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Release: Oct. 31, 2002

Geographer, Population Expert To Speak At UI Nov. 6

Stephen J. Walsh, a professor of geography and a research fellow at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Nov. 4-8.

He will give a free, public lecture on "Land Use and Land Cover from Space," at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Room 2217, Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences. He also will participate in a research seminar, "Characterizing and Modeling Land-use/Land-cover Dynamics: Case Studies of Ecuador and Thailand," 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 in Room, S207, Pappajohn Business Building.

Walsh's research has focused on the interpretation and application of satellite imagery to a range of geographic problems. He has contributed to greater understanding of the connections between geomorphology and ecology, especially in mountain environments, and recently has turned his attention to the linkages between environment and population in areas where tropical forest is being converted to agroecosystems. He has ongoing projects in the Amazonian region of Ecuador and in Thailand. His current work uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to link satellite imagery of land-use change to household demographic surveys to better understand how the processes of globalization are translated to local practice.

Walsh has published more than 100 scholarly articles and has edited several books and special issues of journals. He has also served on the editorial boards of several journals and on a number of national committees on remote sensing and GIS. He was awarded National Honors for Distinguished Scholarship from the Association of American Geographers, the discipline's highest research award.

His visit is sponsored by department of geography. Co-sponsors include the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, International Programs, Global Studies, and department of urban and regional planning.

Walsh's activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.