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Brian Tomaszewski, Ph.D.
Brian Tomaszewski, Ph.D.
Lab Director
Associate Professor
Department of Information Sciences & Technologies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Brian Tomaszewski PhD is a geographic information scientist with research interests in the domains of geographic information science and technology, geographic visualization, spatial thinking, disaster management, and refugee affairs. His published research on geographic information systems (GIS) and disaster management related topics has appeared in top scientific journals and conferences such as Information Visualization, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Computers and Geosciences, the IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, the IEEE Conference on Global Humanitarian Technology, and The Cartographic Journal. He also regularly publishes in popular GIS trade magazines such as ArcUser and ArcNews. He is the author of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Disaster Management published 2014 by CRC Press and which is one of the first book‐length treatments on the topic. He is actively involved in international disaster management and refugee affairs research with research projects funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Germany and Jordan as well as collaborations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda and Jordan. He is an adjunct professor with the Centre for Disaster Management and Mitigation at the Vellore Institute of Technology, India and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technologies at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY USA.

Addtional Information for Dr. Tomaszewski

Brian Tomaszewski CV

Brian Tomaszewski Google Scholar Profile

Brian Tomaszewski LinkedIn Profile

Alexandra Leader

Alexandra Leader
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Alexandra is a Sustainability PhD Candidate in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. She holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University at Buffalo where she graduated in 2016. Currently Alexandra is studying critical materials and methods of reducing their supply risks, with a recent focus on those materials used in clean energy technologies. She plans to integrate GIS into her research, particularly for the spatial questions associated with how to best manage clean energy technologies at their end-of-life. Her hobbies include traveling and numerous outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, sailing, and kayaking to name a few. In the future she hopes to work in industry and make a difference in the way materials are used and discarded.   

Zachary Sutherby

Zachary Sutherby
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Zach Sutherby is a fourth-year Environmental Science student with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. He was part of the 2017 cohort for NSF IRES, and found specific interest in understanding the role ecosystem services play in Disaster Risk Reduction and how Geographic Information Capacity can help quantify ecosystem benefits. He directed his individual project towards understanding current geospatial tools used to quantify ecosystem services and created a conceptual framework that utilizes these tools as means to quantify ecosystem services in the context of Ecological Disaster Risk Reduction. Zach was assigned to the University of Bonn campus, and very much enjoyed working with the foreign collaborators and other researchers at the location. Zach has also worked with Dr. Tomaszewski in building a site selection model for siting potential anaerobic digesters in Upstate New York. Zach's hobbies include kayaking, snowboarding, riding his motorcycle, and enjoying new experiences. After graduation, Zach plans on starting his career with ESRI as an ArcGIS analyst, and looks forward to learning and further building his skills using GIS software and techniques.  

Omar Aponte

Omar Aponte
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Omar is a PhD in Engineering student at the Rochester Institute of Technology focusing his research on data analytics and supervised statistical machine learning. He completed a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and later an M.E. degree in Engineering Management. He has a strong interest in the application of data science, machine learning, statistical modeling and geographic information systems (GIS) to develop initiatives that mitigate our environmental impact and improve our resiliency in the face of both natural and man-made disasters. After graduating, Omar hopes to use his knowledge and skills to help organizations, nations and communities around the world in their quest to reduce their negative environmental impact and be more resilient in the face of climate change and the natural disasters associated with it. During his time off from research activities, Omar enjoys live music performances and traveling to new countries and cities to learn about their culture and history. He speaks fluent Spanish and has traveled to more than 20 different countries in America, Europe and Asia.    

Will Armington

Will Armington
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Will is currently a PhD Student at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He graduated from Clarkson University in 2012 with a BS in Environmental Engineering. Will’s current research topic focuses on optimizing food waste transportation logistics for energy and resource recovery in emerging food waste recycling systems. His research goal is to develop frameworks to assist in transportation decisions at the system level by integrating linear optimization and geographic information systems. Other research interests include studying food waste management during disaster cleanup to reduce risk of human health problems associated with putrescible waste. He hopes to apply research to help companies and governments to make food waste recycling decisions to reduce environmental and human health impacts. When he is not researching, he enjoys appreciating local food and drinks, playing video games, and relaxing with his pet hedgehog. 

Savannah Baker

Savannah Baker
Research Fellow
Northwest Missouri State University

Savannah Baker is a sophomore honors student double majoring in Emergency and Disaster Management and Geographic Information Science at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. In addition to being a member of the Society of Presidential Scholars, EDM Club, and Sigma Society, she was the 2019 undergraduate recipient of the IAEM Robert C Bohlman, CEM, Scholarship for Service in Emergency Management. Her research interests include the statistical analysis of vulnerable populations, digital mapping, international relief, and counter terrorism. She has immersed herself in every opportunity for hands on training, including participating in four full-immersion, simulation-based field training exercises coordinated by the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers, cooking, crafting, volunteering, and pursuing things other people think are impossible. Her ideal career would combine her two fields of study while saving the world at the same time.

Leslie Brooks

Leslie Brooks
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Leslie is a 3rd year PhD Candidate at Rochester Institute of Technology in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Indiana University, Bloomington. After graduating undergrad, she built a career in the metals recycling industry-- starting as a laborer in the yard learning how to identify, process, and sort metals. From there, she became an account manager and broker as well as a manager of nonferrous operations. Using this experience, she proceeded to develop, design, and run a metals division for a paper and plastics recycling facility. Presently, working under the direction of Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad (who is now Dean at Alfred University), she is able to apply her knowledge of the recycling and waste management industry for research on positive material identification (PMI), improving scrap utilization rates, and evaluating technology solutions for sorting, separating, and identification of metals and their alloys. As a visiting scientist at the UNU-EHS in Bonn, Germany, she will be conducting Geographic Information Capacity research as well as exploring the impact of power outages due to disasters on industry (i.e. aluminum smelters). Outside of research, Leslie enjoys numerous outdoor activities such as frisbee, [American] football, kayaking, sailing, hiking/backpacking –to name a few. She also loves agriculture/farming and experiencing new cultures and new food.

Emily Gawlik

Emily Gawlik
Research Fellow
University of Mississippi

Emily Gawlik is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi.  She is a senior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Science and Classics. Her research interests include disaster mental health and related concepts of positive psychology like resilience, meaning in life, and post-traumatic growth.  She is also interested in the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs and services and the multitude of ways in which technology and social science can interface to improve emergency preparedness through education and broadened awareness.She plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and hopes to continue her studies in an interdisciplinary context, with continued emphasis on determining how best to cultivate growth and bolster well-being in communities and individuals affected by natural disasters and episodes of mass violence. In her spare time, she enjoys collecting records, playing bar trivia, and following Premier League soccer. 

Stefen Gray

Stefen Gray
Research Fellow
University of North Georgia

Stefen Gray ’20 grew up in Georgia and graduated high school from Northside High School. He is currently a junior at the University of North Georgia where he is pursuing a major in Environmental Spatial Analysis with a minor in Computer Science. He has completed two internships while attending high school. His first internship was with Futura Systems, Inc, an industry-leading GIS software for utility providers. He also interned for the City of Columbus in their GIS Department. Upon graduating next spring, he is interested in transferring to the Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue an engineering degree. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, web site design and learning online.

Yuqing Guo

Yuqing Guo
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Yuqing Guo is a BS Web and Mobile Computing student.

Emily Haberlack

Emily Haberlack
Research Fellow
Iowa State University

Emily Haberlack is a third-year student at Iowa State University studying Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, and Sociology. She has been involved in science communication on campus for two years creating a literature review of quantitative experiments using empathy as an intervention to change behavior in environmental, health, and risk fields. Her particular research interest is the diffusion of innovations relating to science and risk communication. After graduation, Emily is hoping to pursue a PhD in sociology or in sustainable rural livelihoods.

Her internship experience includes working as an interpretive naturalist intern at the World of Birds Show at the Minnesota Zoo and working on a permaculture farm in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

On campus she is an Undergraduate Research Ambassador and member of Alpha Gamma Delta, Rho Chapter.

Outside of classes she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the local conservatory (especially in the winter).

Casey Hammond

Casey Hammond
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Casey Hammond is a MS Criminal Justice student.

Brienna Herold

Brienna Herold
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Brienna Herold is a MS Information Science and Technology student.

Jeshua Johnson

Research Fellow
UT Austin

Jeshua Johnson is a Texas native pursuing game development and GIS at The University of Texas in Austin. With a love of game design and the outdoors, he hopes to develop techniques in implementing geospatial data in the creation of virtual environments that are as dynamic as the real world. While attending university, he has also worked in IT for over four years, giving him skills to tackle any challenge. In his free time, he enjoys hiking the beautiful Austin Greenbelt, playing video games, and cooking a variety of food. He is also looking forward to delving into the world of research at the frontier of innovation.

