2021 Keynote: Somayeh Dodge: “Analyzing and Mapping Movement Responses to Environmental Disruptions”

Analyzing and Mapping Movement Responses to Environmental Disruptions

Movement patterns are the results of complex behaviors and processes which drive individuals’ movement in social and ecological systems. These patterns shape urban and natural ecosystem dynamics, structure human and wildlife social networks, and are instrumental to understanding human and wildlife’s behavioral responses to a changing environment.  Ubiquitous tracking and the increasing access to movement data in both trajectory forms and aggregate indices have generated a tremendous interest in using data-driven approaches to model and understand behavioral responses to disruptive events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and to develop mitigation strategies. In this presentation, I argue for a human-centered approach to movement data science to analyze and map human responses to environmental disruptions.


Somayeh Dodge is an Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and leads the MOVE Laboratory in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. She received her PhD in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2011. She holds a M.Sc. degree in GIS Engineering and a B.Sc. degree in Geomatics Engineering from the KNT University of Technology, Iran. Supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Somayeh’s research focuses on developing data analytics, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study movement in human and ecological systems. She is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2021. Her work has appeared in a number of high-ranked international journals including Methods in Ecology and Evolution, International Journal of Geographic Information Science, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS), and Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS). Somayeh currently serves as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Spatial Information Science as well as on the editorial board of multiple journals such as Geographical Analysis, CaGIS, CEUS, Journal of Location Based Services, and The Professional Geographer.