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Stephen J. Tulowiecki

Associate Professor of Geography
Bailey 229

Google Scholar page

Steve is a GIScientist and biogeographer who studies forested ecosystems, with a focus on forests prior to European settlement in the Northeastern US  Steve's research examines the factors that shaped past geographic distributions of tree species, as well as methodological issues surrounding this area of inquiry (e.g. spatial representations of ecological phenomena, positional uncertainty in species data).  His research utilizes geospatial tools and quantitative methods, such as geographic information systems (GIS), predictive modeling, statistical computing, and programming.  Steve's research also utilizes – and studies the usefulness of – unconventional or "found" data sources, such as original land survey records of the 17th to 19th centuries CE.  His dissertation explored the impacts of Native American settlement upon tree species composition in Chautauqua County, New York (ca. 1800 CE).  Steve's teaching interests include GIS, environmental issues, and geospatial and statistical software.  Future research interests are in applying recent methods and paradigms in geographic study – such as information retrieval, text mining, and citizen science – to the pursuit of comprehending past forest conditions in the Northeast.

National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research



  • GEOG 125: R/Digital Earth

    How do sensors on airplanes discover lost ancient cities? How does a GPS know where you are? How does Google Maps determine the fastest route between two locations? This course focuses on quantitative reasoning and problem-solving in geography, including methods associated with current tools and technologies that geographers use to study the earth. Students will first learn about 21st century tools including global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing. Students will also learn specific quantitative methods and skills that geographers use, such as structured query language (SQL), map algebra, and network analysis.

  • GEOG 385: Adv Geographic Info Sys (GIS)

    This course provides a detailed examination of conceptual issues presented in the introductory GIS class. It also involves additional material on data acquisition, data structures, spatial data standards and error analysis, spatial analysis operations, the effects of geographical information science on society, and GIS applications. Prerequisites: GEOG 286 or permission of instructor. Restricted to Geography Majors. Offered every year