Gillian Galford – Program Director

Research Associate Professor and Academic Director, Geospatial Technologies, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources | Fellow, Gund Institute for Environment

Photo of Gillian GalfordDr. Gillian L. Galford directs the Certificate and UVM’s Geospatial Technologies program. She teaches in UVM’s Environmental Science Program/Rubenstein School of Environment and is a Fellow at the Gund Institute for Environment. Her research focuses on land-cover and land-use change in the tropics and its impacts, particularly on greenhouse gas emissions and the water cycle. She works across scales, from plot level studies on farms to regional analyses through remote sensing and ecosystems modeling. Strong partnerships and collaborations are a hallmark of Gillian’s work. Her colleagues represent universities in the USA, Brazil and Cuba, NGOs, international research organizations and government institutions. Gillian maintains active research projects funded by NASA, NSF, USDA and private foundations.

Gillian holds a B.A. in Earth & Planetary Sciences with a double major in Environmental Studies (social science track) from Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a Ph.D. from Brown University where she studied ecosystems ecology and remote sensing through the Brown-MBL Joint Program with a focus on remote sensing and ecosystems ecology through the Brown-MBL Joint Program in Environmental Science and Biology. Previously, Gillian was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Earth Institute of Columbia University and the Woods Hole Research Center.

Brian Voigt

Lecturer I, University of Vermont | Fellow, Gund Institute for Environment

Dr. Brian Voigt’s research interests include developing and applying computer based systems for modeling land use change and the interaction between humans and their environment. His interests also include: ecosystem services and natural hazards, addressing existing and emerging environmental issues through participatory modeling and spatial analysis, and creating knowledge to facilitate improved environmental management. Over the past decade Brian has worked on a variety of research topics, including modeling freshwater ecosystem services and the spread of infectious disease in Tanzania, modeling environmental tradeoffs resulting from alternative development patterns in Chittenden County, VT, USA, quantifying the value of clean water in the Lake Champlain Basin, and exploring impacts on recreation from oil, gas and potash development in the Moab, UT region. Dr. Voigt earned his PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, a Master of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematics and Sociology at Miami University.

Bill Shander

Founder & CEO, Beehive Media

Picture of Bill ShandeBill Shander is an information designer, helping clients turn their data into compelling visual and often interactive experiences. He is the founder of Beehive Media, a Boston-based data visualization and information design consultancy. Bill teaches data storytelling, information design and data visualization on LinkedIn Learning, for a Big Four accounting and consulting firm, and in workshops around the world. Clients include the World Bank, United Nations, Starbucks, MIT, multiple U.S. Government agencies, and many more. Bill is also on the board of directors of the Data Visualization Society, a global member-driven community of over 16,000 data visualization professionals. Bill has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Colorado.


Amanda Armstrong

Senior Research Scientist, NASA GESTAR Program

Amanda Armstrong headshotAmanda Armstrong is a Senior Research Scientist working in NASA Goddard’s Earth Science Technology and Research (GESTAR) Program since 2015. Prior to her position with UMBC-GESTAR II, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) with the NASA Postdoctoral Program. Dr Armstrong received her doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia with a focus on forest ecology, remote sensing and high-resolution forest modeling.

The aim of Dr. Armstrong’s recent work within NASA’s Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) Program is to understand the rates and drivers of tundra-taiga ecotone shift, using high resolution modelling and remote sensing. She also has worked as part of a research team at the University of Virginia funded by NASA’s Applied Sciences program, using the latest tools in Google Earth Engine to create a process stream to calculate and study Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs) for the circumpolar Arctic Tundra using optical sensor data (MODIS, Landsat).

Her other areas of research interest include: the application and fusion of high-resolution forest models with remote sensing data products to improve estimates of vegetation structure, carbon stocks and land cover change at multi-temporal and multi-spatial scales; and the development and use of high-resolution remote sensing data products toward the improvement of metrics and understanding of forest structure and biodiversity.

Orhun Aydin

Spatial Statistics Researcher, ESRI

Orhun AydinOrhun Aydin, Ph.D., is a senior researcher and for the Spatial Statistics team at ESRI and the product engineer for the R-ArcGIS Bridge team. He is also a lecturer in University of Southern California’s Spatial Sciences Institute. He conducts research into generalizable frameworks that couple human-driven systems to Earth systems via spatial and spatio-temporal statistical models. In particular, his applied research focuses on planning for natural disaster response and data-driven conservation. His theoretical work involves developing general mathematical frameworks for modelling, mining and representing spatial and spatio-temporal data. Dr. Aydin holds a PhD from Stanford School of Earth Sciences with a PhD minor in Geology.