Graduate Studies

Thesis Topics and Research Papers

(Faculty advisor in parentheses)


Haberlie, Alex M.
Warm-season Convective Initiation Climatology for the Atlanta, Georgia Region.” (Ashley)

Maloney, Benjamin J.
The Role of Amenities, Demographics and Soci-economic Variables in the Decision Making of High Amenity Zone Residents: A Chicago, IL and Houston, TX Comparison.” (Greene)


Carrier, Christine E.
An Introduction to Biogeography and Climate Change.” (Rigg & Goldblum)

Carrier, Christine E.
Importance of the Understory and the Need for Future Research.” (Goldblum & Rigg)

Crutchfield, Christopher J.
"The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Urbanized Area Definition: A Kane County, Illinois Case Study.” (Greene)

Dawson, Adam M.
The Influence of Snow Cover on Monthly Temperatures in Illinois.” (Changnon)

Hari, Alexander J.
“Assessing Human Encroachment Along Forest Preserve Borders in Kane County, IL.” (Goldblum)

Herbert, Grant D.
"A Usability Evaluation of 2D and 3D Representations for Urban Planning." (Chen)

Osterloh, Kristopher R.
"Land-Use Impacts on Dynamic Soil Properties at Nachusa Grasslands.” (Konen)

Peterson, Benjamin P.
"The Role of Natural Amenities in the Growth of the Chicago Suburbs, 2000 to 2010."

Robbins, Karen L.
“Location-Allocation Using GIS to Improve Emergency Response.” (Krmenec)

Rohrbach, Kristina L.
Changes in Southeast Florida Vulnerability since Hurricane Andrew.” (Ashley)

Rosencrants, Troy D.
"Spatiotemporal Analysis of Tornado Exposure in Five U.S. Metropolitan Areas." (Ashley)

Shaw, Andrew J.
Land Cover Change and Nitrate in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.” (Greene & Krmenec)

Skelly, Laura M.
"Assessing the Cause of Changing Apparent Tempreatures in the Central United States." (Changnon)

Vallimont, Russell A.
Agriculture and Climate Change.” (Wilson)

Vallimont, Russell A.
Analysis of the World3 Model.” (Wilson)


Briley, Laura J.D
“Uncertainty escription for CMIP3 Precipitation Projections in the Great Lakes Region.” (Ashley)

Chang, Yi-Yin
“Spatial Distributions of Rainfall Intensity Maxima in Intense Tropical Cyclones from the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Data.” (Bentley)

Friedrichova, Michaela “Effects of Experimental Removal of Coexisting Sugar Maple and Trout Lily on the Overall Plant Growth and Survival, Ontario, Canada.” (Goldblum)

Lindfors, Zachariah S.
“Exploring the Commuting Interactions of Neighboring.” (Greene)

Saxton, Michael L.
“Understory Diversity and Seed Bank Germination in Oak Savanna Restorations.” (Goldblum)

Sepulveda, Joseph A. III
“Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety: An Examination of View Obstruction and Crossing Angle Using Aerial Photography.” (Krmenec)

Shakir, Ata
“Spatial Dimensions of a long-Term Merit Pay Environment and Forecast of Teacher Mobility.” (Greene)

Strader, Stephen M.
“Lightning Signatures of Long-lived Tornadic Supercells in the Southeastern U.S. on 27-28 April 2011.” (Ashley)


Burlingame, Melissa A.
“Spatial Analysis of Management Plan Impacts on Landscape Change for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, IL.” (Goldblum)

Darby, Keith D.
“Municipalities Competing for Land: Sorting Out Land Cover Change Among Annexed & Unincorporated Areas of Naperville’s Southwest Expansion Center.” (Greene)

Darby, Keith D.
“A GIS Assessment of the Human Impact of a Potential Nuclear Power Plant Accident: Local and Regional Perspectives.” (Greene)

Pearse, Jacob T.
“Cryptosporidium and Humans: A Human Ecology Approach.” (Wilson)

Wang, Siqin
“Job Density and Employment Subcenters in the Four U.S. Metropolitan Areas.” (Greene)

Whippo, Tara L.
“Variable Catchment Sizes for the Two-Step Floating Catchment Area Method: A Case Study of Accessibility to Primary Care Physicians within Two Illinois Regions.” (Luo)


Falsey, Mary Beth
“Hydric Soil Determination Using IRIS Tubes, Soil Morphological Features, and Monitorying Wells at a Northern Illinois Wetland.” (Konen)

Gensini, Vittorio A.
“Climatology of Potentially Severe Convective Environments from Reanalysis.” (Ashley)

