Dara Seidl, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems
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- Ph.D. in Geography, San Diego State University and University of California at Santa Barbara
- M.S. in Geographic Information Science, San Diego State University
- B.A. in Geography and French, Colgate University
Dara is a geographer and GIScientist who loves to help students effectively capture, produce, analyze, display, and communicate geographic data. She strives to create classroom experiences to position students for success after graduation. Spatial analysis and mapping skills can open doors to a wide set of employment opportunities, and Dara enjoys designing interactive exercises to foster creativity and spatial problem-solving across disciplines.
Dara's teaching of GIS is informed by ten years of GIS industry experience on a wide range of transportation, health, environmental, business, and demographic projects. Her goal is to help students apply the tools and techniques of GIS to issues that interest them and are helpful to their communities.
Dara is also passionate about incorporating ethics into geography education. Her scholarly research centers on geoprivacy, which is the right of individuals to control their personal location data. She was named a 2019-2020 EthicalGEO Fellow by the American Geographical Society to develop an educational toolbox of short films on geoprivacy. She regularly published on cartographic techniques to protect privacy in mapping and societal reactions to personal location collection.
Outside the classroom, Dara is an avid trail runner and eager to get out and explore the fascinating geography of the Rocky Mountain region.
Dara recently completed a yearlong fellowship with the American Geographical Society, to study privacy issues. Her findings are now framed in an eight-part series of short educational videos.
The AGS initiated the EthicalGEO Fellowship in September 2019. Dara was one of seven fellows selected from academia, government and business to conduct research and fieldwork on how geographic systems are used in collecting location data, both nationally and worldwide.
Dara created the Geoprivacy Video Series, a resource for educators teaching ethical issues related to collection of location data. Her videos cover topics from the potential to falsely identify crime suspects to using GPS data to track shopping and dining habits of private citizens.