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ASU prof inducted to Academia Europaea, named director of Spatial Analysis Research Center

Stewart Fortheringham selected to lead new center, which has a launch event Dec. 7

December 01, 2017

As the year draws to a close, Stewart Fotheringham, ASU Foundation Professor with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, will be able to mark 2017 off as a banner year.

In September, Fotheringham was officially inducted into the Academia Europaea during the organization’s annual conference in Budapest. Academia Europaea, founded in 1988, is an international association of scientists and scholars from all disciplines, who are experts and leaders in their own subject areas as recognized by their peers. Membership to this organization is by invitation-only, following nomination, research and confirmation based on the scholarship and distinction of the nominated.

Fotheringham, who is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UK Academy of Social Sciences, joins an elite rank of scholars that includes dozens of Nobel Laureates.

“Being inducted into Academia Europaea is icing on the cake,” said Fotheringham. “This is also an incredible honor because not many geographers are members of Academia Eurpoaea, and I could possibly be the only GIScientist.”

With a lifelong interest in maps, math and science, Fotheringham’s path to becoming a world-renowned geographical information scientist is no surprise.

“I have always been curious about why things are the way they are, and to be able to discover something about the processes that frame our world is really exciting to me,” said Fotheringham. “Realizing that you know something that nobody else does is an amazing experience.”

Fotheringham uses this expertise and curiosity to investigate questions relating to a wide variety of areas including health, crime, retail and migration. He is also well known for work with spatial interaction modeling, local statistical analysis and as one of the developers of geographically weighted regression.  

Fotheringham joined ASU in the fall of 2014. As a faculty member in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, as well as Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, he teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in geographic information technologies and science and advises several doctoral students.

His extensive history in the field of spatial analysis has now led to his newest opportunity to serve as director of the newly formed Spatial Analysis Research Center.

Housed within the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Spatial Analysis Research Center, also known as SPARC, is a GIScience and Earth observing center poised with the goal to advance the science and technology of GIScience, as well as lead to transdisciplinary applications for spatial data solutions to address a variety of issues.

To help kick-start the center and to start creating the opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, Fotheringham and his SPARC colleagues are hosting a launch event on Dec. 7. This celebratory event will also include a full day of learning opportunities for participants, as leaders from the field of spatial analysis will present their latest in research. You can learn more about the event and submit your RSVP by visiting

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