Grudzinski, Bartosz P.
“Estimating Hydraulic Conductivity from Drainage Patterns on Mars – A Case Study in the Mare Tyrrhenum Quadrangle.” (Luo)

Haller, Kara A.
“The Regional Context of Reviving Downtown Riverside, IL: An Amenity Index Approach.” (Greene)

Haller, Kara A.
“The Geography of Foreclosures and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in Joliet, IL.”  (Greene)

Hatzis, Joshua J.
“The Development of a Dynamic Root Distribution for the Community Land Model with Carbon-nitrogen Interactions.” (Song)

Hayes, Jessica L.
“Community Gardens in Chicago Neighborhoods: The Role of Community Gardens in the Local Food System, Food Accessibility and Environmental Justice.” (Blue)

Kazmierczak, Thomas C.
“Rangeland to Cropland Conversion in the Great Plains.” (Greene)

Kwit, Matthew C.
“Light Environments Influence on Understory Sugar Maple Carbon Balance and Survival at and North of the Current Range Limit.” (Goldblum)

Lisowski, Alicia M.
“Characteristics of the Soils in the Boreal and Deciduous Forests of Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.” (Konen)

Loesch, Jameson L.
“The Competitive Role of Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) in the Forest Understory at the Deciduous/Boreal Forest Ecotone, Ontario, Canada" (Rigg)

Maxwell, Alexis S.
“The Vanishing Farmland Myth: Tracking Farmland Loss to Urbanization Through the Use of Geospatial Data.” (Greene)

Paulikas, Marius J.
“Thunderstorm Hazard Risk for the Atlanta, GA Metropolitan Region.” (Ashley)

Schmitt, Zachary A.
“The Topographical Determinants of Intraurban Air Pollution Exposure: An Assessment of the Crawford and Fisk Coal-Fired Power Plants in Chicago, Illinois.” (Greene)

VanLandegen, Luke D.
“Micro-simulation of Large Scale Evacuations Utilizing Metrorail Transit.” (Chen)

Walsh, Thomas R.
 “Evaluating and Classifying the Phase Cycles of the Madden-Julian Oscillation.” (Changnon)


Ankrom, Zachariah J.
“Tillage Impacts on Soil Organic Carbon Levels in Northern Illinois Dynamics in Northeastern Illinois.” (Konen)

Church, Heather L.
“The Change of Corn and Soybean Acres in the United States.”

Glaves, Brian P.
“Seed Rate Study for Restoration Ecology: What Weight of Seed Should Be Planted for Best Results?” (Rigg)

Gilson, Christopher W.
“Human Vulnerability to Lightning in Georgia.” (Ashley)

Mathews, Joshua C.
“The Homer Site: The First Triceratops Bone Bed – Hell Creek Formation Southeastern Montana.” (Rigg)

McCarragher, Shannon R.
“Geographic Variations in Seed Germination, Seedling Growth, and Mortality of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Under Different Temperature and Climatic Regimes: Results of Common Garden and Reciprocal Transplant Experiments.” (Goldblum)

Prell, Jenni A.
“Meteorological Instrumentation Performance and Data Quality Using Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Wind Speed Sensors in Barrow, Alaska.”

Roberts, Gregory A.
“Analysis of Employment Center Change in the Chicago Metropolitan Area, 1990 – 2000.”

Schoen, Joseph M.
“A Climatology of Fatal Tornadic and Non-tornadic Wind Events by Storm Type in the United States, 1998-2007.” (Ashley)

Spencer, Jeremy M. “Winter Weather Related Fatalities in the Conterminous United States: 1993-2007.” (Ashley)

Vogel, Cynthia J. “Agricultural and Urban Land Use Change: Detecting the Perimetropolitan Bow Wave at National and Regional Scales.” (Greene)

Winter, Jericho M. “Assessment of Hydric Soil Indicators, Iris Tubes and Water Table Dynamics in Northeastern Illinois.” (Konen)

Zappa, Monica K.
“Assessing Human Vulnerability to Hurricanes in Latin American Coastal Communities: A Case Study of Bluefields, Nicaragua.” (Ashley/Blue)


Black, Alan W.
“Non-tornadic Convective Wind Fatalities in the United States: 1977-2007.” (Ashley)

Burman, Anna “A Comparison of Flood Data Formats in DeKalb County, IN.” (Greene)

Burman, Anna
“Biases and the Importance of Place in U.S. Refugee/Asylee Policy: A Multi-Scalar Analysis of Four Southeast Asian Countries.”

Nyberg, Michelle
“Exploration of Chlorophyll Fluorescence for Acer saccharum Marsh. Seedlings and Saplings Growing Along Their Northern Range Limit and at a Mid-Range Site in North America.” (Rigg)

Qi, Yi
“An Improved Two Step Floating Catchment Area Method to Measure Public Accessibility to Primary Care Physicians in GIS Environment.”