Casey Lane

Casey Lane
Research Fellow
Jacksonville University

I’m a current senior hailing from Jacksonville University, located in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m majoring in Geography with minors in GIS and Criminology. Along with classes, I am also interning with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in their GIS/ISM unit.  My research interests include both physical geography and human geography. In past research, I have studied the vulnerability of the Floridian aquifer to groundwater contamination using ArcGIS. My ideal future career would be combining using ArcGIS with criminology; which means helping people and doing something I highly enjoy.

Outside of classes I enjoy hobbies such as video games, catching up on my favorite TV shows, movies, traveling, and attending pop culture conventions.

Enith Lay

Enith Lay
Research Fellow
Monroe Community College

Enith was born in Cuba and moved to Rochester at the age of two. She has always loved the outdoors and learning about the earth and how it works. She is currently attending Monroe Community College where she is finishing her Associates degree in Geography along with a Certificate in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST). Enith is also a part of a hybrid study abroad program where she will be traveling to Cartagena, Colombia to develop a mapping app to monitor the quality of water along the Caribbean Sea as well as increase cultural awareness. She has a wide variety of interest such as natural disaster relief, food demand, sustainability, and water stress. She hopes to use GIS to help make the lives of communities across the globe that are in real need better. In her free time spending time outdoors with her two dogs, listening to music and hula hooping.

Jordan Machalek

Jordan Machalek
Game Developer
Rochester Institute of Technology

Jordan Machalek is a third-year Game Design and Development student at Rochester Institute of Technology. He believes that games have the ability to profoundly impact people’s lives in a positive way. His passion for game design focuses around creating interactive experiences that cause people to reflect on their motivations for what they do and things that matter to them in life. He also holds a particular interest in using games to study the teaching of religious concepts and how they impact people at a personal level. When not making, or playing, games Jordan volunteers as a youth ministry leader in his home community and participates in mission work, enjoys reading, and edits videos for various purposes. He also spends as much time as he can outdoors by playing paintball, hunting, and hiking, from the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania that he calls home to the peaks of the Adirondack mountains and their grand views.

Erin Mahoney

Erin Mahoney
Research Fellow
Binghamton University

Erin Mahoney is a junior at Binghamton University triple majoring in Political Science, Environmental Planning and Geography. Her research interests include social issues that possess spatial characteristics, thus tying in her areas of study. Most recently, she has completed a spatial analysis of food insecurity risk and known need in Broome County, NY. This work will enable the county to redistribute food aid to better meet the needs of residents. Erin also serves as a voting member of the Broome County Environmental Quality Council, a key group that advocated for the city of Binghamton to become a Climate Smart Community. Erin wants to continue her studies in graduate school, although she is unsure of her preferred area of study. In her spare time, Erin works as the Head Personal Trainer at the Binghamton University Gym where she shares her love for health and wellness in hopes of increasing the quality of life of clients.

Claudia McDaniel

Research Fellow
Monroe Community College

 

Claudia is completing her Certificate in Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST) at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY where she grew up. This Certificate has taught her to convert remote sensing information provided by satellites and imagery into digital data. Through classroom and computer lab experience, she’s learned to use specialized program software to collect, convert, and integrate geographical data to produce data layers, maps, tables, and reports. While unsure of her next academic move, she knows she will integrate her knowledge of GIST into whatever field she pursues next. Some fields of interest include ecology, zoology, marine biology, environmental science, disaster management and sustainability. In Claudia’s spare time, she enjoys traveling, swimming and searching for opportunities to further develop the skills that are needed to understand emerging technology with the goal of being useful to society and improving lives.

Benjamin Meyers

Benjamin Meyers
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Ben is currently a PhD student in the Golisano College for Computing & Information Sciences (GCCIS) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He has a BS in Software Engineering from RIT. He intends to pursue a tenure-track faculty position teaching computational linguistics and cybersecurity. His research is focused on the sociolinguistic characteristics of conversations about security and how they can be leveraged to improve communication between software developers and the quality of the code they write. In his free time he enjoys writing, philosophy, Lego, and comic books.

Elizabeth Moore (Wronko)

Elizabeth Moore (Wronko)
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

 

Elizabeth is currently a Sustainability PhD Candidate at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She has her B.S. in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University (JMU) and her M.S. in Sustainable Systems from RIT. She is an adjunct professor in the RIT College of Liberal Arts and her teaching interests include sustainable development, resilient cities, and geographic information systems (GIS). Her research area is focused on emerging materials and technologies (i.e. nanomaterials) with an interest in natural disaster management and geographic information capacity. She hopes to continue teaching and researching at the university level after graduation. Elizabeth's hobbies include coaching cheerleading, traveling, cooking, and Crossfit. 

