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Meet the USC GIST Faculty

Led by a highly regarded faculty, the online GIST graduate programs at USC offer you the skills and knowledge to advance your career in virtually every professional sector.

Our diverse and interdisciplinary faculty members each hold a Ph.D. and constantly evaluate the GIS field to offer leading-edge courses. Each instructor is a recognized authority, with a strong geographic innovation science foundation and deep understanding of underlying GIS theory. All play an invaluable role in enriching the student experience and building USC’s reputation as a world-class institution.

We strive for proactive teaching. Keeping current with the latest theory and innovations is a top priority for each instructor. What they see in the field is what you’ll study during your GIST program. Classes are limited to 20 students, which means you’ll have the one-on-one faculty interaction to help you feel confident with your studies. Everyone at USC is here to guide you through your online academic plan — with a focus on your strengths, interests and career goals.

Your GIST Program Director

John P. Wilson

Professor and Founding Director
USC Spatial Sciences Institute

“I invite you to join with our faculty, researchers, students and alumni as we plumb the depths of data to bring out the compelling stories in search of solutions, answers and decisions leading to a more sustainable and healthy planet.”

— John P. Wilson, Professor and Founding Director, Spatial Sciences Institute

The Master of Science in GIST and the GIST Certificate programs were founded by Professor John P. Wilson, director of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI). He has led SSI through a period of remarkable growth, including development of new specializations in the GIST curriculum. A renowned and respected expert in GIS and spatial thinking, Wilson is a leading advocate for spatial competency in higher education.

Wilson has published many books and articles on GIS tool development, spatial analysis and environmental modeling, and has received numerous honors for his research and teaching. He is a Fellow of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, recognized for his work in terrain representation and analysis, and his visionary leadership in establishing new directions for GIS education and research.

Susan Kamei

Managing Director
USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Robert Vos, Ph.D.

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
USC Spatial Sciences Institute

Ken Watson

Academic Programs Director
USC Spatial Sciences Institute

When you apply to one of USC’s GIST graduate programs, you’ll receive personalized support from submitting an application to transitioning into the program, and throughout the duration of your studies in the Spatial Sciences Institute. Our program leadership works closely together to ensure students in the program are supported and have every opportunity to succeed in the program.

Meet Your USC GIST Faculty

Yao-Yi Chiang
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Steven Fleming
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Karen Kemp
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Su Jin Lee
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Travis Longcore
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Laura Loyola
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Katsuhiko “Kirk” Oda
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Vanessa Griffith Osborne
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Darren Ruddell
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Jennifer Swift
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Robert Vos
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John Wilson
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An-Min Wu
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Click here to see more detailed information on SSI faculty and affiliated faculty across USC.