNY TV's "Study With The Best" series. The segment was filmed on-site at Newtown Creek, where Prof. Porter-Morgan conducts research with her students and community groups on water quality. Her segment begins at the 21:00 mark in the episode, which you can access from here. Prof. Porter Morgan is a long-term adjunct Associate Professor in our department, and teaches GISc-based courses including Biogeography and Web Mapping.

EEGS faculty at CUNY Research Foundation

EEGS faculty at CUNY Research FoundationEEGS faculty at CUNY Research Foundation

Agricultural fields in study area, note the steep slopes; Prof. Gorokhovich and research collaborator Ivan Girón examining a landslide.

Professors Elia Machado and Yuri Gorokhovich are conducting research with students and academics from two Universities in Guatemala (Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and Universidad Rafael Lándivar), and a local NGO (Asociación Vivamos Mejor) in a project entitled "Improving preparedness to extreme natural hazards events in Lake Atitlán region: a bottom-up approach".

The main objectives of the project are to analyze the risk perception and preparedness behavior of the different actors of the communities participating in the study and to perform a spatial analysis of vulnerability to disasters that integrates social and biophysical variables as well as preparedness and risk perception indicators. The long term goal of their research is to develop community strategies to improve the preparedness to disasters and resilience of the communities involved in the study.

More information about the exciting research of Professors Machado and Gorokhovich in Guatemala can be found here

EEGS faculty present at AGU conference in San Francisco

The American Geophysical Union (AGU ) is an international non-profit scientific association with more than 60,000 members whose work focuses on a variety of Earth and Space Science topics. Last's year meeting in San Francisco was one of the largest ever, with approximately 24,000 attendees.

EEGS faculty present at AGU conference in San FranciscoEEGS faculty present at AGU conference in San Francisco

The vast poster session at the AGU; Profs. Machado (l) and Gorokhovich (r).

EEGS faculty Prof. Yuri Gorokhovich and Prof. Elia Machado were co-organizers of a paper and poster session (Hydrometeorological and Geophysical Hazards and Disasters in Developing Countries: Risk Perception, Management, and Adaptation), and presented on research they have been conducting in Guatemala. Their presentation, which focused on the importance of aspect as a variable in landslide occurrence, has been published in the Journal Natural Hazards (Gorokhovich, Y., Machado, E. A., Melgar, L. I. G., & Ghahremani, M. Improving landslide hazard and risk mapping in Guatemala using terrain aspect. Natural Hazards, 1-18.). If you are interested in this paper, email Professor Gorokhovich ( for more information. 

ESRI's Dave LaShell speaks to EEGS students

ESRI's Dave LaShell speaks to EEGS studentsDave LaShell, Sr. Account Executive at ESRI and member of the advisory board of the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) program at Lehman, gave a very enthusiastic and widely attended talk on Monday, November 16th, as part of the Seminar and Internship Program in Geography, taught by Professor Machado. During his thought provoking talk, Mr. LaShell inspired many students to identify their core interests and motivated them to proactively pursue their career goals in the geospatial sciences. 

Innovative Faculty-Student Map Technique Presented at the New York State GeoCon Conference

Bivariate Stepped Choropleth Map of GWR results (Glasgow, Scotland)

Bivariate Stepped Choropleth Map of GWR results (Glasgow, Scotland)

Data sources: Scotland Census, SIMD Health Domain 2010; Scottish Government (2012); Glasgow DRS (2012). Map created by Andrew Maroko, Juliana Maantay, and Ragnar Þrastarson, Lehman College, CUNY, from the research study: “At-risk” places: Inequities in the distribution of environmental stressors and prescription rates of mental health medications in Glasgow, Scotland (2015).

An innovative stepped choropleth bivariate map, created by Ragnar Þrastarson (MS-GISc, 2015), Prof. Andrew Maroko, and Prof. Juliana Maantay, was presented as part of the “State of the State in GIS” at the biannual New York State GeoCon Conference in Albany, October 28-30, 2015. The map “Bivariate Stepped Choropleth Map of GWR results,” depicts the outputs of a Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR), showing the relationship between the density of vacant and derelict land (VDL), a potential environmental stressor, and prescription rates for mental health medications, in Glasgow, Scotland. The local R2 shows how well the local model performs, whereas the VDL coefficient represents the direction and magnitude of the association between VDL density and mental health prescription rates, while adjusting for selected socio-demographic characteristics. 
The video of the conference presentation is available for viewing.

