Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research: (PhD in Geography, The Ohio State University): Tim is an Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. He is trained in community geography and GIS, Participatory GIS, mixed methods, and geographic education. He has published extensively on community-university partnerships using PGIS and service learning to address social and environmental disparities in diverse settings. Tim is Principal Investigator of the nation’s first Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in community geography and GIS (National Science Foundation Award #1156755). He is also the Founding Director of the Atlanta Community Mapping and Research Center. In his integrated research and education agenda, Tim is deeply committed to and excited about providing students with community-based research and learning experiences that: move beyond the formal classroom setting; develop high-quality, publishable results; have a focus on representing local knowledge emerging from underrepresented group experiences with space and place; and create real-world deliverables that can be utilized by community groups, residents and the general public.
Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach: (PhD in Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington): Christy is a Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. She is trained in geology, paleontology, marine ecology, and science education at the K-12 level and beyond. Her research focuses on understanding geographic variation in marine communities with implications for the fossil record and modern conservation efforts. Her pedagogical approaches utilize inquiry-based activities, collaborative work, and place-based learning to foster science-literate citizens who are able to recognize the importance and relevance of concepts in life and earth sciences to society. Christy has received awards for promoting underrepresented groups in STEM fields from the Ford Foundation and Association for Women Geoscientists. She has mentored undergraduates as part of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in biodiversity conservation (National Science Foundation Award #0755109). Christy is passionate about providing opportunities for students to engage in publishable research as part of their educational experience by contributing new data to address scientific problems with presentation of the results to a variety of audiences.
D. Tyler Harris, Lead Graduate Research Assistant: (B.A. Geography, Georgia State University): Tyler is a second year graduate student in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. Trained as a cartographer, his research interests primarily focus on urban sustainability and livability with emphasis on the role of participatory GIS at a community level. His thesis concentrates on tree canopy as a variable of sustainability and the practical use of smart technologies by residents which enables for more bottom-up solution to urban issues. He has also worked extensively with the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in community geography and GIS as the graduate assistant, helping with data collection, cartographic design and GIS analysis. Coming from a family of educators, Tyler is passionate about geographic education and the importance of understanding place, space and the interaction between humans and their environment.
Amber Boll, Youth Engagement Coordinator (B.A. Geography, University of North Dakota): Amber is a first year Master’s student in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University whose research interests are in the area of community geography. More specifically, she is interested in using GIS and other geospatial technologies to enhance both the visualization and spatial analysis of projects done in collaboration with community organizations to raise awareness of local issues and concerns. She is especially interested in working with at-risk youth around Georgia.
Laura Streib, Undergraduate Honors Student Assistant: Laura is a freshman in the Georgia State University Honors College who is planning on majoring in geology. She is interested in paleontology and is an assistant of Dr. Visaggi. She is interested in how mapping can be used to display scientific research and better predict trends.