USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Robert O. Vos

Robert O. Vos

Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Spatial Sciences and Director of Graduate Studies

  • 1999: Ph.D., Political Science, University of Southern California
  • 1994: M.A., Political Science, University of Southern California
  • 1992: B.A., Study of the City, University of Southern California

Robert O. Vos, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Spatial Sciences and Director of Graduate Studies with the USC Spatial Sciences Institute.

His research focuses on industrial ecology, including projects on regional materials flow analysis, eco-industrial park planning, lifecycle assessment, and sustainability indicators. One of his specialties is using GIS tools to improve methods used to measure the carbon footprint of many consumer products to more accurately assess their true environmental impact.

Vos also has published extensively on theories and concepts of sustainability. His co-edited book, Flashpoints in Environmental Policymaking: Controversies in Achieving Sustainability, won the annual Lynton K. Caldwell Prize in 1998 from the American Political Science Association for the best book on environmental politics and policy. He also is the recipient of the 2010 Sustainability Award for the SmartPackaging Initiative from Disney Consumer Products.

He teaches and has taught courses in sustainability science in the city in USC Spatial’s undergraduate program, geospatial technology project management and thesis direction in USC Spatial’s M.S. in GIST program, and the research practicum and teaching in the liberal arts course in USC Spatial’s Population, Health and Place doctoral program. In addition, Vos teaches industrial ecology: technology-environment interaction for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He serves and has served as thesis advisor to numerous M.S. in GIST students.

He is certified as a Geographic Information Science Professional (GISP) by the Geographic Information Science Certification Institute (GISCI).


Selected Works

Newell, J.P. & Vos, R.O, Accounting for forest carbon pool dynamics in product carbon footprints: Challenges and opportunities. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 37, 23-36, 2012, doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2012.03.005.

Newell, J. & Vos, R.O., Dematerialization. In N. Cohen & P. Robbins (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Green Business: An A-to- Z Guide (pp. 127-130). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2011, doi:10.4135.97881412973793.n37.

Newell, J.P. & Vos, R.O., “Papering” Over Space and Place: Product Carbon Footprint Modeling in the Global Paper Industry. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101:4, 730-741, 2011, doi: 101.1080/00045608.2011.567929.

Vos, R.O., Defining sustainability: a conceptual orientation. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 82, 334-339, 2007, doi:10.1002/jctb.1675.

Kamieniekci, S., Gonzalez, G.A. & Vos, R.O. (Eds.), Flashpoints in Environmental Policymaking: Controversies in Achieving Sustainability. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997.

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