Our map is at the 4:54 minute mark. The presenter, Bill Johnson, Geographic Information Officer of the New York State Office of Information Technology Services, said that he read the description of the map “over and over again,” but his brain wasn’t big enough to understand what the map was all about. HMMM. 

The research study from which this map was created was published this week in Environmental Research Letters, [“At-risk” places: Inequities in the distribution of environmental stressors and prescription rates of mental health medications in Glasgow, Scotland] and can be viewed or downloaded here

Third Cohort of GISc Graduate Students in EEGS Department

The EEGS Department’s graduate Geographic Information Science (GISc) Program has welcomed their third Fall cohort of students into the 40-credit MS-GISc program and the 20-credit Advanced Certificate in GISc. This fall, 15 new students started the program: 13 in the MS-GISc degree plus 2 Advanced GISc Certificate students. As in the past, the incoming students are a remarkably diverse group: 4 women and 11 men (last term it was the opposite, with more women than men admitted); and about half are from groups considered under-represented in the STEM fields. Twenty students have completed the graduate program so far, from May 2013 through May 2015, and the program has around 30-35 students enrolled at any given time. The graduate GISc program also shares faculty and co-listed courses with students in the Public Health GISc track of the MPH program, as well as with the CUNY Graduate Center’s doctoral programs, particularly Earth and Environmental Sciences and Public Health, but also Criminal Justice, Environmental Psychology, and Biology, among others.

15 new students in the Fall 2015 cohort,Some of the 15 new students in the Fall 2015 cohort, as well as a few of the students who started in Spring 2015. From left to right: Kashmala Chaudhry; Josey Rabare; Maria Rodriguez; Adam Jessup; David Waring; Anastasia Clarke; Chase Johnson; and Veronica Fernandez. The photo was taken in the GISc Lab in Gillet Hall during the class GEP 675: Data Acquisition and Integration with GISc, taught by Prof. Yuri Gorokhovich.

New Student Work

New Student WorkClick image to access student work

New Student WorkCheck out the web mapping applications produced by students from GEP 680, Emerging Issues and Methods in GISc: Web Mapping. This is a brand new course and was offered for the first time this past summer by Professor Holly Porter-Morgan. Our students definitely rose to the occasion, as you will see!

News from the North!

News from the North!Digital Elevation Models like this depiction of Point Hope, Alaska, will help researchers evaluate how warming in the region is affecting the Arctic. Credit: Polar Geospatial Center, Ohio State University, Cornell University, DigitalGlobe Inc.

Ragnar Thrastarson (MS-GISc 2015) reports on his latest activities back in Iceland: “I got a job at the Icelandic Meteorology Office (IMO) and started working almost immediately after I arrived from the US. This all happened very fast, [they] needed someone with a strong GIS background. I was interviewed and hired the same day as soon as a got back from my road trip on the West Coast. My task revolves mostly around avalanches and assessing the risk they pose to a lot of the smaller villages in Iceland, especially the ones that have buildings right next to a mountain slope. This involves working with elevation data and prepping it for models used to predict possible avalanche paths and sizes for that particular slope and aspect. The results are compared to historical avalanche data and finally used to draw iso-lines or risk areas that are in theory very similar to flood zones in NYC. The results will be used further for planning and mitigation efforts. My task will also be to assist other scientists with any kind of spatial datasets or analysis if needed. I will also get the opportunity to write some python scripts and implement them as tools in the ArcGIS toolbox. No doubt that Jennifer’s [Adjunct Assistant Professor Brisbane’s] Python class will help with that.

