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Jon Caris

Director, Spatial Analysis Lab

Jon Caris

Contact & Office Hours

Tuesdays 3-4 p.m. and Thursdays 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Sabin-Reed 115


Subject Specialties:

Geographic Information Systems
Remote Sensing
Digital Humanities

Social Media:



B.A., Geography SUNY Geneseo

M.S., Geoenvironmental Science, Shippensburg University

Jon collaborates with a broad range of faculty to include spatial methods and techniques to visualize and understand spatial data in teaching and research. He builds capacity in the Spatial Analysis Lab to extend and enrich Spatial Thinking within the Smith Community. All of his initiatives build upon the idea of making the invisible, visible. He enjoys creating conditions that afford opportunity to see through a spatial lens which prompts new questions and discussion.

Jon previously worked in the Mount Holyoke College GeoProcessing Lab.


Environmental Science and Policy Program Committee, Five-College Digital Humanities, Spatial Analysis Lab Steering Committee (Chair), Libraries Managers Team

Research Interests

Jon’s research interests address questions concerning decisions made in the political economy that manifest themselves upon the landscape. He is particularly interested in visualizing partitioned, regulated space that unintentionally marginalizes individuals and communities. This area of interest now extends into the vertical to include airspace and takes on contested issues such as who owns the sky and new forms of surveillance.


Caris, Jon, and Scott Gilman. “Blended Learning for GIS Instruction.” Presentation at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Conference, Boston, MA, April 4-9, 2017.

Anderson, Andy, Jon Caris, Scott Gilman, and Charles Schweik. “Community Service with Web-Based Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST): Blended Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century.” Presented at the Blended Learning in the Liberals Arts Conference, Bryn Mawr, PA, May 18-19, 2016.

Caris, Jon. “UAVs in Academia: Challenges and Opportunities.” Presented at the Northeast ArcInfo Users Group, Amherst, MA, May 11, 2015.

Caris, Jon, and Andy Anderson. “Spatial Techniques for Digital Humanities.” Presented at GIS & Spatial Thinking in the Undergraduate Curriculum, Lewisburg, PA, November 16-18, 2012.


Kopcznski K., Buynevich I., Curran, H. A., Caris, J., and Nyquist, J. (2017) Imaging bioturbation in supratidal carbonates: non-invasive field techniques enhance neoichnological and zoogeomorphological research, San Salvador, The Bahamas. Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 56 (2), 2017, 289-297. Modena

O’Connor, M.P., Francis, J., McGarigal, K., and Caris, J. Describing juvenile American shad and striped bass habitat use in the Hudson River Estuary using species distribution models. Ecological Engineering Vol. 48: 101-108.

Professional Affiliations

American Association of Geographers,North American Cartographic Information Society, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International