Geography and Sustainable Planning Faculty

Chad Frederick

Chad Frederick, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Urban Affairs, University of Louisville
M.A. Urban and Environmental Planning, Arizona State University
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, Metropolitan State University

Office: MAK B-4-210 
Phone: (616) 331-5037
Email: [email protected]

Areas of Interest: Urban Geography, Multimodality, Spatial Inequalities, Medium-size Cities, Quantitative Methods, Bioregionalism, Sustainable Urban Development

Representative Publications:

Elena Lioubimtseva

Elena Lioubimtseva, Professor

Ph.D. Environmental Geography. M.S. Geography (Physical), Moscow State University, Russia
Office: B-4-202 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2874
Email[email protected]Elena's LinkedIn profile.

Areas of interest: climate change, land use and land cover change, human vulnerability and adaptations to climate change and natural disasters, food security, Russia and Central Eurasia

Representative Publications: ‪Elena Lioubimtseva‬ - ‪Google Scholar‬

Kin Ma

Kin M. Ma, Associate Professor

Ph.D. Geography, Michigan State University
M.S. Resource Development, Michigan State University
B.A. Williams College
Office: B-4-204 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-3351
Email: makin@ Faculty web pageKin's LinkedIn profile.

Areas of interest: Geographic Information systems (GIS), Civic and Community Engagement, remote sensing of forests and water resources, natural resource management, Great Lakes, U.S./Canadian Geography, Taiwan, and also East Asia

Representative Publications:

  • Ma, Kin M. (2018). Using High Spatial Resolution Imagery to Estimate Cherry Orchard Acreage in Michigan. In Yuhong He and Qihao Weng (Eds.), High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing: Data, Techniques, and Applications. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Ma, Kin M., Hendrick, Andrea, and Transue, Judith (2018). Housing Assessment using Geographic Information Systems (GIS):  A Case Study of Community Engagement from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, at Indiana State University, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 17-33.
  • Bailey-Fakhoury, Chasity, Perhamus, Lisa, and Ma, Kin M. (2018). Feeling Displaced, Enacting Resistance: Race, Place, and Schooling in the Face of Gentrifying Forces. In Section on Sociology of Education refereed Roundtable session, Accepted Paper, American Sociological Association Annual Conference, Aug 11-14, 2018, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Ma, Kin M. 2010. Map Animation. In B. Warf (ed.), Encyclopedia of Geography, (Vols. 1-6): 1825-1828.
  • Ma, Kin M. 2008. Review of Understanding Forest Disturbance and Spatial Pattern: Remote Sensing and GIS ApproachesPhotogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 74(11): 1312, 1314.

Heather Moody

Heather Moody, Associate Professor

Ph.D. Geography, Michigan State University
M.P.A. Public Administration - Environment, Cleveland State University College of Urban Affairs
Office: B-4-208 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616)-331-2861
Email[email protected]. Faculty web page. 

Areas of interest: Environmental Justice, environmental health disparities, water and food security, citizens science, climate change and sustainable energy, industrial ecology, biomimicry, ecological design, and collective community  interdependence.

Representative Publications:

