United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Justin White

Assistant Professor of Geosciences

Department of Economics and Geosciences

Contact Information

(719) 333-3080



Dr. White is an Assistant Professor of Geoscience with expertise in geospatial techniques, spatial data science, and human-environment interactions. He currently teaches geospatial theory and analysis courses. His research interests bridge GIS and remote modeling of environmental systems at various scales. He has worked in Haiti, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Greece, and Virginia, Nevada, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, Georgia, Colorado, and Utah, USA. In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, tinkering with spatial data, and recreating outdoors.


PhD, Geography, University of Nevada

MS, Geography, Virginia Tech

BS, Geographic Sciences (Physical and Human Geography Pathways), Geology minor, James Madison University

Data Science Certificate, Harvard, pending

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Geosciences, United States Air Force Academy

Data Science and Geospatial Analytics Advisor, Maplewell Energy

Assistant Professor, Earth Science, Utah Valley University

Visiting Assistant Professor, Geography, Univ. of Wisconsin, Parkside

Instructor, Geography, Great Basin College

Instructor, Geography, University of Nevada – Reno

Courses instructed:
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Introduction to Geotechnology
  • Advanced Geospatial Analysis
  • GIS Design Studio
  • Advanced Explorations in GIS
  • Remote Sensing of Environment
  • Physical Geography
  • Natural Disasters
  • Climate Change
  • Culture and Environmental Sustainability
  • Sustainability
  • Human Geography
  • World Regional Geography
Courses Co-taught or assisted:
  • Oceanography GIS
  • Geomorphology
  • Biogeography
  • Paleoenvironments
Research and Scholarly Interests
Select Research Projects:

Capitol Reef National Park, USA: Project: Using geospatial techniques, game cameras, and DNA to model Desert Bighorn Sheep distribution in Capitol Reef National Park. CoPI. 2019-present. Number of student collaborators: 3.

Arid West, USA. Project: Quantifying vegetation dynamics and urban area change in the arid American West (2.3 million km2) since 1985 using geospatial techniques. PI. 2019-present. Number of student collaborators: 8

Utah Lake Watershed/Wasatch Front, Utah. Project: Airborne thermal imaging of groundwater sources in the Utah Lake Watershed, UT, USA. Co-PI. 2020-present. Number of students collaborators: 3

Saratoga Hot Springs, Utah. Project: Using aerial infrared imagery to understand a waterbird’s spatial use of hot springs in winter. PI. 2021. Number of students collaborators: 3

Utah Lake Watershed, Utah. Assessing the impact of ~75 years of land use and land cover change on the Utah Lake Watershed with Remote Sensing and Spatial Modeling. Co-PI. Number of student collaborators: 4

Nevada, USA.  Project: Raptor ecology along an urban-rural gradient in Reno-Sparks, Nevada, USA. 2014-2017. PhD Dissertation. Examined raptor breeding ecology along an urban gradient and human perceptions of raptors. Installed 41 nest cameras, managed 23 researchers.

Ecuador. Project: Andean Condor and Andean Fox Research and Conservation PI: Dr. Hernan Vargas, the Peregrine Fund, 2014

Nevada, USA. Project: Refinement of historical variability and the baseline for hydroclimatic conditions within the Walker Basin, Nevada/California: a multi-elevational dendrochronological and ecohydrological approach. PI: Dr. Scott Strachan, Dendrochronology Laboratory, UNR; 2014

Dominican Republic. Project: Ridgway’s Hawk Reintroduction. PI: Thomas Hayes, Peregrine Fund; 2013. Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic. Project: Late Holocene hurricane-fire interaction in coastal forests of the Dominican Republic. PI: Dr. Lisa Kennedy, VA Tech; Feb 2013

La Gonave, Haiti. Projects:  Landscape dynamics on the island of La Gonave, Haiti, 1990–2010, Do perceptions of the Red‐tailed Hawk indicate a human‐wildlife conflict on the island of La Gonave, Haiti?, and The status of diurnal raptor populations on La Gonave, Haiti.


Select Deliverables:

White JH, Ormsby ZE, Snook JS, Nussear KE (2022) A spatial analysis of diet and prey selection of urban Red-tailed Hawk nestlings. Journal of Urban Ecology.

White JH, Heppner J, Ouyang JQ (2022) Increased lead and glucocorticoid concentrations reduce reproductive success in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) along an urban gradient. Ecological Applications, https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2688.

White JH, Brown JL, Ormsby ZE (2020) A multiscale assessment of Red-tailed Hawk reproductive success relative to urban density and habitat type. Journal of Urban Ecology, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/jue/juaa023

White JH, Kennedy LM, Kimsey MB (2019) The Status of Diurnal Raptor Populations on La Gonâve, Haiti. Caribbean Journal of Ornithology, 32(1):81–85

White JH, Kemmelmeier M, Bassett SD, Smith JM (2018) Human perceptions of an avian predator in an urban ecosystem: close proximity to nests increases fondness among local residents. Urban Ecosystems, 21(2):271–280

White JH, Smith JM, Bassett SD, Brown JL, Ormsby ZE (2018) Raptor nesting locations along an urban density gradient in the Great Basin, USA. Urban Ecosystems, 21(1):51–60

White JH, Kennedy LM, & ME Christie (2017) Do perceptions of the Red-tailed Hawk indicate a human-wildlife conflict on the island of La Gonâve, Haiti? Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 38(1):258–268

White JH (2015) Perspectives on Urban Raptor Research from the Reno Hawk Project. Mountain Views, 9(2):63-67. Editor Dr. Constance Millar, USFS.

White JH, Shao Y, Kennedy LM, & Campbell JB (2013) Landscape dynamics on the island of La Gonâve, Haiti, 1990–2010. Land, 2(3):493–507

Copenheaver, CA, Seiler, JR, Peterson, JA, Evans, AM, McVay, JL, and White, JH (2013) Stadium Woods: A dendroecological reconstruction of an old-growth forest on a university campus. Dendrochronologia, 32(1):62–70

Relevant Manuscripts Nearing Submission:

Pedagogical method or instructor qualities: student values in general education geography courses. For submission to Journal of Higher Education.

Urban Avoidance by Golden Eagles in the Great Basin, USA. For submission to Journal of Urban Ecosystems.