About Us - GIS in Science and Education
The GIS Working Group is a healthy mix of people with knowledge of the museum's collections, people who do primary research, and people with GIS experience. By sharing our work, research ideas, data, and expertise within the group, we are working to advance our goal of creating, housing, sharing, and using Field Museum Geospatial data to a much fuller extent. This is a partial listing of GIS Working Group members with information about how they interact with or use geospatial data.
Erika Hasle is a Conservation Ecologist for the Field Museum’s ECCo Division. Erika has focused her work with The Field Museum on supporting ECCo’s conservation and education efforts in the Chicago Region. Recent GIS projects include mapping land stewardship throughout the region, creating a spatial database of environmental education and modeling Hine’s emerald dragonfly movement.
Mark Johnston is a Geographic Information Manager with a doctorate in Ecology. He is establishing and will mantain an instititional GIS repository and server for the museum, and is working with collection managers, curators and other scientists at the museum to collaborate on research projects, and to help establish and improve the spatial acceess and utilization of of Field Museum datasets. Johnston also uses GIS and remote sensing for vegetation mapping and green infrastructure mapping within the Chicago region while also providing GIS mapping and analysis support for our international and Chicago science action teams.
Jon Markel is the GIS/Digital Media Coordinator at the Field Museum. His work reaches from the Chicago region to the Andes & upper Amazon River basin of South America in support of the museum's environmental conservation efforts. His efforts have focused on utilizing both GIS data and satellite imagery to inform museum scientists of the larger context their work fits into.
Matthew Piscitelli is an anthropological archaeologist exploring how early leaders in ancient Peru used religious ritual as a base of power to construct the first monumental architecture in the New World. As part of a multi-disciplinary approach to reconstruct ritual activities, Matthew uses GIS to map ceremonial architecture, analyze artifact distributions, and examine pathways for the diffusion of early religious traditions.
Rebecca Seifried is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Field Museum. She assists in managing the GIS databases for two archaeological projects: the Körös Regional Archaeological Project in Hungary and The Diros Project in Greece. Both projects rely on spatial analysis of artifact distributions to help in locating prehistoric and historic archaeological sites and subterranean features. Her own research uses GIS to detect changes in regional settlement patterns, especially in terms of ease of access and intervisibility between sites.
Margaret Thayer is an Associate Curator (Insects) at the Field Museum. Her research in systematics, evolution, and biogeography of insects focuses on the megadiverse beetle family Staphylinidae (rove beetles), She uses GIS for mapping species distributions based on museum specimens, including her own collections from around the world, particularly the austral region. She is interested in using GIS to analyze the influence of climate and habitat parameters on those distributions and in doing niche modeling.
Ryan Williams, Associate Curator of Archaeological Science, uses GIS to model human interactions with the environment and teaches a graduate seminar on Landscape Archaeology & GIS at UIC. Among his GIS based publications are works on Slope Stability Models for Andean agriculture, ritual site lines between Peruvian mountain peaks, network models of archaeological irrigation systems, and models of trade and economic networks in ancient societies.