Anushka Nair

Game Developer
Rochester Institute of Technology

Anushka Nair is a Game Design and Development Master's student at Rochester Institute of Technology. She has a keen interest in developing games which are not only fun, but also have an impact. This also ties in her with core interest of game engine and systems programming which drive the minutiae of gameplay and transforms the way people experience games. She was the lead programmer for Project Lily Pad and was responsible for the overall architecture of the game. Anushka is also a Graduate Assistant to the Director of Interactive Games and Media,  Dr. David Schwartz. 

Julia Olson

Julia Olson
Research Fellow
University of Oregon

Julia Olson is a third-year, triple-major in Spatial Data Science and Technology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. Originally from Stoughton, Wisconsin, she is interested in the nexus of long-term cultural, social, and economic sustainability and mapping. Specifically, using cartographic products to communicate information to wide and receptive audiences to aid in creating and enabling systematic and individual change. Furthermore, her interests include uniting the emergence and impacts of wide-scale global events due to climate change and our concepts of functional maps for those situations. She looks forward to pursuing these interests in graduate school. Currently, Julia works as the Waste Reduction and Reusables Coordinator at the Student Sustainability Center, developing and implementing programming and initiatives surrounding single-use plastic and tackling waste reduction and sustainability on campus. In her personal life, she enjoys biking, playing ultimate frisbee, making pancakes, and following the National Women’s Soccer League.

Deborah Orieta

Deborah Orieta
Research Fellow
Syracuse University

Deborah Orieta is a Human Geography and Food Studies double major at Syracuse University. She is interested in the relationship between globalization processes and sustainable development, with a focus on food production and access. As part of her degree, she wants to do research around food security in non-sovereign island nations like Puerto Rico, the Marshall Islands, etc. Post graduation, she sees herself doing participatory research on community geography and urban resilience strategies, though her dream is to write for national geographic and run a bakery. When home for the summer, she works with the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico  as assistant leader in their Nature Immersion Workshops, where she teaches about environmental conservation and ecosystems. Currently, she is completing a travelling seminar on Environmental Justice, doing ethnographic fieldwork on Scandinavian sustainability.

Kyle Parnell

Kyle Parnell
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Kyle is a Ph.D. student at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the State University of New York College at Geneseo (2015) and an M.S. in Sustainable Systems from the Rochester Institute of Technology (2016). Kyle’s research focuses on enabling leaders in the manufacturing industry to consider sustainability criteria as core components of upstream business decision systems. Kyle plans to use geographic information systems (GIS) in his own research to develop contextually-adaptable frameworks for sustainable business decision making that are informed by geospatially specific environmental impact data. Ultimately, Kyle’s goal is to work in public policy, developing business and regulatory guidelines that support a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future. In his spare time, Kyle is a traveller, tennis fan, cyclist, and cook.

Kyle Pecsok

Kyle Pecsok
Research Fellow
Clark University

Kyle Pecsok ‘20 is a Geography Major and Sociology Minor at Clark University. He is interested in studying GIS, Urban/Development Geography, and social issues related to urban development. His research interests are learning and using methods of GIS to understand the impacts that development and weather events have on communities and specific groups that live within those communities. Last year Kyle participated in a REU at the University of South Florida examining how proximity to different types of waterbodies impact one’s concern of climate change. His current plan after graduation is to participate in Clark University’s Accelerated B.A./Master’s Program and earn an M.S. degree in GIS. He hopes to enter a career that utilizes GIS technology to create efficient development that is safe and beneficial for the community, specifically disadvantaged groups. In his free time, Kyle’s enjoys travelling, running, hiking, and downhill skiing.

Matthew J. Plummer

Matthew Plummer
Research Fellow
Penn State University

Hi, my name is Matt Plummer and I am a rising Senior studying Geography at Penn State University. My main fields of interest are satellite imagery analysis, disaster relief management, and immersive visualization. When outdoors, I enjoy hiking and snowboarding. Nothing is more fulfilling to me than exploring and finding cool things in nature. I’d like to get into photography, but I’m pretty miserable at it. When indoors, I enjoy making music and playing video games. I am currently on the fence as to whether or not I want to go to graduate school, or straight into industry. Going to work doing satellite image analysis for NASA would be a dream come true, but that’s about all I’ve got so far.