  • Tsuji J, Moody H, Wathen S. 2022. NSF S-STEM TRACK2 Grant  Siena Heights: Applying Psychological Constructs and Student Supports to Improve the Education of Students in STEM (SHAPE STEM). Siena Heights University, Adrian, MI.
  • Moody H, Wathen S, Tsuji J, Bell B, Crites A, Gascon N, Khankan Z, Pringle E, Monroe E, Olsen G, Stahl P, Sykora K. 2022. Survey of Microplastics in Synthetic Versus Natural Fiber Laundry Effluent. Michigan Academician
  • Moody H, Easley LE, Sissen M. 2021. Water Shutoffs During COVID-19 and Black Lives: Case Study Detroit. Environmental Justice 15(05): 313-318.
  • Moody H, Grady S. 2021. Lead Emissions and Population Vulnerability in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, 2006–2013: Impact of Pollution, Housing Age and Neighborhood Racial Isolation and Poverty on Blood Lead in Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(2747):1-20.
  • Moody H, Wathen S, Tsuji J, Brown S, Carlisle R, Collins E, Dart H, Fluke T, Khankan Y, King K, McGaughy A, Nadasky C, Patrick J.  2021.  Survey of Microplastics in Potable and Freshwater Sources in Southeast Michigan. Michigan Academician 47(3):39-40.
  • Tsuji J, Wathen S, Moody H, Bell B, Crites A, Gascon N, Khankan Z, Pringle E, Monroe E, Nichols L, Olsen G, Stahl P, Sykora K.  2021.  Trends in Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Migration from 2002 to 2019.  Michigan Academician 47(3):39.
  • Tsuji J, Moody H, Wathen S, Rousselo P, Lindstrom J, Tsuji M. 2020. SHAPE-STEM – Shaping Michigan’s Next Generation of Environmental Scientists. Scientia
  • Tsuji J, Moody H, Wathen S, Brown S, Carlisle R, Collins E, Flores R, King K, McGaughy A, Nadasky C, Patrick J, and A Pocza. 2019. Monitoring Airborne Particulate Matter Produced During the Demolition of a University Building. Michigan Academician XLVI (1):57.
  • Tsuji J, Moody H, Wathen S. 2017. NSF S-STEM Grant  Siena Heights: Applying Psychological Constructs and Student Supports to Improve the Education of Students in STEM (SHAPE STEM). Siena Heights University, Adrian, MI.
  • Moody H, Grady S. 2017. Geographic Analysis of Air Lead Emissions and Deposition and Population Vulnerability in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, Michigan 2006 Through 2013. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(1445):1-22.
  • Moody H, Darden JT, Pigozzi BW. 2016. The Relationship of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Differences and Racial Residential Segregation to Childhood Blood Lead Levels in Metropolitan Detroit. Journal of Urban Health 93(5):820-839.
  • Moody H, Darden JT, Pigozzi BW. 2015. The Racial Gap in Childhood Blood Lead Levels Related to Socioeconomic Position of Residence in Metropolitan Detroit. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 83(5):1-19.
  • Moody H. 2014. The Relationship of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Differences and Racial Residential Segregation to Childhood Blood Lead Levels in Metropolitan Detroit. ProQuest LLC. UMI Dissertation Publishing, Michigan State University. UMI No. 3619171.

Jim Penn

Jim Penn, Professor and Department Chair

Ph.D. Geography, University of Florida
M.A. Latin American Studies, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, University of Florida
Office: B-4-205 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-8522
Email[email protected]. Faculty web page. 

Areas of interest: Amazonia, Latin America, non-timber forest products, ethnobotany, natural resource use and indigenous communities, agriculture and farmers, rural-to-urban migration, globalization and development, railroads and freight transportation.

Representative Publications:

  • Penn, J. 2017. Piassaba broom production and fiber extraction amid challenging socioeconomic conditions in the lower Andes: A case from Peru. Pp. 177- 205 In: C. Allen (ed.) The Andes: Geography, diversity and sociocultural impacts. Nova Science.
  • Delgado, C., Penn, J. & Couturier, G. (2016). Status of Cacao trees following seasonal floods in major watersheds of the Peruvian Amazon. Agricultural Science, 4(2): 15-24.
  • Penn, J. 2012. The unconquered: In search of the Amazon’s last uncontacted tribes. (Review). Journal Latin American Geography, 11(1): 188-90.
  • Penn, J. 2010. Domestication centers. In B. Warf (Ed.), Sage encyclopedia of human geography (pp. 374-378). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Penn, J.W., Jr. 2008. Non-timber forest products in Peruvian Amazonia: Changing patterns of economic exploitation. Focus on Geography, 51(2): 18-25.
  • Pinedo-Panduro, M. and J. Penn. 2008. Camu-camu: A sustainable option for agroindustry in the Peruvian Amazon. FAO Non-wood News, 17: 52.
  • Penn, J.W., Jr. 2006. The cultivation of camu camu (Myrciaria dubia): A tree planting programme in the Peruvian Amazon. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 16: 85-101.
  • Miller, R.P., Penn, J.W., Jr, and J. van Leeuwen. 2006. Amazonian Homegardens: Their ethnohistory and potential contribution to agroforestry development. Pp. 43 -60 In: Kumar, B.K. and P.K. Nair (eds.) Tropical Homegardens: A Time-Tested Example of Sustainable Agroforestry. Advances in Agroforestry 3. Dordrecht: Springer Science.
  • Penn, J. & G. Neise. 2004. Aguaje palm agroforestry in the Peruvian Amazon. The Palmateer 24 (1): 15-18.
  • Meyer, D., and J. Penn. 2003. An overview of the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Communal Reserve. Rapid Biological Inventories 11: 176-177. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.