Another project that I will be working on is with the Polar Geospatial Center of University of Minnesota. They are funded by the National Science Foundation and are currently planning to collect and create a DEM from WorldView-3 sat images (processed in stereo to create 3d surface) of THE WHOLE ARCTIC, which is everything above ~60°N including Greenland. They want to use Iceland as a kind of prototype for this project and so we (The Icelandic Met Office) have been supplying them with Icelandic Lidar data so they can make adjustments to their stereo processing. The result will be a 2 by 2 meter elevation raster covering the whole island, and in the future, the whole arctic. This massive project was actually just announced by Barack Obama himself while visiting Alaska (NSF press release here”

Lehman student and instructor attend the International Conference of Critical Geography, Ramallah, Palestine

Lehman student and instructor attend the International Conference of Critical Geography, Ramallah, PalestineEric Nava-Perez (GISc Certificate student and Political Science major, standing on the right) and Marlene Ramos (Graduate Teaching Fellow in EEGS and a Geography doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, seated on the left) attended the International Conference of Critical Geography this July in Ramallah, Palestine. They were part of the panel entitled The political economy of U.S. immigration enforcement: dominant narratives, counter-narratives, and resisting the deportation regime in New York City, and presented a paper “Resisting the deportation machine: narratives from the frontlines of counter-displacement efforts in New York City.” Note the “Lehman Dream Team” banner in the projected slide. Eric expects to graduate from Lehman this May 2016, and is planning to start a Ph.D. program in the Fall 2016.

Earth Science Students: Upcoming GEO 4500 Field Trips, Fall 2015!

Earth Science Students

Open seats may still be available to Lehman College students. Contact Dr. Heather Sloan for more information on attending one or more of these informative and enjoyable events!

NYS Overview - 19 Sept 2015

This field trip is designed to give you an overview of the geologic and tectonic history of southeastern New York State. We will observe the principal geologic and physiographic provinces and the primary rock types and structural features within them. We will visit the Hudson Highlands (Bear Mt), Hudson River Valley (Rhinebeck) and the Catskill Mountains (Kaaterskill Falls).

New York Botanical Gardens – 3 Oct 2015 Which Way Did They Go? Local direction of glacier flow.

Although it is generally accepted that the last episode of glaciation advanced over this region from the NNW to the SSE, we are going to double check to see if the erosional glacial features in the NY Botanical Gardens confirm this direction or if they tell a different story. This is a chance to hone your skills with a compass and to see some outstanding glacial features.

Harriman State Park – Hydrothermal Mineral Deposits in a Shear Zone 17 October 2015

We will examine the relationship of economic mineral deposits and large-scale tectonic deformation in Harriman State Park. In particular, we will look at several old abandoned mines that exploited mineral deposits along a major shear zone. The strike-slip motion within the shear zone was accompanied (and perhaps followed by) hydrothermal circulation that played a key role in depositing a variety of economic minerals.

Summer GISc Courses

Summer GISc CoursesStudents present their final projects for GEP 680 - Emerging Issues and Methods in GISc: Web Mapping. From left: Prof. Holly Porter-Morgan, Mary Gray, Anastasia Clark, Kashmala Chaudhry, Bamesh Roy.

For the first time, the EEGS Dept. has offered GISc courses during the summer: an 11-week hybrid online version of GEP 605 – Special Projects in GISc: Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis, taught by Prof. Andrew Maroko, and a 4-week hybrid online version of GEP 680 - Emerging Issues and Methods in GISc: Web Mapping, taught by Prof. Holly Porter-Morgan. By all accounts the courses have been a success and we intend to build on this experience to plan for GISc courses for next summer.

College Now! Summer Science Academy in GISc

College Now! Summer Science Academy in GIScHigh School Students in the College Now! Summer Science Academy in GISc visit the the GIS unit at the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) during one of their weekly field trips. Angie Winner, the GISc Lab Instructor, is in the center (in denim jacket).

Once again, the EEGS Dept. GISc Lab is playing host to the 15 high school students enrolled in the College Now! Summer Science Academy in GISc, for which they receive college credit for GEP 205, Principles of GISc. And once again, Lehman graduate student Annarita Macri is teaching the course, assisted by Angie Winner, EES doctoral student in Geography. The class meets Mondays through Thursdays, with Wednesdays as a field trip day, where the students get to visit such places as the Map Room at the New York Public Library on 42 Street, the GIS unit at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the NYC Fire Department, The NYC Office of Emergency Management, and the regional offices of Environmental Systems Research Institute.

Summer GISc Internships

Several GISc students and recent graduates of the program have undertaken GISc internships or post-grad positions this summer.

