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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


  • 2024 Spring
    • GEO 482/682 Environmental Remote Sensing
    • IRP 499 Honors Capstone Project
  • 2023 Fall
    • ESP 470 Experience Credit
    • GEO 383/683 Geographic Information Systems
    • GEO 215 Global Environmental Change
  • 2023 Spring
    • ESP 470 Experience Credit
    • GEO 108 Mapping Today: Technology and Spatial Thinking
  • 2022 Fall
    • ESP 470 Experience Credit
    • GEO 383/683 Geographic Information Systems
  • 2022 Summer
    • ESP 470 Experience Credit
  • 2022 Spring
    • GEO 482 Environmental Remote Sensing
    • GEO 383/683 Geographic Information Systems
    • GEO 682 Remote Sensing for Environmental Applications and Research

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

"Modeling the Next Big Thing, a Seminar Series in Spatial Biochemical Monitoring and Prediction", Sponsored by CUSE Grants - Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant.

"Developing a UAV Testing Lab and Collaborative Research Projects - Subproject for Institution # 29403", Sponsored by New York State Department of Economic Development.

"Environmental Monitoring and Geoscience Surveying Applications for SU sUAS - Subproject for Institution # SP-29403-2", Sponsored by New York State Department of Economic Development.

"Onondaga Lake: Finding a restorative center in digital space", Sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities/Natl. Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities.

"Biodiversity Dynamics and Land-Use Changes in the Amazon: Multi-Scale Interactions between Ecological Systems and Resource-use Decisions by Indigenous Peoples", Sponsored by National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications

  • Journal Articles
  • Book Chapters
    • Read, J. M., "Satellite Remote Sensing for Management and Monitoring of Certified Forestry: An Example from the Brazilian Amazon.." In Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation. University of Chicago Press, 2006.
    • Read, J. M., Denslow, J. S. and Guzman, S. M., "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. Millington, A. C., Walsh, S. D. and Osborne, P. E. (eds.) Kluwer, 2001.
    • Cox, G., Read, J. M., "Cracidae Country Report for Bolivia." In The Cracidae: Their Biology and Conservation. Strahl, S. D., Beaugon, S., Brooks, D. M., Begazo, A. J., Sedaghatksh, G. and Olmos, F. (eds.) Hancock House Publishers, 1997.
  • Abstract
    • Read, J. M., Lam, N. N., Land cover from Landsat-TM Data Using Selected Spatial Statistics. Caschetta, A. R. (ed.) , 2000.
  • Editorials
    • Mennis, J., Kemp, K., Sinton, D., Read, J. M. and Shaw, S. L., "UCGIS at 25." Transactions in GIS, 2021.
    • Read, J. M., "GIS studies on Latin America." Journal of Latin American Geography, 2010.
  • Encyclopedia Entries
    • Read, J. M., Chambers, C. and Torrado, M. J., "Remote Sensing." International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2019.
    • Read, J. M., Torrado, M. J., "Methods: Remote Sensing." In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Kitchin, R., Thrift, N. (eds.) Elsevier, 2009.
  • Technical Report
    • Cox, G., Read, J. M., "Las Aves y los mamiferos de Perseverancia." Ecología en Bolivia: Documentos, Serie Zoología, 1992.

Presentations and Events

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, "UAS in Higher Education – Challenges and Prospects in Instruction" (April, 2019)

Blanford, Read, J. M., Pennsylvania State University, "Geospatial Sciences: Where are the women leaders of tomorrow?" (November, 2018)

Spatial Humanities conference, "Geospatial technologies for spatial storytelling: experiences from research and teaching" (September, 2018)

NYS GIS Association, "Integrating geospatial technologies into higher education" (September, 2018)

University Consortium of Geographic Information Science Symposium Frontiers of Geospatial Data Science., "Data Science in Higher Education" (May, 2018)