Panel 1:

Pedagogies for Resilient GIScience Education

Pedagogies for Resilient GIScience Education

Three panels held in July and August 2020 discussed these questions:

  • What is resilient GIScience education? For whom and against what?

    • What is a resilient GIScience educator?

    • What is a resilient GIScience student?

    • Are resilience and efficiency compatible?

  • What can we learn from the pedagogical best practices already documented for Geography and GIS to inform resilient GIScience education?

    • Is there anything special about GIS pedagogy that makes it more or less “resilient” than other disciplines?

  • How can we change our curricula and teaching practices to ensure resilient GIScience Education?

    • How can we preserve student-centered pedagogy and remain “resilient”?

  • What are the cultural, institutional and personal barriers to these changes?

A summary of the conversations can be found here.

Recordings of each conversation are linked below.

Europe & Africa Panel 1: Pedagogies for Resilient GIScience Education.

Wednesday July 29, 2020, from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CET (Central Europe Time).

Click here to watch a recording of this panel discussion and here to read a transcript of the chat discussion.


  • Lex Comber is Professor of Spatial Data Analytics at the University of Leeds. He recently implemented a new teaching stream focussing on digital geographies and quantitative methods that runs across the 3 year undergraduate programme at Leeds. This actively blends traditional experimental design for data collection and analysis with approaches for robustly using the many forms of new data, coupled with a critical understanding of their limitations and inherent biases. Lex's research interests include land cover / land use, public health, agriculture and accessibility and draw from geocomputation, mathematics, statistics and computer science. He has extended techniques in operations research / location-allocation, graph theory, heuristic searches, remote sensing, handling divergent data semantics and spatial statistics and co-authored the first ‘how to book’ for spatial analyses and mapping in R.

  • Sara Fabrikant, professor of geography, leads the Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA) group at the GIScience Center of the Geography Department at the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland. Her research and teaching interests lie in geographic information visualization and geovisual analytics, GIScience and cognition, graphical user interface design and evaluation, including dynamic cartography. She is currently an appointed Co-Director of the UZH Digital Society Initiative (DSI) and an elected member of the Swiss Science Council (SCC). Other service included vice-president of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) 2015-2019, and teaching related assignments in her role as Head Teaching (2016-18) and co-developer of a Specialized Masters program in GIScience at the UZH Geography Department.

  • Anthony Gidudu, Department of Geomatics and Land Management, Makerere University, Uganda. Dr. Gidudu is an Associate Professor of Geomatics with interests in Remote Sensing and GIS Applications, Machine Learning, Cartography and Land Administration. He currently coordinates the Department’s graduate program in GeoInformation Science and Technology, and has supervised several graduate and undergraduate student dissertations. His interest is in making Geoinformation alive through teaching, research and outreach. He has also served as a YouthMappers mentor of the Makerere University Chapter.

  • Marinos Kavouras, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece. Marinos is Professor of Cartography and GIScience at NTUA, co-Chair of AGILE (Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe), Director of NTUA Cartography Laboratory, Director of the NTUA Geoinformatics Graduate Program. Also served as Dean of the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Administration of NTUA, and Vice-President of the Hellenic Cadastral Agency.

  • Damien Mansell, University of Exeter, UK. Damien is a Senior Lecturer in Geography & GIS and Principal Fellow of the HEA. He is Programme Director of Geography With Applied GIS, an innovative degree pathway he proposed and designed. He leads on Technology Enabled Learning and Pedagogy in Geography; is the co-leader and educator on two internationally popular MOOCs (Climate Change Science and Climate Change Solutions), serves on the Executive Board of Learning On Screen; and is external examiner for Geographical Information Management MSc at Cranfield University.

  • Monica Stephens is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University at Buffalo (USA) and Durham University (UK). Her research examines data from social media to understand how (mis)information, incivility and exclusion are geographically distributed. She is interested in making spatial data science skills publicly accessible to a broad audience.

Americas Panel 1: Pedagogies for Resilient GIScience Education.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020, from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Eastern time / 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific time.