Summer Internship Capstone Experience:
Kashmala Chaudhry - NYC Dept. of City Planning - Geographic Research Unit 
Lina El Sayed – NavLeb in Beirut, Lebanon. 
Justin Czarka – Kingsbridge (Bronx) Built Environment Mapping Study

Post-Grad GISc Summer Internships:
Amelia Zaino – Westchester County GIS
Michael Sullivan – United Nations, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Katherine Burgos – NYC DOT 
Bamesh Roy – NYC Dept. of City Planning, Capital Planning Division
Eva Lugo - New York City Department of Education, Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT)
Rosa Perez - Department of City Planning, Geographic Research Unit

New Full-Time GIS Positions for Lehman Grads

Ragnar Thrastarson - Icelandic Meteorology Office
Katherine Burgos – NYC Department of Transportation

State of the Map Conference at the United Nations

tate of the Map Conference at the United NationsThe first "Selfie from Space", using Digital Globe Satellite, June 7, 2015, United Nations Plaza.

Recent MS-GISc alumni Kristen MacFarlane and Michael Sullivan (both 2015 graduates), and Prof. Glen Johnson (shown in photo above), attended an intensive State of the Map Conference at the United Nations, June 6-8, which was packed with interesting talks about mapping and geocoding, for OpenStreetMap users and mappers in general.

Google Maps API Developers "Code the Road" event in NYC

Our own Adjunct GISc professors, Gretchen Culp and Jennifer Brisbane, attended the Google Maps API Developers meet-up on June 18th. This event, called "Code the Road", is traveling across the country.

Google Maps API Developers "Code the Road" event in NYC"The meet-ups will highlight how developers can use the Google Maps APIs in their apps and websites and include sessions with Google Engineers and customers."

EEGS Student in Riverdale Press

EEGS Student in Riverdale Press

New Full-Time GISc Jobs for MS-GISc Students

Kurt Cederholm has been offered a new job with NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as a Senior Analyst. He will essentially be creating and running a GIS unit within the agency, mapping and analyzing the Big Data they have, which pertains to foster care placement, juvenile justice statistics, and other social phenomena about children throughout the city. Kurt is about half way through the MS-GISc program, and did his GISc Internship at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection a couple of summers ago. He was subsequently offered a full-time position at DEP and has been employed there as a full-time GIS analyst ever since. 

Kristen MacFarlane, who graduated from the MS-GISc program this May, 2015, will be starting a new job as an Environmental Educator at Wave Hill. The position involves training the students in using GISc for conservation and ecology, and conducting hands-on GIS projects with the students. Kristen says this is her “dream job.” 

Christopher Bride, who graduated from the MS-GISc program in 2014, just started a new job as a GIS Specialist for the NYC Parks Department’s 2015 Tree Census. This position reflects a perfect confluence of Chris’ experience in city government and his love of all things green! Chris is also regularly volunteering his GISc skills at Riverkeeper; The West Side Campaign Against Hunger; and is just starting a project with the Food and Water Watch from Washington DC, tracking the development of oil pipelines. Chris says: “It’s been an exciting year!”

Graduation Day, May 28, 2015

We are very proud to announce the graduating students from the EEGS Department for January and May 2015. We wish them all the very best for their futures, which we know will be undeniably bright, and hope they keep in touch with faculty and staff from their “old” department. 

Congratulations to them all!

Four of our outstanding 2015 GISc graduates

Four of our outstanding 2015 GISc graduates, from left: Justin Czarka (Advanced Certificate in GISc); Keri-Dean Scarlett (MS-GISc); Ragnar Thrastarson (MS-GISc); Michael Sullivan (Sully, MS-GISc).

This year, we had our first large cohort of graduates from the MS-GISc Program.  Many of these students began the program in Fall 2013 or Spring 2014, with some of the part-time graduate students starting a bit earlier.

Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc):

  • Katherine Burgos
  • Li Chen (January 2015)
  • Edosasere Egharevba
  • Eva Lugo
  • Kristen MacFarlane
  • Rosa Perez
  • Bamesh Roy
  • Cristina Sarkissian
  • Keri-Dean Scarlett
  • Alexander Smith
  • Michael Sullivan
  • Ragnar Thrastarson
  • Amelia Zaino

Advanced Certificate in GISc

  • Justin Czarka

BS in Environmental Sciences

  • Toni Gallagher
  • Kirk Parara
  • Troy Thompson
  • Alison Wong

BA in Earth Sciences

  • Deisy Acevedo

BA in Geology

  • Tamara Bell (January 2015)

Certificate in Earth Sciences

  • Nicole Holmes
  • Sabita Ramlochan

BA in Geography

  • Serge Golane
  • Tonya Lavender Davis (January 2015)

Certificate in GISc

  • Tonya Lavender Davis (January 2015)

EEGS Faculty and Staff at post-commencement reception in Gillet Hall

EEGS Faculty and Staff at post-commencement reception in Gillet Hall, from left: Brian Morgan, Prof. Juliana Maantay, Prof. Yuri Gorokhovich, Prof. Stefan Becker, Prof. Glen Johnson, Prof. Heather Sloan, Prof. Elia Machado, Gail Markbreit. Present, missing from photo: Prof. Andrew Maroko

End of Year Party for MS-GISc Students & Faculty

Students and faculty from the MS-GISc program held their annual post-semester meet-up on Tuesday, May 26, at Bier International in Manhattan. Good food and good times were enjoyed by all.

End of Year Party for MS-GISc Students & Faculty

Back Row, from Left:Prof. Elia Machado, Ragnar Thrastarson, Katherine Burgos, Eva Lugo, Amelia Zaino, Justin Czarka, Cristina Sarkissian; Front Row, from Left: Prof. Juliana Maantay, Alexander Wriston Smith, Zakkiyyah Shah, Prof. Glen Johnson, Marisa Ohara, Bamesh Roy, Harry Jean-Pierre. Present, missing from photo: Prof. Andrew Maroko

Westchester GIS Day at SUNY Purchase

Westchester GIS Day at SUNY Purchase

Amelia Zaino and her award-winning poster at SUNY Purchase

MS-GISc student Amelia Zaino attended the Annual Westchester County GIS conference at SUNY Purchase, held on May 14th. Amelia exhibited her research poster, based on her capstone GISc research project (“Hive Workers – Identifying Ideal Bee-Line Bus Routes for 24 Hour Service in Westchester County, NY”) in the poster competition. Her poster won first place in the graduate division. Kudos to Amelia! This is becoming a tradition – for the second year in a row, a Lehman MS-GISc student has won this award! (Zakkiyyah Shah won last year.)

Spring 2015 GISc Internships

On May 6th, the MS-GISc students who undertook GISc Internships this term presented their work to an audience of faculty and students.

Spring 2015 GISc Internships

From the right: Edosasere Egharevba - New York City Department of Parks and Recreation's division of management and operations at East River Park.  He mapped the park "as part of NYC Park's sustainability agenda";   Michael Sullivan - US Forest Service, USDA - The project, STEW-MAP (Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project), gathered and mapped data on environmental stewardship organizations and efforts in urban areas, and is a partnership with the NYC Parks Department and the NYC Urban Field Station; Eva Lugo – Little Mouse Travel.  Developed an app to build easy to follow routes that will guide travelers and locals through the cities, accounting for places to eat, must-see attractions, parks, hidden gems, and so forth;  Kristen MacFarlane – Multiple Sclerosis Foundation;  Bamesh Roy - Department of Public Works, Village of Tuckahoe, New York, mapping street trees and infrastructure;  Katherine Burgos – NYC Department of Environmental Protection; Prof. Elia Machado, GEP 670 GISc Internship Seminar instructor, Spring 2015

GISMO 25th Anniversary Celebration

GISMO 25th Anniversary Celebration

Ragnar Thrastarson, MS-GISc student, participated in the “Student Views” panel, and is shown here discussing his innovative interactive map of Iceland’s volcanoes and the hot links to their Icelandic language pronunciations.

On May 1st, the New York City Geospatial Information and Mapping Organization (GISMO) celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a conference at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42 Street. Speakers looked back upon how different the GIS world was 25 years ago, and discussed the history of GISMO and its importance to New York City’s GIS community – especially for governmental agencies, private sector firms, and not-for-profit organizations. Panelists focused on current practices and emerging trends in GIS, such as Remote Sensing, UAVs (drones), the Cloud, Big Data Analytics, Crowd Sourcing, Social Media, and NYC’s GIS Startup Scene. There was also a panel comprised of 4 GIS students from local universities to highlight the future GIS professionals, and Lehman College’s MS-GISc program was represented by Ragnar Thrastarson, who gave an outstanding presentation of some of his mapping work and his capstone GISc research project. The “Student Views” panel was moderated and organized by Steven Romalewski, Director of CUNY’s Center for Urban Research, GISMO Board member, and one of our MS-GISc Program Advisory Board members.