Qi, Yi
“The Impact of Toxically Releasing Inventory Sites on Residential Property Values in Aurora, Illinois, 1999.” (Greene)

Vogelman, Brooke
“Urban Expansion in Kane County, Illinois: Examining Planning Efforts in a Metropolitan Fringe County with a Purchase of Development Rights Program.”


Arnold,  Martin T.
“Relative Deprivation, Concentrated Disadvantage, and Homicide in Chicago: An Analysis at Multiple Geographic Levels.” (Wang)

Feliberty, Yvette C.
“Spatial Distribution of Toxic Release Inventory Sites in Illinois:  Is there Environmental Inequity?”

Kelly, Heidi R.
“Land Use Impacts on Soil Microbial Community Dynamics.” (Konen)

Luo, Lan
“An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Late-Stage Cancer Diagnosis in Illinois 1998 to 2000.” (Wang)

McElvogue, Jean M.
“Latino and Asian Settlement Patterns in Chicago’s Suburbs.” (Greene)

Oltman, Dustin R.
“A Synoptic Climatology of Destructive Tornado Events in the Central Midwest.” (Bentley)

Sabdo, Christy A.
“Tillage System Impacts on Soil Carbon Stocks in Northcentral Illinois.” (Konen)

Seales, Dean J.
A Site Location Analysis of an Apricot Orchard in the Baltimore/Washington Fringe (Appalachian Region).” (Greene)

Seales, Dean J.
A GIS Model Approach to Study Urban Change: The Case of the Blackberry Watershed, Illinois.” (Greene)

Song, Guan
“Modeling Energy, Water and Carbon Fluxes Over a Corn Field Using Coupled Land Surface Model and Dynamic Crop Model.” (Song)

Trivedi, Tarun H.
“Designing a Geography Information Systems-based Prototype Airport Noise Reporting System.”

Walden-Mather, Jamie
Feral Horse Population Dynamics and Climate Variation in West Central Colorado.” (Krmenec)

Wollenweber, Jennifer L.
“The Effects of Cultivation on Soil Properties Along a Catena in Kane County, Illinois.” (Konen)


Catania, Nathan C.
“Land-Use Impact on Soil Properties Along a Catena in North Central Illinois.” (Konen)

DeMuynck, Erin L.
“The Relationship Between International Migration and Sprawl: the Case of Elgin, IL.” (Greene)

Hall, Soren G.
“The Impacts of Urban Sprawl on the Vulnerability to Tornado Hazards in Northeastern Illinois.” (Ashley)

Heitkamp, Jodi L.
“Limitations of GIS in Map Production: Illustrations by Examples.” (Wang)

Lee, Lauren M.
Examining Lightening Occurrence at the Most Popular Golf Courses in Georgia Including a Focused Analysis of Lightening Risk Surrounding the Masters Golf Tournament.” (Bentley)

Stowell, Jessica L.
“An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Alzheimer’s Disease in Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia.” (Krmenec)

VerHalen, Patrick J.
“Climate Reconstruction for Lake Superior Provincial Park Using Climate-growth Relationships of Red Pines (Pinus Resinosa).” (Rigg)


Bennett-Wittenauer, Theresa J.
“The Costs of Urban Sprawl: How Municipal Service Costs are Impacted by Land Area Consumption.”

Sandstrom, Michael A.
“Relating Surface Dew Point Temperatures to Mesoscale Convective Complexes.”

Schaffer, Charles H. III
“Investigating the Importance of Land Cover on Evapotranspiration.” (Song)

Zhu, Haojie
“Identifying Scale-dependent Management Zones in Corn Fields: An Application of Geographically Weighted Local Statistics and Geostatistics Methods.” (Krmenec)


Granata, Charles
"Using Synoptic Categories to Determine the Relationship of Severe Weather and Low Level Jets to Enhance Weather Prediction."

Lauritsen, Ryan G.
"An Extreme Dew Point Climatology for the Midwestern United States." (Bentley)

Liao, Ke
"Climatological Study of the Nocturnal Low-Level Jet in the Southern Great Plains." (Song)

Liao, Ke
"An Examination of the Changing Suburban Hierarchy in Los Angeles 1990-2000."

McLean, Aaron S.
"An Analysis of Population Distribution Patterns in Chicago Region from 1990 to 2000: A Density Functions Approach."

McLean, Aaron S.
"A Trade Area Analysis of Two Major League Baseball Teams in the Chicago CMSA: A Gravity Model and Nearest Neighbor Approach."

