Today's Hours


Jon Caris

Director, Spatial Analysis Lab


Contact & Office Hours

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

Alumnae Gymnasium 009D


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 and students to include analytical 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. Many of his initiatives build upon the notion of making the invisible, visible. He enjoys creating conditions that afford opportunity to see through a spatial lens, prompting new questions and discussion.

Jon previously taught and mapped at Mount Holyoke College as the GeoProcessing Lab Associate Director before being poached by Smith. Prior to that he was one of two very tall, slim women, with bright red hair and freckles named Abby and Judy who were the sister act of Cartographic Technologies, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vermont. (fictionalized by Archer Mayor in The Disposable Man: A Joe Gunther Novel


Environmental Science and Policy Program Committee, Spatial Analysis Lab Steering Committee (Chair)

Research Interests

Jon considers technologies, broadly, that expand, collapse, or otherwise alter our perception and understanding of time and space. This area of interest now extends into the vertical to include airspace and takes on contested issues such as who owns the sky, property rights, and surveillance.


Tien, Tracy and Jon Caris. "Reimaging College Campus Maps." Presented at the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) annual conference, Tacoma, WA, October 17, 2019.

Tien, Tracy, Jon Caris, and Robert Newton. "So You Built a Multimillion Bathhouse: Assessing the Past, Present, and Future of a Beloved New England Beach Using Drones." Presentation at the Northeast Arc Users Group Fall Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY, October 29, 2018.

Caris, Jon and Tracy Tien. "Feeding Students Curious Appetites: Supporting Research with Emerging Technologies." Presentation at From Evidence to Scholarship — TRANSFORMING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH IN THE DIGITAL AGE, Reed College, Portland, OR, March 15, 2018.

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 (AAG), North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS)