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Jane M. Read

Jane M. Read

Contact Information:


123 Eggers Hall

Jane M. Read

Associate Professor, Geography and the Environment Department

Director, Integrated Learning Major, Environment, Sustainability and Policy

Senior Research Associate, Autonomous Systems Policy Institute

Senior Research Associate, Center for Environmental Policy and Administration


GEO 108 Mapping Today: Technology and Spatial Thinking
GEO 215 Global Environmental Change
GEO 318 Tropical Environments
GEO 383/683 Principles of Geographic Information Systems
GEO 478/678 Spatial Storytelling

GEO 479/679 Geospatial and Environmental Applications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
GEO 482/682 Environmental Remote Sensing
GEO 583 Environmental Geographic Information Science
GEO 500 Research on Land Use Change

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1999


I am an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University. I hold degrees from the University of London (B.S. environmental science 1987; M.S. surveying 1990) and a Ph.D. in geography (1999) from Louisiana State University. I have served on the faculty at Syracuse University since 1999.

I specialize in geographic information systems, remote sensing, land use and land cover, and human-environment interactions. Much of my research has focused in the neotropics, including Costa Rica, Brazil and Guyana, although I have also studied historical land changes in the Adirondacks of New York state.

I have published on applications of GIS and remote sensing to land-use and land-cover changes, selective logging operations, indigenous hunting patterns and uses of traditional knowledge in vegetation mapping using remote sensing imagery and identification of multiple-use tree species in Guyana. I am currently examining the spatial history of land use around Onondaga Lake, New York, through multiple perspectives, and attempting to find new ways to map and visualize those changes.

I teach courses in introductory and advanced GIS/GIScience, remote sensing, global environmental change, tropical environments and spatial storytelling, and advise graduate students within my realm of expertise. I am interested in strategies to improve curriculum and student engagement.

Areas of Expertise

Geographic information systems and remote sensing, human-environment interactions, geohumanities, indigenous livelihoods, Latin America

Research Interests

Applications of remote sensing and GIS to environmental and biogeographical questions; tropical environments, tropical forest ecology and human-environment interactions (land-use and land-cover changes); geographic information science and technologies (geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning systems, UAS); geohumanities and spatial storytelling; teaching methods in geographic information systems and technology; promoting women and girls in geospatial sciences.

Research Grant Awards and Projects

Where are the women Geospatial Science leaders of tomorrow? Building the TRELIS to help retain and develop women leaders.

Onondaga Lake: compiling and developing a spatial history of Onondaga Lake.

Biodiversity dynamics and land-use changes in the amazon: multi-scale interactions between ecological systems and resource-use decisions by indigenous people: based in the Rupununi of southern Guyana.


A.R. Cummings, J.M. Read, J.M.V. Fragoso. 2018. “Implications of forest type and land tenure diversity for the sustainability of ecosystem services provided by northern Amazonia’s multiple-use tree species.” Landscape Ecology, DOI 10.1007/s10980-018-0614-3.

A.R. Cummings and J.M. Read. 2016. “Drawing on Traditional Knowledge to Identify and Describe Ecosystem Services Associated with Northern Amazon’s Multiple-Use Plants" International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 12 (1-2), pp. 39-56. DOI: 10.1080/21513732.2015.1136841.

José M. V. Fragoso , Taal Levi, Luiz F. B. Oliveira, Jeffrey B. Luzar, Han Overman, Jane M. Read, Kirsten M. Silvius. 2016. “Line Transect Surveys Underdetect Terrestrial Mammals: Implications for the Sustainability of Subsistence Hunting.” PLoS ONE 11(4):  e0152659. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152659.

A.R.Cummings, J.M. Read, J.M.V. Fragoso. 2015. "Utilizing Amerindian Hunters' Description of Vegetation to Guide the Production of a vegetation Cover Map," International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research Vol 6(1): 118-142.

Read, J.M., J.M.V. Fragoso, J. Luzar, H. Overman. 2013. “Village name, Rupununi, Guyana, Project Fauna Community Atlas”.  Unpublished report, Geography Dept., Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA, pp 32. (23 atlases for the following villages: Achawaib, Aishalton, Apoteri, Awarewanau, Crashwater, Fairview, Karaudarnau, Katoka, Kwaimatta, Moco Moco, Nappi, Pai Pong, Para Bara, Quattata, Quiko, Rewa, Sand Creek, Sawariwao, Shea, Shiriri, Tipuru, Werimoor, Wowetta),  Second edition.

B.E. McNeil, J.M. Read, and C.T. Driscoll. 2011. “Foliar Nitrogen Responses to the Environmental Gradient Matrix of the Adirondack Park, New York.”  Annals of the Association of American Geographers Vol 102(1): 1-16.

Read, J.M., J.M.V. Fragoso, J. Luzar, H. Overman. 2011. “Village name, Rupununi, Guyana, Project Fauna Community Atlas”.  Unpublished report, Geography Dept., Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA, pp 32. (23 atlases for the following villages: Achawaib, Aishalton, Apoteri, Awarewanau, Crashwater, Fairview, Karaudarnau, Katoka, Kwaimatta, Moco Moco, Nappi, Pai Pong, Para Bara, Quattata, Quiko, Rewa, Sand Creek, Sawariwao, Shea, Shiriri, Tipuru, Werimoor, Wowetta).

J. Luzar, K.M. Silvius, J.P.M. Overman, S.T. Giery, J.M. Read, and J.M.V. Fragoso. 2011. “Large-scale environmental monitoring by indigenous peoples”. Bioscience Vol 61: 771-781.