Lehman MS-GISc Program faculty and students

Lehman MS-GISc Program faculty and students attended the GISMO Conference: from left: Kristen MacFarlane, Prof. Juliana Maantay, Marissa Ohara, Prof. Elia Machado, and 2014 MS-GISc graduate, Joseph Paccionne.  Also attending, but missing from photo:Prof. Glen Johnson and 2013 MS-GISc graduate, Kristen Grady.

AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago

The Association of American Geographers met in Chicago this year for the annual conference, April 21 – April 25, 2015. Prof. Elia Machado presented her recent work (“Risk perception and preparedness in Santa Catarina, Ixtahuancan, Guatemala”) in a paper session. Zakkiyyah Shah presented her NOAA-CREST Fellowship work (“Climate Change and Urban Systems: Mapping the Mobilization of Pollutants in Two Coastal Cities – New York, NY and San Juan, PR”) in a poster session.

Zakkiyyah Shah discusses her NOAA-CREST Fellowship research with an AAG Conference attendee. 

Zakkiyyah Shah discusses her NOAA-CREST Fellowship research with an AAG Conference attendee.

NEW Full-Time GISc Jobs for MS-GISc Students!

Kurt Cederholm has been offered a new job with NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as a Senior Analyst. He will essentially be creating and running a GIS unit within the agency, mapping and analyzing the Big Data they have, which pertains to foster care placement, juvenile justice statistics, and other social phenomena about children throughout the city. Kurt is about half way through the MS-GISc program, and did his GISc Internship at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection a couple of summers ago. He was subsequently offered a full-time position at DEP and has been employed there as a full-time GIS analyst ever since.

Kristen MacFarlane, who will be graduating from the MS-GISc program this May, 2015, will be starting a new job as an Environmental Educator at Wave Hill. The position involves training the students in using GISc for conservation and ecology, and conducting hands-on GIS projects with the students. Kristen says this is her “dream job.”

Christopher Bride, who graduated from the MS-GISc program in 2014, just started a new job as a GIS Specialist for the NYC Parks Department’s 2015 Tree Census. This position reflects a perfect confluence of Chris’ experience in city government and his love of all things green! Chris is also regularly volunteering his GISc skills at Riverkeeper; The West Side Campaign Against Hunger; and is just starting a project with the Food and Water Watch from Washington DC, tracking the development of oil pipelines. Chris says: “It’s been an exciting year!”

Geography Doctoral Student is Awarded Quantitative Reasoning Fellowship 2015-2016

Portion of NYC Oasis Map

Portion of NYC Oasis Map

Angelika (“Angie”) Winner, Geography doctoral student working with Dr. Maantay in the EEGS Dept. at Lehman on urban agriculture and food justice research, has been re-awarded the CUNY Quantitative Reasoning Fellowship for the next academic year, 2015-2016. 

She has also been working for the past term with GrowNYC on updating their community garden database and shapefiles for the interactive NYC OASIS Map, which was recently redesigned and enhanced by the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center. 

GrowNYC Registered Community Gardens in the Bronx NY, 2015. Map by Angie Winner

GrowNYC Registered Community Gardens in the Bronx NY, 2015. Map by Angie Winner

Earth Science Field Trips - Spring 2015

Earth Science Field Trips - Spring 2015

The Relationship Between Geology, Landscape, and the Build Environment Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan, NY; April 19; Time: 9:30 am; Meeting Place: SW corner 207 St. & Broadway;  The scientific objective of this trip is to develop an understanding of how variation in the underlying rock type is reflected in the topography and the type of building construction.

Cortland Igneous Intrusive Complex: A Lopolith! Buchannan, NY; April 26; Time: 9:30 am; Meeting Place: Westchester Diner, 300 Albany Post Rd, Peekskill, NY 10566; The scientific goal of this trip is to examine intrusive relationships and igneous phases within the Cortland Complex south of Peekskill, NY.