Wanxiao Sun

Wanxiao Sun, Professor

Postdoc, University of California – Berkeley, 2001

Ph.D., Remote Sensing and GIS, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, December 1999

M.S., Remote Sensing and GIS, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, July 1989

B.S., Computer Cartography, Nanjing University, China, July 1986

Office: B-4-207 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-8521
Email[email protected]Wanxiao's LinkedIn profile

Areas of interest: remote sensing and digital image processing algorithms, image understanding and classification, applications of remote sensing, GPS in mapping and monitoring the Earth’s environments, computer cartography, GIS and GIScience

Representative Publications:

  • Churches, C., Wampler, P. J., Sun, W., and Smith, A. J., 2014. Evaluation of forest cover estimates for Haiti using supervised classification of Landsat data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 30: 203–216. 
  • Wampler, P., Churches, C. E., Smith, A., Sun, W., 2014. Forest Cover and Impacts to Water Quality in Haiti. (6th ed., vol. 46, pp. 615). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs.
  • Sun, F., Sun, W., Chen, J., and Gong, P. 2012. Comparison and improvement of methods for identifying water bodies in remotely sensed imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33:21, 6854-6875.
  • Sun, G., Sun, W., Liang, S., Zhang, Z., and Chen. E. 2012. Above-ground biomass, in Advanced Remote Sensing: Terrestrial Information Extraction and Applications. S. Liang et al. (Ed.), Elsevier/Academic Press, Waltham, MA, Chapter 15, pp. 467-499.
  • Liang, S., Liu, R., Qin, J., Sun, W., Wang, K., and Yang, J. 2009, Remote sensing observations and inversion of land parameters for supporting ecosystem model simulation, in Human Activities and Ecosystem Dynamics. Yu, G. et al. (Ed.), Higher Education Press, Beijing (in Chinese), Chapter 4, pp. 121-156.
  • Oyana, T. J., Sun, W., and Sirikulchayanon, P., 2009. Buffering functions of mangroves in the 2004 tsunami, International Journal of Digital Earth, 2(3): 257–274.  
  • Sun, W., Liang, S., Xu, G., Fang, H., and Dickinson, R., 2008. Mapping plant functional types from MODIS data using multisource evidential reasoning, Remote Sensing of Environment, 112:1010–1024.
  • Sun, W. and Liang, S., 2008. Methodologies for mapping plant functional types. In S. Liang (ed.), Advances in Land Remote Sensing: System, Modeling, Inversion and Application: 369-393. Springer.
  • Sirikulchayanon, P., Sun, W., and Oyana, T., 2008. Assessing the impacts of the 2004 tsunami on mangroves using remote sensing and GIS techniques, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29(12):3553-3576.
  • McDonald, P., Nielsen, C., Oyana, T., and Sun, W., 2008. Modelling habitat overlap among sympatric mesocarnivores in Southern Illinois, USA. Ecological Modelling, 215:276-286.
  • Sun, W., 2006. Three new implementations of the triangular prism method for computing the fractal dimension of remote sensing images, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 72(4):373-382.
  • Sun, W., Xu, G., Gong, P., and Liang, S., 2006. Fractal analysis of remote sensing images: A review of methods and applications, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 27(22):4963-4990.
  • Sun, W., Kelly, M., and Gong, P., 2005. Separation of dead tree crowns from the oak woodland forest mosaic by integrating spatial information, Geocarto International, 20(2):15-20.
  • Sun, W., Kolappal, A., and Gong, P., 2005. Two computation methods for detecting anisotropy in image texture, Geographic Information Sciences, 11(2):87-96.
  • Sun, W., Liang, S., Xu, G., and Fang, H., 2005. Improving MODIS PFT product using multisource evidential reasoning. Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing, 1:225-227. ISSN: 1682-1750. October 17-19, 2005, Beijing, China.
  • Sun, W. 2004. Land-Use Classification Using High Resolution Satellite Imagery: A New Information Fusion Method – An Application in Landau, Germany. Mainz: University of Mainz Press, ISBN: 3-88250- 049-2, 95 pages.
  • Sun, W., Heidt, V., Gong, P., and Xu, G., 2003. Information fusion for rural land-use classification with high resolution satellite imagery, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 41(4):883-890.
  • Sun, W., and Heidt, V., 2001. Contribution of spatial information of high-resolution satellite imagery to optimizing classification methods, Research Magazine of Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 17:46-51.
  • Sun, W., 1992. Developing a PC-based GIS using Landsat imaginary as the principal data source, Memoirs of Nanjing Institute of Geography, Academia Sinica, 8:84-92.