Read, J.M. 2010. Guest editorial for Special Issue “GIS studies on Latin America” in Journal of Latin American Geography 9(3), pp. 5-8.

Read, J.M., J.M.V. Fragoso, K.M. Silvius, J. Luzar, H. Overman, S.T. Giery and L.F. de Oliveira. 2010. “Space, Place, and Hunting among Amerindians of the Guyanese Rupununi” Journal of Latin American Geography 9(3), pp. 213-243.

Read, J.M. 2010. “Teaching Introductory Geographic Information Systems through Problem-based Learning and Public Scholarship” Journal of Geography in Higher Education. Vol 34(3), pp. 379-399.

Read, J.M. and M.J. Torrado. 2009.  “Methods: Remote Sensing” In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 9, pp. 335-346.  Eds. Rob Kitchin and Nigel Thrift, Elsevier.

McNeil, B.E., J.M. Read, T.J. Sullivan, T.C. McDonnell, I.J. Fernandez, and C.T. Driscoll. 2008. “The spatial pattern of nitrogen cycling in the Adirondack Park, New York.”  Ecological Applications Vol 18(2), pp 438-452.

McNeil, B.E., J.M. Read, and C.T. Driscoll. 2007.  Foliar nitrogen responses to elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition in nine temperate forest canopy species. Environmental Science & Technology 41: 5191-5197.

Read, J.M. 2006.  Satellite Remote Sensing for Management and Monitoring of Certified Forestry: An Example from the Brazilian Amazon.  In Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation (ed. K. Zimmerer), pp71-91.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

McNeil, B.E., R.E. Martell, and J.M. Read. 2006.  GIS and biogeochemical models for examining the legacy of forest disturbance in the Adirondack Park, NY, USA.  Ecological Modelling Vol 195, pp. 281-295.

McNeil, B.E., J.M. Read, and C.T. Driscoll. 2005.  Identifying controls on the spatial variability of foliar nitrogen in a large, complex ecosystem: the role of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Adirondack Park, NY, USA.  Journal of Agricultural Meteorology Vol 60(6), pp. 1157-1160.

Powers, J.S., J.M. Read, J.S. Denslow, and S.M. Guzman. 2004.  Estimating Carbon Dioxide Fluxes From Soil Carbon Pools Following Land-Cover Change: A Test of Some Critical Assumptions for a Region in Costa Rica.  Global Change Biology Vol 10, pp. 170-181.

Clark, D.B., J.M. Read, M. Clark, A.Murillo Cruz, M. Fallas Dotti, and D.A. Clark. 2004.  Application of 1-m and 4-m Resolution Satellite Data to Studies of Tree Demography, Stand Structure and Land Use Classification in Tropical Rain Forest Landscapes.  Ecological Applications Vol 14, No 1, pp. 61-74.

Clark, D.B., C. Soto Castro, L.D. Alfaro Alvarado, and J.M. Read. 2004.  Quantifying Mortality of Tropical Rain Forest Trees Using High-Spatial-Resolution Satellite Data.  Ecology Letters, Vol 7, pp 52-59.

Hurtt, G., X. Xiao, M. Keller, M. Palace, G.P. Asner, R. Braswell, E.S. Brondizio, M. Cardoso, C.J.R. Carvalho, M.G. Fearon, L. Guild, S. Hagen, J.M. Read, T. Sá, A. Schloss, G. Vourlitis, A.J. Wickel, B. Moore III, and C. Nobre. 2003.  IKONOS Imagery for the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA).  Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol 88, pp 111-127.

Read, J.M., D.B. Clark, E.M. Venticinque, and M.P. Moreira. 2003.  Application of Merged 1-m and 4-m Resolution Satellite Data to Research and Management in Tropical Forests.  Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol 40, No 3, pp. 592-600.

Read, J.M. 2003. Spatial Analyses of Logging Impacts in Amazonia Using Remotely Sensed Data.  Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing Vol 69, No 3, pp. 275-282.

Read, J.M. and N.S.-N. Lam. 2002.  Spatial Methods for Characterizing Land Cover and Detecting Land-cover Changes for the Tropics.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol 23, No 12, pp. 2457-2474.

Read, J.M., J.S. Denslow, and S.M. Guzman. 2001.  Documenting Land-cover History of a Humid Tropical Environment in Northeastern Costa Rica Using Time-Series Remote Sensing Data.  In GIS and Remote Sensing Applications in Biogeography and Ecology (eds. A.C.Millington, S.D.Walsh and P.E.Osborne), pp. 69-89.  Kluwer, Boston.

Clark, D.B., D.A. Clark and J.M. Read. 1998.  Edaphic Variation and the Mesoscale Distribution of Tree Species in a Neotropical Rain Forest.  Journal of Ecology Vol 86, pp. 101-112.

G. Cox, J.M. Read, R.O.S. Clarke and V.S. Easty. 1997.  Studies of Horned Curassow Pauxi unicornis in Bolivia.  Bird Conservation International Vol 7, pp. 199-211.

G. Cox and J.M. Cox (Read). 1997.  Cracidae Country Report for Bolivia.  In The Cracidae: Their Biology and Conservation (eds. S.D. Strahl, S. Beaugon, D.M. Brooks, A.J. Begazo, G. Sedaghatksh, F. Olmos), pp. 474-481.  Hancock House Publishers, WA.