John Jensen Distinguished Lecture Series at AAG 2023

The Jensen Distinguished Lecture Series is a momentous event sponsored by RSSG during AAG Annual Meeting. Established in 2016, the Lecture Series aims to invite the preeminent scholars to share their unique perspective and expertise with the broader RSSG community, including identification of larger trends, challenges, and opportunities within their area of expertise.

RSSG proudly announces its 2023 Jensen Distinguished Lecture Series during AAG 2023 Annual meeting:

Date & Start Time: Sunday, March 26, 10:20 AM (Mountain Time).

Location: Virtual

Speaker: Professor Karen Seto at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. 

Dr. Karen Seto is a geographer and an urban scientist. She is one of the world’s leading experts on how urbanization will affect the planet. A specialist in contemporary urbanization in Asia, she integrates remote sensing, field interviews, and modeling methods to study urbanization and land change, forecast urban growth, and examine the environmental consequences of urban expansion. She is an expert in satellite remote sensing analysis and has pioneered methods to reconstruct historical land-use and to develop empirical models to explain and forecast the expansion of urban areas. Seto uses geospatial big data as a scientific lens to study urbanization as a process and to understand its aggregate global impacts. Her research has made discoveries on the interaction between urbanization and food systems, the effects of urban expansion on biodiversity and cropland loss, and how future urbanization will affect urban energy use and emissions.

Professor Seto serves on many national and international scientific bodies. She currently co-chairs the Climate Security Roundtable, established by the US National Academies by the direction of Congress to help better understand and anticipate the ways climate change affects U.S. national security interests. She also co-chairs the U.S. National Academies Subcommittee on U.S.-China Scientific Engagement and is chair of the U.S. National Academies Policy and Global Affairs Division. She was a Coordinating Lead Author for two UN Climate Change Reports, the IPCC 6th Assessment Report published in 2022 and the IPCC 5th Assessment Report published in 2014. In both reports she co-led the chapter how cities can mitigate climate change.

Seto is committed to improving public understanding of an urbanizing planet. She was the executive producer of 10,000 Shovels: Rapid Urban Growth in China, a documentary film highlighting urban changes in China. Her book City Unseen, co-authored with Meredith Reba, uses satellite imagery to explore how cities shape landscapes. The recipient of numerous awards, Seto is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned a PhD in Geography from Boston University.

With a presentation titled “How Can Urban Remote Sensing Contribute to the IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change?”, Dr. Seto will discuss the key gaps in knowledge that can help accelerate and scale up urban action for climate change. It will also discuss the need to create accessible and translatable findings that can be of use for urban and national policymakers, the private sector, and other key stakeholders.Click here to access the 2023 Jensen Distinguished Lecture Series in the AAG 2023 Annual Meeting preliminary program.

The past speakers of John Jensen Distinguished Lecture Series:

  • 2022 – Prof. Ruth DeFries, Columbia University 
  • 2021 – Prof. Qihao Weng, Hong Kong Polytechnic University/Indiana State University
  • 2019 – Prof. Marguerite Madden, University of Georgia
  • 2018 – Prof. Douglas A. Stow, University of California, San Diego
  • 2017 – Prof. John Jensen, University of South Carolina