Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
Fields of Expertise
Data, GIS, and Modeling, Natural Disasters: Flood, Fire, and Drought, One Water, Watershed Science
Areas of Interest
Participatory GIS with indigenous peoples, Role of the internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management
Melinda Laituri received her PhD from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona in geography. Her dissertation research focused on environmental equity and groundwater resources in the American Southwest and the US-Mexico border. Dr. Laituri accepted a post doc at the University of Auckland, New Zealand where she served as a lecturer in a tenure track position for three years. Dr. Laituri is a former National Science Foundation program officer in Geography and Spatial Sciences. She is a Fulbright Scholar and spent 2010 in Botswana. She is a Rachel Carson Fellow where she conducted comparative research of major rivers. Dr. Laituri is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid @ CSU that provides information and support for GIS activities, education, and outreach at CSU and in Colorado. In 2014-2015, Dr. Laituri was a Jefferson Science Fellow and continues working with the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the US Department of State on the Secondary Cities Initiative. She is a visiting scientist at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. Dr. Laituri’s research interests are diverse. She has worked with indigenous peoples throughout the world on issues related to natural resource management, disaster adaptation, and water resource issues using geographic information systems (GIS) that utilize cultural and eco-physical data in research models. A key focus is participatory GIS where indigenous peoples develop spatial information and maps essential for their management of their own resources. Other research work focuses on the role of the Internet and geospatial technologies of disaster management and cross-cultural environmental histories of river basin management.