Graduate Research Opportunities in GIScience and GIS

The Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites graduate student applications for MA/Ph.D. and Ph.D. positions in the areas of modeling, measurement, and computation. The department is internationally recognized for its excellence and leadership in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students work in a dynamic, collaborative, and well-funded setting on projects supported by NSF, NASA, USGS, NGA, other government agencies as well as by major industry players. Graduates of the program obtain high-level jobs in industry, government, and academia, including professorships in other top departments. In addition to frequent and fruitful collaborations across GIScience labs within the department, students also have opportunities to interact with faculty and peers across campus through the interdisciplinary emphases in Cognitive Science, Information Technology and Society, Network Science, and Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. The Center for Spatial Studies offers students a unique opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research, seminars, and workshops, while the Spatiotemporal Innovation Center connects students and faculty with leading industry players.

Faculty members involved in UCSB’s GIScience/GIS research include:

  • Richard Church: Spatial Optimization, Natural Resources Management, Operations Research Methods, and GIS
  • Keith Clarke: Cartography and GIS
  • Kostas Goulias: Transportation Systems Modeling and Simulation, Travel Behavior, Transportation Planning, Sustainable Transportation, Geographic Information Science, Economic Geography, and Survey Methods
  • Krzysztof Janowicz: GIScience & GIS, Spatial Data Science, Semantic Web, Linked Data, Location-based Social Networks, Geographic Information Retrieval, Cyberinfrastructure, and Web Science,
  • Werner Kuhn: Information Science, Usability of GIS and Spatial Information, Semantics of Spatial Information, Ontology of the Environment, Linked Data, and Semantic Reference Systems
  • Dan Montello: Spatial Perception, Cognition, and Behavior; Cognitive Issues in Cartography and GIS; Spatial Aspects of Social Behavior; Environmental Psychology and Behavioral Geography
  • Alan Murray: Location Analytics, GIScience, Geocoding, GIS, Data Uncertainty, Urban and Regional Planning, Spatial Optimization, Transportation and Sustainability

A top-ranked geography program nationally, the department is comprised of 26 faculty, 8 active emeriti faculty including National Academy of Sciences members Waldo Tobler and Michael Goodchild, 20 researchers, 125 graduate students, and 12 staff. They investigate a broad range of human, social and physical geographic topics on regional to global scales using methods including mathematical, theoretical and stochastic analyses, conceptual, statistical and dynamical numerical models, and field experimentation. Primary research areas aside of GIScience include: terrestrial, ocean, atmospheric and climate, population and public health, urban and regional, cognitive and behavioral. Complementing the department’s GIScience and GIS group are faculty specializing in remote sensing and numerical modeling.

The department offers highly competitive five-year funding packages, modern offices and shared labs with state-of-the-art equipment and access to high-performance computing, as well as generous travel funding for international conferences and other meetings; see here. Further details about the program, graduate research and teaching positions, as well as housing can be found in the graduate student handbookThe application deadline is December 15, 2017, for admission in Fall 2018.

For questions about faculty interests and topical areas, please visit Further information regarding the application process is available via the admissions page.

Krzysztof Janowicz

Geography Department, University of California, Santa Barbara  
4830 Ellison Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060  

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