Mines: Hydrothermal Circulation in a Shear Zone Harriman State Park; May 9; Time: 9:30 am; Meeting Place: SW corner 207 St. & Broadway; The scientific objective of this trip is to trace and observe the mineral-rich veins of ore deposited by hyrothermal fluid flow along a shear zone.

If you are interested in attending any of these trips, please contact Prof. Sloan at:

Lehman participates in 14th Annual NOAA-CREST Day at CCNY

Lehman faculty and students participated in NOAA-CREST Day at City College on April 14th. Lehman’s EEGS Dept. has been a partner in NOAA-CREST since the inception of CREST in 2001. Over the past 14 years, a number of EEGS Department undergraduates and graduate students have received Research Fellowships from NOAA-CREST, and under the auspices of CREST they have worked with Dr. Maantay in the Urban GISc Lab on NOAA-related research projects, co-authored research papers with faculty, attended national conferences, presented their work, won awards, and undertook internships.

Lesley PatrickLesley Patrick and her advisor, Dr. Maantay

Left: Lesley Patrick (Ph.D. candidate in Geography at CUNY Graduate Center/Lehman) and Zakkiyyah Shah (Lehman MS-GISc student) are both NOAA-CREST Research Fellows, and both presented posters of their research work on social and biophysical vulnerability and exposure due to coastal flooding in NYC, and the public health impacts of climate change, respectively. Right: Lesley Patrick and her advisor, Dr. Maantay. Lesley successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on April 2, and will be receiving her Ph.D. in May.

Jose Pillich, Lehman Adjunct Lecturer and Geography Ph.D. student,

Left: Jose Pillich, Lehman Adjunct Lecturer and Geography Ph.D. student, presented his experiences as a NOAA-CREST Research Fellow. Jose also received the Excellence in Community Engagement Award for all his good environmental planning work on behalf of NOAA-CREST

"City Mapps" Project of Kristen MacFarlane, MS-GISc Student

City Mapps

Kristen MacFarlane, who will be graduating in May 2015 from the MS-GISc program, recently developed a web mapping site from scratch, which was featured during the March 27th graduation event from the “coding bootcamp” she participated in this term. See her description of what she did, and check out her mapping site at

Kristen describes her experience: “I did the ‘Web Development Immersive’ at General Assembly, where I studied full-stack web development during a 12-week intensive course. After taking GEP 664, Spatial Database Management, at Lehman with Prof. Jennifer Brisbane, and doing some web mapping in Gretchen Culp's GEP 660, Geovisualization and Analytical Cartography course, I realized that I loved working with databases and coding. My final project in the coding bootcamp was CityMapps. The idea behind the project was to allow users to create personalized maps of New York City that they could share with their friends. The site doesn't have a sharing option yet, since I only had 5 days to make it, but I do plan on continuing to work on it once I'm done with classes. I was really proud of the way it turned out and I am beyond thankful to the many people who supported me during the journey, specifically the professors who unknowingly really pushed me into web development.”

New! GISc Courses offered this year during summer sessions

In Summer 2015, we are planning to offer our first set of graduate level summer session GISc courses: GEP 605 and GEP 680.

GEP 605, Special Projects in GISc: Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis, a 4-credit, 6-hour course, from June 1st through August 12th. This is a required core course for the MS-GISc Program and the Advanced Certificate in GISc, and will be given in a hybrid online format. It will also be offered as GEP 350, the undergraduate section of GEP 605. Instructor: Prof. Andrew Maroko

GEP 680, Emerging Issues and Methods in GISc: Web Mapping, 3 credits, 4 hour course, from July 6th through August 5th. This course will be given in a hybrid online format. Instructor: Prof. Holly Porter-Morgan.

Please contact Prof. Maantay for further information about these courses at, or the respective course instructors:

GISc lab assignments from GEP 605 Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis 

GISc lab assignments from GEP 605 Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis

GISc lab assignments from GEP 605 Environmental Modeling and Spatial Analysis, by Ragnar Thrastarson (top) and Angelika Winner (bottom). Click images to enlarge.