Tayler Ruggero

Tayler Ruggero
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Tayler Ruggero is a fourth year Criminal Justice and Public Policy Student with a minor in Geographical Information Systems.  She was a part of the 2017 cohort for NSF IRES, and found specific interest in the policy aspect of disaster management and geographical information capacity. She directed her individual project towards comparing FEMA in the United States with the BBK and THW in Germany.  She was assigned to UNU-EHS as a visiting scientist and truly enjoyed her experience in Bonn and working with the United Nations. In addition to NSF IRES, Tayler also spent January 2016 with Dr. Tomaszewski and a cohort of students in Rwanda, using ArcGIS collector to map the Kigeme Refugee camp.  On RIT's campus, Tayler in very much involved in the Center for Residence Life as an RA, the College of the Liberal Arts Student Advisory Board, and she is the CoLA Senator in Student Government.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching sporting events, and being a volunteer youth cheerleading coach.

Nicolas San Jose

Nicolas San Jose
Game Developer
Rochester Institute of Technology

Nicolas San Jose is a senior in the Game Design and Development major at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is interested in graphics programming, game engine applications such as visualizations in non entertainment fields, and the potential of games and gamification as an educational tool. With a National Science Foundation undergraduate research group, he helped to create an educational game for teaching disaster resilience. Currently, he is interning with Second Avenue Learning.

Britta Schwall

Britta Schwall
Visiting Research Scientist
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security

Unlike the most of the research scientists, Britta studies Business Management. She enjoys challenges and learning new things. From this project, she has had opportunities to learn from outstanding researchers, gain real-life work experience in an entirely new field, meeting people all over Europe and being a part of the international joint master program. After graduation in Spring 2018, she will work as a Coordinator of Residence Education at a college in Texas. She hopes to work for World Federation of the Deaf someday. 

 

Nathan Terrell

Nathan Terrell
Game Developer
Rochester Institute of Technology

Nathan Terrell is a third year game design student at RIT. He and a few other students worked with research fellows to create a serious game that used GIS data to have the player explore a real-world area. His area of focus within the project was narrative, mission design, and to a lesser extent programming, which reflect some of his many interests in the elements that make a game. Nathan plays games as well, pursuing the hobby of speedrunning and forming Speedruns Rochester to connect speedrunners in the area.

Emma Thomley

Research Fellow
Carleton College

Emma Thomley is an Environmental Studies major and Public Policy minor at Carleton College in Minnesota. Within her degree, she has been exploring the connections between effective environmental policy implementation and environmental justice. She is also interested in studying the potential impacts of climate change by researching mitigation and adaptation strategies. Currently she is evaluating the effects of climate change on global public health, specifically focusing on areas of differing socioeconomic statuses. After graduation, she plans on either pursuing law school and studying environmental law, or continuing her studies in sustainability at the postgraduate level. At Carleton, she spends her spare time running track and field, singing in an acapella jazz choir, and competing on Carleton’s mock trial team.

Amy Walker

Amy Walker
Research Fellow
Appalachian State University

Amy Walker is a third-year student at Appalachian State University, where she majors in Sustainable Development, minors in Mathematics, and pursues a certificate in GIS technologies. Her degree program combines various natural and social sciences to understand the complex balance between social, economic, and environmental variables in sustainable systems. She hopes to use GIS technologies to analyze these factors in order to help cultivate a more just and sustainable future. Amy’s research interests include water sciences & systems, sustainable engineering, natural resource management, equitable development, and grassroots activism. She looks forward to pursuing these further in graduate school. After her education, she hopes to help solve issues brought on by global climate change through a career in academia, public policy, affairs, or engineering. In her personal life, Amy enjoys reading, running for really long periods of time, traditional-American folk dance, asking hard questions, and answering those with even harder questions.

Scott Williams

Scott Williams
Research Fellow
SUNY Geneseo

Scott Williams is a sophomore geography and political science double major and a member of the Edgar Fellows Honors Program at SUNY Geneseo.  He has research interests in the impacts of climate change on human displacement, the role of government policy on environmental issues, and encouraging sustainable development through education.  Currently, Scott is using geographic information systems to map flooding along the southern coast of Lake Ontario and examine the role local and state government has played in both causing and mitigating the flooding.  On campus, Scott serves as the Vice President of Service for the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, a tour guide, and a student senator.  

Madeline Wolters

Madeline Wolters
Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Madeline Wolters is a BS Imaging Science student.

Sandy Wu

Visiting Research Scientist
University of Bonn

Sandy is a second year Management Information Systems student with minors in Geographic Information Systems and Database Development and Design at RIT. She is interested in working with databases and analyzing the efficiencies of operations.

Sandy's involvement on RIT's campus include being on the board for Women in Business and Asian Culture Society. She is also a part of Student Government as Women's Senator and in many other organizations and boards such as the Center for Women and Gender Student Action Board, the House of General Science, and the Reporter. In her free time, she likes to bake, make felt plushies, and play badminton.