Napoli, James M.
"A Forest Modeling Procedure Using Dasymetric Interpolation in a GIS Environment: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada."

O’Brien, Van M.
"Constructing Geographic Areas for Analysis of Homicide in Small Populations." (Wang)

Pinnau, Martin U.
"A Geographic Analysis of Stock Car Racing."

Szczuka, Tomasz
"An Application of Land Evaluation and Site Assessment Model (LESA) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an Effective Measure of Social Implications in Farmland Conversion Process." (Greene)


Bigley, Russell L.
"An Examination of Two Daily Mean Temperature Calculations: Is the Current Mean Temperature Adequate for Calculating Heating Degree Days?" (Changnon)

Fitzgibbon, Matthew K.
"The Spatial Variation of Labor Productivity and Its Relationship to Population Density - U.S. Industries at the County Level in 1997."

Sparks, Jesse A.
"The Influence of the Great Lakes on the Maintenance of Severe Mesoscale Convective Systems that Traverse Over Them: An Observational Investigation."


Buell, Honor Melanie
"Suburban Population Clusters of Multi-Family Housing in DuPage County, Illinois: A Look at Walkability and Quality of Life."

Diochon, Amanda C.
"A Demographic Analysis of Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharm Marsh) Seedlings at the Species Northern Growth Limit in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada." (Rigg)

Hayakawa, Shuhei
"The Change of Population Distribution Patterns in Chicago from 1980 to 1990: A Density Functions Approach."

Hayakawa, Shuhei
"A Graphical User Interface for GIS Analyses of Census Data."

Lindenmier, Larry J. "Student's Achievement Gap in Illinois: Socioeconomic Status or School District?" (Wang)

Perciante, Craig T.
"Measuring and Relating Selected Variables in DLA Simulated Watershed Networks."

Russ, Karen L.
"A GIS Analysis of the Paleoclimate of the Upper Midwest." (Greene)

Sill, Paul M.
"Methods for Determining Retail Trade Area Boundaries for Consumer Oriented Businesses: A Review and Illustration."

Sill, Paul M.
"An Example of Regression and Probability Modeling in a Retail Based Geographic Information System Environment Using Both Classic and Modern Economic Foundations." (Krmenec)

Talaga, Brandi J.
"Comparison of Organic Carbon Measurement Methods on Cultivated and Never Cultivated Soils of Northern Illinois."

Ulreich, Raymond G.
"Defining the Geographic Realities of Land Use Change Due to Population Growth." (Greene)


Healy, Mark L.
"The Importance of German Immigration as a Locational Factor in the Illinois Brewing Industry: 1870-1920."

Healy, Mark L.
"GEOG 101 ONLINE!: A Web-Based Course in World Regional Geography." (Greene)

Jones, Douglas J.
"Analysis of 1985-1990 Immigrant Settlement Patterns Within Metropolitan Areas Classified by Migration Characteristics." (Greene)

Jones, Linda S.
"Composition, Structure, and Regeneration Dynamics of an Oak (Quercus alba) Woodland in Northern Illinois." (Rigg)

Ritsche, Michael T.
"PDO Effects on Winter Temperatures in the United States Midwest." (Changnon)

Schuble, Todd J.
"Intraurban Congestion-Relief Tunnels: A Chicago Case Study." (Greene)

Stan, Amanda B.
"Factors Affecting White Oak (Quercus alba) Seedling Establishment and Growth in a Northern Illinois Woodland." (Rigg)


Buhta, Michelle.
"ENSO Relationships to Summer Drought in the United States Midwest."

Cha, Soomee.
"Defining Employment Centers in Milwaukee: A GIS Solution to Boundary Questions."

Graham, Jennifer.
"Soil Spatial Variability: The Process of Mapping Soil as a Continuum."

Liang, Shumin.
"The Use of Geographic Information System for Locating and Interpreting Contemporary Urban Growth of Chicago's Urban Fringe."

Lu, Duanjun.
"Exploring Methods for Routine Atmospheric Corrections for the Red, Near-Infrared, and Thermal Bands of NOAA-14 AVHRR Images."


Creech, Tamara.
"Reassessing Climate Information and Services." (Changnon)

Minnick, Richard D.
"Airport Induced Industrial Land Use Change: A Cartographic Approach to Representing Change."
(Harlin, Wang)

Steiner, Stephen F.
"Assessing the Impact of a Community's Land-Use Planning Initiatives on Development Pressure in Neighboring Communities." (Greene)

Stojanovic, Bobbi
"Environmental Impacts of Golf Course Construction and Maintenance on Vegetation and Soil in Kane County, Illinois."

Swenson, Steven R.
"Brownfields: Applying the Analytical Hierarchy Process to Promote Redevelopment."