USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Travis Longcore

Travis Longcore

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Spatial Sciences, and Biological Sciences

  • 1999: Ph.D., Geography, University of California
  • 1995: M.A., Geography, University of California
  • 1993: Honors B.A., Geography, University of Delaware

Travis Longcore, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Architecture, Spatial Sciences, and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, where he holds a joint appointment in the USC School of Architecture and the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

He believes that empirical analysis using a spatial framework can provide a common platform to address important issues of ecological management, stewardship, and design. He focuses his efforts on cities because they represent an increasing proportion of human settlements on the planet, where nature can either be incorporated and encouraged or polluted and excluded, with dramatically different outcomes for people, biodiversity, and the environment as a whole.

Longcore’s current research includes investigations of spatial ecology, applying quantitative tools to inform bioresource management and landscape design; light pollution, including its impacts on wildlife and people and approaches to design for the night; and historical ecology, with a focus on modeling and describing pre-urban landscapes of southern California to inform current restoration and management.
Longcore is co-editor of the landmark book Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting (Island Press, 2006) and author of over 35 peer-reviewed articles in top international journals such as Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Restoration Ecology, Environmental Management, Urban Geography, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. His research has been covered in National Geographic, Audubon, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Life, and Discover.

Longcore also is an accomplished environmental policy consultant, having provided extensive expert commentary and analysis in dozens of environmental cases, for local, regional, and national organizations on issues as diverse as “towerkill” of migratory birds at communications towers, the proposed delisting of the Yellowstone population of grizzly bears, the ecological impacts of pesticides on birds, and numerous residential, recreational, and commercial development projects.

Among his accomplishments, Longcore co-developed science-based habitat restoration program and native plant nursery for coastal dune habitats and transferred operation to a nonprofit training at-risk youth and young adults; directed the growth of a yearlong senior practicum problems course for a B.S. program in environmental science, with competitive selection of student group projects for off-campus clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local nonprofits; and managed a successful captive breeding program for endangered California butterflies.

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


Selected Works

Paudel, S., Benavides, J.C., MacDonald, B., Longcore, T., Wilson, G.W.T. & Loss, S., Determinants of native and non-native plant community structure in an oceanic island. Ecosphere 8(9):301927, 2017, doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1927.

Pack, D. W., Hardy, B. S. & Longcore, T, Studying Earth at night from CubeSats. Proceedings of the 31st Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, 1–11, August 2017.

Gillespie, T.W., Willis, K.S., Ostermann-Kelm, S., Longcore, T., Federico, F., Lee, L. & MacDonald, G.M., Inventorying and monitoring night light distribution and dynamics in the Mediterranean Coast Network of Southern California. Natural Areas Journal, 37(3), 500-510, 2017, doi: 10.3375/043.037.0309.

Longcore, T., GIST in undergraduate group capstone research projects in environmental science. In D.Cowan (Ed.), STEM and GIS in Higher Education. Redlands, CA: Esri Press, 2016.

Kensek, K., Ding, Y. & Longcore, T., Green building and biodiversity: facilitating bird friendly design with building information models. Journal of Green Building, 11(2)116-130, 2016.

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