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Analysis and Mapping of Spatial Movement in Relation to the Environment

Somayeh Dodge, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, UCSB

Feb 7 2022 | 11:00am to 12:00pm PT Bren Hall 1414 / Online

Headshot of Somayeh Dodge
Somayeh Dodge

Professor Dodge has been an innovator in the field of spatial and temporal movement data. Much of her work has improved our analysis of species movement patterns, as well as our understanding of ecological responses to changes in the environment. I believe much of her research has been crucial as our field has become increasingly interdisciplinary and as we gain more access to extremely high detail and high frequency data. I would highly recommend this seminar for anyone with research interests in data science, wildlife management, ecology, or geography.
—Jacob Gellman, PhD Candidate, Bren School

Watch a recording of this talk here


Intentional movement through space is one of the traits shared by humans and animals to perform activities. These spatial movements are fundamental to the dynamics of ecosystems, cities and environments, and can be utilized as a key to understand and model environmental and behavioral variability in social and ecological systems. As a result of ubiquitous tracking and the increasing access to movement data in both trajectory and aggregate forms, a number of disciplines, from ecology to urban planning, from biology to geography share a common interest in understanding how humans and animals move through natural and built environments to conduct required and desired activities. While there is a shared interest in geography and ecology to understand and model movement behavior with respect to geographic space, there has been little cross-fertilization across these disciplines. From the lens of geographic information science, this presentation reviews a number of computational approaches to study and map movement across the human and animal divide in relation to the environment.


Dr. Somayeh Dodge is an Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and leads the MOVE Lab in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2011. She is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2021 for the project "Modeling Movement and Behavior Responses to Environmental Disruptions". Her research focuses on developing computational data analytics, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study spatial movement in human and ecological systems. Her work has appeared in a number of high-ranked journals including Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Movement Ecology, and Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. Dr. Dodge currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University Consortium for Geographic Information (UCGIS). She is the Co-Editor in Chief of the open access Journal of Spatial Information Science, and has served as a member of the program committee or on the editorial boards of many GIScience conferences and journals.

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