I am an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I study and teach topics related to population geography and spatial statistics, especially as they relate to government censuses and surveys. I am also a Joint Faculty Affiliate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the Geographic Information Science & Technology Group and the Urban Dynamics Institute. I am an expert on the history and methods of the US Census Bureau.
My research is at the intersection of population geography, data science and mapping. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Census Bureau, and the US Forest Service. I am an expert in the simulating populations, and my work is being used at Oak Ridge National Laboratories to conduct national-scale population modeling. Currently I am working with the US Forest Service developing methods for mapping data from national surveys.
I serve as an advisor to the US Census Bureau through the National Academy of Sciences, where I am the lead on Operational Geography Subcommittee on the Standing Committee on Reengineering Census Operations.
In my free time, I most enjoy playing the cello and spending time backpacking or discovering engineering with my daughters.
Why I study data science and geography (and why you should too)
I have always been curious about the world. Peoples. Plants. Places. I was curious in it all. Geography that curiosity because geographers study just about everything. Geography is the original interdisciplinary science. Before there was environmental science, before there was urban studies, before there was global studies, there was geography.
As an expert in data science and methods, all kinds of great people doing great science come to you and ask for help and collaboration. You get to feed that curiosity. And every day is a new puzzle to solve.