MS-GISc Program Advisory Board Member Gives Guest Lecture to GISc Internship Seminar Class

Mr. Gary Ostroff, in the GEP 670 class

Mr. Gary Ostroff, in the GEP 670 class

On March 24, 2015, Gary Ostroff, an MS-GISc Program Advisory Board Member and manager of GIS at CH2M Hill, a well-established engineering consulting firm, [] visited the GISc Lab at Lehman to talk to the students enrolled in the GISc Internship Seminar (GEP 670) this term. A number of GISc faculty as well as other MS-GISc students attended, many of whom will be graduating this May. His talk covered various aspects of working in the GISc world, including his own educational and professional background and his path to his current position, the core skills that students should be able to bring to a GISc position, the types of GISc positions available, what many GISc jobs actually entail, and the future of where GISc is headed as a profession. 

Based on his professional experience, he discussed the three key areas that are the most important for prospective employees in the GISc field to develop: 

  • database skills – ability to manipulate and manage relational databases, understand the structure of spatial databases, work with large datasets (Big Data); 
  • analytical cartography, quantitative reasoning, understanding your data and how to make sense of it, and effectively and accurately communicate and explain the information in visual format and verbally; 
  • understanding how to work with and transform projections and scale. 
    Other important skills he mentioned during his talk was having a knowledge of data interoperability – being able to work with different spatial data in other formats, and being able to integrate them with GISc spatial data. Students were advised to never underestimate the importance of being able to explain your work to a wide range of audiences, from the lay person who doesn’t know anything about GISc or spatial analysis (and who may actually be your boss!) to the highly-skilled GISc professional. This ability to explain your work is particularly important in the job interview process. Mr. Ostroff also counseled that although programming and open source software skills are important today, they were downplayed a bit in the type of work that he does. But he also cautioned that every agency or organization will have different needs and expectations, so required skills will be dependent upon specific needs of each firm. It was an enlightening discussion, and prompted many questions from the students and faculty. We hope to bring other GISc professionals from our Board to speak to students and faculty in the future, and share other perspectives on the GISc job market today and their take on the future of GISc.

New! Mobile GISc Lab

With the support of our Provost, Dr. Morrobel-Sosa, and the CUNY Vice Chancellor of Research, Dr. Small, we were able to purchase computer equipment to create a Mobile GISc Lab. Proposed in order to address the limitations we had experienced in the GISc Program related to time conflicts over teaching lab space, this gives the program an extra teaching lab, which can be located in ancillary spaces in Gillet Hall. This doubles the lab space for the GISc program, and allows us to have up to 8 GISc lab-based classes per term (2 on each week night, M-TH) rather than 4 classes when using only the fixed GISc teaching lab. 
The new equipment consists of 20 laptop computers with all relevant software installed, and a mobile cart used to re-charge and store the computers when not in use. Spring term 2015 is the first term we are using the new Mobile GISc Lab (for two classes) and it is working out very well.

new Mobile GISc Lab new Mobile GISc Lab

The new Mobile GISc Lab ready to go (left), and in use in the Earth Science lab (right).

"Climate in Context" Conference at the                                      CUNY Graduate Center

Climate in ContextClimate in Context

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. MaantayProf. 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

Michael Dorsch received a Data and Geovisualization Project Fellowship with the Futures Initiative.  Their work is fully 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,"

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


Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014This 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.

Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014

Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014

Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014Earth Science field trips, Fall 2014

Contact Prof Sloan for more info:

GISc Internships – Fall 2014

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 ThrastarsonAmelia ZainoMeg BakerMary 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

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 & Prof. MaantayEEGS 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

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

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

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

“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

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 withVoices 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. 

MS-GISc students and faculty who attended the Orientation SessionHere 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.

Julissa Lora, who has just completed a 10-week REU summer program at Kent State University in OhioHere’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 CederholmKurt 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

GIS Day special broadcast for Lehman GISc LabThe 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

Cartography and Communication at Lehman Art GalleryCartography 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 for Summer 2013 Research PositionEEGS 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”

Modeling & Climate Data

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.  See more program details

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.

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

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

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

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

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"

EEGS students present at NES symposiumEEGS students present at NES symposium

EEGS students present at NES symposiumEEGS students present at NES symposium

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. 

Urban Agriculture in the BronxMap 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

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

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:

Gretchen’s website, showcasing some of her workNYChvi

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
  • Geology
  • 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