The GeoForAll Research and

Education Collaboration

...between UMass Amherst, Amherst College and Smith College
Andy Anderson is an Academic Technology Specialist for Mathematical and Spatial Data Analysis, Academic Technology Services, Amherst College.
Dr. Anderson has been working with free and open-source geospatial technologies since 2007. He has taught several workshops using such tools, most recently “Working with­ Geogr­aphic ­Data in R Statistics”. He has found them particularly important for students engaged with nonprofits in the US and abroad due to the ease of technology transfer. In Spring semesters he is co-teaching (with Schweik and Caris) the “Community Service with Web-Based GIST” course using open-source geospatial technologies (Postgres, PostGIS, Geoserver, open source web technologies, and Leaflet).

Jon Caris is the Director of the Spatial Analysis Lab at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Jon began investigating FOSS4G technologies in 2007 as a Technology Fellow with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE).  He recently began studying use of unmanned aerial systems in academia and sees opportunity for developing image processing work flows using open source applications.  He is a co-instructor with Anderson and Schweik in the “Community Service with Web-Based GIST” using open-source geospatial technologies.

Scott Gilman is Spatial Fellow at the Spatial Analysis Lab at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

He has been teaching QGIS at Smith College and he has been an active collaborator with Anderson, Caris and Schweik in the “Community Service with Web-Based GIST” spring semester class offering using open-source geospatial technologies.

Charlie Schweik, Professor, Department of Environmental Conservation and Center for Public Policy and Administration.
Dr. Schweik is the chair of the’s Education and Curriculum Committee and one of the four leads in the creation of the GeoForAll global network.

He has taught an online Introduction to Open Source GIS class, and is a co-instructor with Anderson and Caris on the "Community Service with Web-Based GIST" course being offered at UMass (Spring semesters).

Schweik is also the lead author on the book "Internet Success: A Study of Open Source Software Commons (MIT Press, 2012).

Schweik is also collaborating with another GeoForAll lab Ron Fortunato and Trillium Learning in research and education around the use of unmanned aerial vechicles for invasive plant species management and other scientific applications, and is developing UAS collaborations with Jon Caris at Smith College's Spatial Analysis Lab.
Sandra Haire of the Haire Laboratory for Landscape Ecology -
Dr. Haire studies questions related to how disturbance creates spatial patterns and ecological processes. Much of her work utilizes the open source software “R” to investigate these questions.

Joseph P. Kopera, Senior Research Fellow, Massachusetts Geological Survey and Dept. of Geosciences (

Joe is the geologic mapping and GIS coordinator at the Massachusetts Geological Survey.  Trained as a field geologist, his present focus is on shifting the workflow of geologic mapmaking from proprietary solutions to a  silo-averse process that engages the communities being mapped and uses FOSS at every step, from boots-on-the-ground data collection to publication and distribution in forms that are readily accessible to non-geologists, especially those in municipal and regional government, and can be easily maintained and updated over time.

Joe is co-author of the essay Overcoming the momentum of anachronism: American geologic mapping in a twenty-first-century world (in USGS Special Paper 502) along with Kyle House (USGS) and Ryan Clark (MapBox).  You can follow him on Twitter at @GeoJoek.

Alexander “Sasha” Stepanov (GIS Architect, UMass Amherst Facilities Planning).

Dr. Stepanov is currently developing course material on spatial databases with attention to PostResSQL and PostGIS.


Seth Englebourg. MS Student, Sustainability Science, UMass Amherst.
Seth is working with Schweik and Ron Fortunato of Trillium Learning on the Invasive Species Mapping project.

Walter Jaslanek. PhD Student, Environmental Conservation, UMass Amherst and IGERT Wind Energy Fellow.
Walt has over a decade of professional GIS experience and is now working on a GIS-based decision support system to support broad-scale placement of off-shore wind farm systems.

Ryan Wicks. MS Student, Sustainability Science, UMass Amherst.
Ryan is working with Schweik and Ron Fortunato of Trillium Learning on the Invasive Species Mapping project.