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WKU group attends planning association conference

Last week WKU faculty, students and alumni attended the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association conference at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green.

Each year urban and regional planners gather to discuss the latest advances in planning for land use associated with transportation, community development, economic progress and population growth.

Cable car system built in Medellín, Colombia, to help improve accessibility in poor, hillside communities. (Photo by David Keeling)

Cable car system built in Medellín, Colombia, to help improve accessibility in poor, hillside communities. (Photo by David Keeling)

At this year’s conference, Dr. David J. Keeling, University Distinguished Professor of Geography and Department Head of Geography and Geology, was featured as the keynote speaker. He presented “Research in Medellin, Colombia: Taking the Gown to the Town,” with a focus on how planners, community activists, citizens and politicians can work together to improve the quality of life in poor neighborhoods.

Tommy Woodall of Cadiz, a graduate student in the M.S. Geoscience program and the Campus Infrastructure and Data Specialist at WKU’s Facilities Management, presented his research on a mobile webmap application for navigating campus with or without barriers (e.g., stairs, curbs, etc.,) and he discussed how GIS is integrated into WKU Facilities Management operations.

Kevin Cary, Director of WKU’s Center for GIS, discussed WKU’s FUSE grant program and he presented his FUSE grant student’s research on “Using GIS to Locate and Determine Areas Served by High Tunnels in Kentucky.” Ryan Uthoff was unable to present due to starting his new job upon graduation as a GIS Analyst for Hyrdomax USA in Louisville.

Jun Yan, Associate Professor of GIS, presented on WKU’s GIS programs and GIS class projects in planning such as 3D modeling, response performance times from fire station locations, public transportation, and commuting and job-housing imbalances.

Rachel Phillips, a consultant with EHI Consultants and a WKU graduate in Geography/City and Regional Planning, presented on location selection for small-area plans.

Other WKU Geoscience alumni present at the May 18-20 conference included: Harika Suklun (B.S. Geography, 1998); Brian Howard (M.S. Geoscience, 2001); Ben Peterson (M.S. Geoscience, 1998); Karissa Grammer Lemon (B.S. Geography, 2014); Ward Pedley (B.S. Geography, 2013); Tonya Colley (B.S. Geography, 1999); all of whom are engaged in planning activities for private business or government.

For information about GIS, WKU’s GIS programs, and GIS applications in business and industry, contact Kevin Cary in WKU’s Center for GIS at 270-745-2981 or

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 Last Modified 5/2/17