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.

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.

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.


Simran Parwani

Early Career Director, Data Visualization Society | Data Visualization Teaching Assistant

Simran is passionate about telling stories with data and building inclusive communities. She is a recent graduate of New York University Abu Dhabi where she majored in interactive media and computer science and minored in design. In school, she led a campus organization focused on supporting students in STEM from historically excluded backgrounds and established the data journalism desk at her campus’ independent publication. She has interned for the US Census Bureau, NBCUniversal, and several non-profit organizations. She also serves as the Early Career Director on the board of the Data Visualization Society, supporting early-career practitioners building their careers in data visualization.

Priyanka Gagneja

Analytics Consultant, Onpoint Insights | Data Visualization Teaching Assistant

Priyanka is a data practitioner. She holds BTech in Computer Science, MBA in Finance from India and MS in Applied Economics from Boston College, USA. She has worked across different industries like retail, financial services and education. She also has an interest in learning about environmental sciences/ climate change/ energy markets. She is passionate about teaching and practicing data analytics and data visualization. She is focusing on data science best practices in her current role as a Analytics Consultant with Onpoint Insights supporting a medical devices client on the quality management team.