Click here to watch a recording of this panel discussion and here to read the questions' exchange.


  • Maria Adames, Department of Geography, University of Panama, Panama. Dr. Adames is Professor of Geography at the University of Panama with expertise in Urban Geography and Tourism. She is committed to promoting education in GIScience among her students and communities. She is the coordinator of the Strengthening Committee for the Panamanian Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), Advisor to the YouthMappers Chapter at the University of Panama. and a member of the Geography Education Committee for the OAS Pan American Institute for Geography and History (PAIGH).

  • Don Boyes, University of Toronto, Canada. Don is a geography professor who specializes in GIScience education and has a strong interest in teaching with technology and associated pedagogical development. He has taught face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses, and has created a GIS specialization for Coursera. He is the Director of the Arts & Science Online Learning Academy at the University of Toronto.

  • Tora Johnson, University of Maine - Machias, USA. Dr. Tora Johnson is a social scientist and the director of the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory at the University of Maine at Machias. She teaches a wide array of GIS courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Johnson serves on the executive committee of the Maine Geospatial Institute at the UMaine System and on the board of directors of the Maine GIS Users Group. She regularly engages students in research focusing on using new approaches and technologies to support rural communities as they plan for a sustainable and prosperous future. She received the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Maine Campus Compact Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service Learning Excellence in 2016.

  • Anthony Robinson, Penn State University, USA. Dr. Anthony Robinson is Associate Professor of Geography at Penn State University. He directs the department's Online Geospatial Education programs, and serves as assistant director of the GeoVISTA research center. His research focuses on improving the utility of geographic information through cartographic design and visualization.

Asia - Pacific Panel 1: Pedagogies for Resilient GIScience Education.

Monday August 17, 2020, from 2:00 - 3:30 pm New Zealand / 12 - 1:30 pm Sydney / 10 - 11:30 am Beijing

Click here to watch a recording of this panel discussion and here to read a transcript of the chat discussion.


  • Yinghui (Cathy) Cao is a Lecturer in Geography at Qingdao University, China. She earned her PhD from the University of Western Australia, and M.A. from Temple University (US). With an experience of teaching and learning GIS related subjects from three countries, she is able to reflect on the distinctions in university culture and programs and their influence on GIS pedagogy. Cathy's research focuses on the use of geographic information and geovisual techniques for improving public education and communication concerning climate change and disaster risk.

  • David Garcia (social media: @mapmakerdavid), originally from the Philippines, is a Geospatial Science PhD student at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He is a prolific mapmaker with a background as a geographer and urban planner in cities and communities hit by disaster or war. His PhD project is an ethnography of crowdsourcing and GIS by working with the OpenStreetMap community. He is a member of the Ministry of Mapping (social media: @mappingministry), a geospatial collective that cares about equity, diversity, and regeneration in Asia and the Pacific.

  • Celina Agaton (Twitter: @CelinaAgaton) helps revitalize local economies around the world through heritage preservation, food security, gender, sustainable tourism, open data and free and open source geospatial technologies. Her programs coordinate efforts across community sectors and funders. She loves creating vibrant, accessible and sustainable creative spaces that connect people to the things they care about in their communities. Her projects take her around the world, working with CEOs, farmers, government leaders, doctors, artists and students. She consulted as the community engagement director and strategist for innovation thought leader, Don Tapscott’s initiatives including Open Cities and Global Solution Networks at the Martin Prosperity Institute, and was a contributor to social innovation bestseller, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet.

  • Martin Tomko (Twitter: @dinomirMT) is a spatial information scientist specialising in computational approaches to spatial communication problems (i.e., the communication in and about our spatial environment with a primary focus on cities. Beyond that, he has a keen interest in spatial databases, and in cultural heritage documentation. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the Department of Infrastructure Engineering and part of the Geomatics Discipline team at The University of Melbourne, Australia. Martin is also a founding member and member of the board of directors of OSGeo Oceania.