Retirement Letter from Melinda

Melinda Laituri, Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability in the Warner College of Natural Resource, works on applications of geospatial science on water resources and natural resource management, participatory mapping with at-risk populations, and environmental justice. 


Dear Geospatial Colleagues:

I have decided to retire from CSU at the end of December 2020.  I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to establish the Geospatial Centroid at CSU which is a service center for geospatial activities across campus.  As with all things at the Centroid, this was a collective effort due to many people over the years; notably Dave Theobald who helped with the initial proposal for funding, Sophia Linn who has been the Assistant Director since the inception of the Centroid in 2009, and Beth Tulanowski who came to the Centroid as the education coordinator and is now a full-time GIS instructor in the Warner College of Natural Resources.  Dan Carver, the technology manager, and Josh Reyling, the help desk lead and general “jack of all things geospatial,” round out the Centroid staff that has expanded due to funded projects and support from the Library and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The best thing about the Centroid is the student interns that have been supported or volunteered over the years.  Many of these interns were my graduate students – but the intern population expanded to include students from across the university – spreading the word about geographic information science.  These interns have been a source of pride and accomplishment – many of whom have since become employed in jobs utilizing geospatial technologies.

I have worked with GIS since the late 1980s.  I have lived through the expansion and growth of GIS as a science and had to adapt to the ever-changing suite of tools and applications that are increasingly central to society.  This experience has shaped my life, enabling me to travel the world, work with other cultures, and truly see how maps create a common language for communication and sharing.  I have also been fortunate to work with young people across the globe who reinvigorate my hopes for our future planet due to their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm.

I step away from the Centroid knowing that it remains in good hands with continued support from the University and an Interim Director, Dr. Matt Ross, who has lots of innovative ideas. Good luck!