Jeroen Wagendorp

Jeroen Wagendorp, Associate Professor

Ph.D. Geography, University of Oklahoma
M.A. Geography, Western Michigan University
B.S. Geography and International Relations, Aquinas College
Office: B-4-201 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-8672
Email[email protected]Jeroen's LinkedIn profile

Areas of interest: Capacity building and institutionalization of Geography into local governments, GIS/GIT based management and analysis of environmental health, integrated regional planning, geo-jurisprudence of environmental & resource management, European Geography

Gang Xu

Gang Xu, Associate Professor

Ph.D. Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
M.S. Urban and Regional Planning/Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Office: B-4-206 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-3068
Email[email protected]Gang's LinkedIn profile

Areas of Interest: Economic Geography, urban studies, urban and regional development, GIS, international business, globalization, tourism, China, East Asia


Representative Publications:

Adjunct Assistant Professor Sean Woznicki

Sean A. Woznicki, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Postdoctoral, 2015-2019, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC
Ph.D., Biosystems Engineering, 2015- Michigan State University
M.S., Biosystems Engineering, 2011- Michigan State University
B.S., Biosystems Engineering, 2009- Michigan State University

Grand Valley State University
Annis Water Resources Institute
740 West Shoreline Drive
Muskegon, MI 49441
Phone: (616) 331-8799
E-mail[email protected]

Research: Watershed hydrology and modeling, Climate and land use change, Ecosystem goods and services, Geospatial analysis and remote sensing

Representative Publications:

Jason Moore

Jason Moore, Adjunct Instructor


Email: [email protected]

Steven Stepek

Steven Stepek, Adjunct Instructor

M.P.A. Regional Policy and Planning Emphasis, Grand Valley State University.
B.S. Geography and Planning, Grand Valley State University.
Email: [email protected]

Steven's LinkedIn Profile

Areas of Interest: Regional Policy and Planning, Transportation, and GIS   

Jon Wessell

Jon Wessell, Adjunct Instructor

Ph.D. candidate, Geographic Education, Walden University
M.A. Geography, Western Michigan University

Chair, Geography Education Specialty Group (AAG)

2018 AP Human Geography Reader for the College Board

Office: B-4-209 Mackinac Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2379
Email[email protected]Jon's LinkedIn profile

Areas of interest: Cultural Geography, World Regional Geography, Geography Field Study, Environmental Geography, Geographic Education, and Recreation Geography

Representative Publications

Alyson Mabie

Alyson Mabie, Adjunct Instructor

M.S. Geography - Community Development & Planning, Western Michigan University

B.S. Geography & Sustainable Planning. GIS Cert. Sustainable Planning Cert., Grand Valley State University

Email[email protected]

Areas of Interest: Urban Geography, Social & Environmental Inequities, Urban Graffiti & Public Art, Perceptions of Space & Place esp. Deviance Fluidity and Gentrification, GIS, Fantasy|Fictional Cartography & Geographies, Michigan Craft Beer

Representative Publications

  • Mabie, Alyson M., "Deviance Fluidity on the Urban Landscape: Graffiti and Street Art as Non-Normative Placemaking" (2018). Master's Theses. 3411.

Amanda Reader

Amanda Reader, Project Administrator and Professional Support Staff

Amanda provides administrative support to the office of Geography and Sustainable Planning. 

Amanda has worked at Grand Valley State University for over 20 years in various support roles. Amanda has a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University.

Email[email protected]

Retired Faculty

Roy Cole

Dr. Roy Cole


Michael Gutowsky

Michael Gutowsky, Adjunct Instructor


Page last modified September 5, 2023