Sociology Students Impress at Geographers Conference

Citizen Science GIS scholars at the American Association of Geographers Conference.

University of Central Florida sociology students presented their remarkable research at the American Association of Geographers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, held in April, 2017.

UCF sociology student Lain Graham presents at the conference.

Geographers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists, environmental scientists and more gather at the annual conference for the latest in research and applications in geography, sustainability and GIScience.

Sociology students Kenisha Johnson, Lain Graham, Nicholas Altizer, Amanda Ashby and Assistant Professors Timothy Hawthorne, Ph.D., and Yingru Li, Ph.D., represented the Department of Sociology at the conference.

Graham was honored to be a part of the team that shared its research through a poster entitled, Citizen Science GIS in Practice: Community-Based Research in Hopkins, Belize.

“I’m grateful to have had the ability to present on a topic that I’m passionate about, to provide my colleagues with support and for the opportunity to build my experience and expand my academic network,” Graham expressed.

Graham, along with her classmates, presented during the human geography session and the environmental and behavioral specialty group.

Kenisha Johnson stand with her advisor Dr. Yingru Li after earning her award.

“I hope to have inspired the audience to think about the various applications of GIS in a different way, to address real world, social and environmental problems,” she said.

Johnson also presented her exceptional research on childhood obesity. She received an award from the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group for her paper entitled Assessing Food Environment Around Public Elementary Schools in the U.S. Johnson worked on this paper with her advisor, Assistant Professor Yingru Li, Ph.D. who also attended the conference.

Her research discovered a higher percentage of unhealthy food stores located within a 0.5-mile buffer of public elementary schools. This increased the awareness of food security and healthfulness around the elementary students.

The research that the sociology students and faculty shared at the conference contributes to a better future – one research project at a time.


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